n°163/ Barbra's Nose

March 2015

by Nathalie Azoulai

There are many types of gay icons among which the over the top pop stars come first. Take Madonna or Dolly Parton. Then those whose songs or androgynious cross-dressing performances nourrish the identification while others embody what makes the gay identity trademark, the ultimate difference, the  very peculiar detail that would give their physical beauty its rebellious distinction. Take Judy Garland or still alive, Barbra Streisand. As ditinctive as her first name’s spelling shows- the very one Barbra against all Barbaras-should her nose have been through surgery, the magic would have been over. Living  with it, being at ease with it, Barbra has been struggling Hollywood’s tyranny since the beginning in the 1960s, making this struggle the very essence of her role in iconic The Way We Were in 1973, and going even further ten years later while directing herself as a girl badly willing to be a boy in Yentl. How to turn a flaw into a flawless performance.

 Barbra Streisand