With the Internet reaching critical mass in terms of new content, weird finds and bizarre pics, it’s hard to stay a regular at any one place. GO FUG YOURSELF is one of the few however, I always meander my way back to. Why? Simple: you won’t find yourself LOL-ing here. Be prepared to bellow, guffaw and eventually fall over sideways in laughter at the witticisms, the randomness and the always rather astute observations by the FUG girls on who’s wearing what and sometimes, what’s wearing who.
As simple as the idea is of a comedic blog devoted purely to fashion and celebrity, the success of it has come down to the creativity of its writers in maintaining the level, quality and spontaneity of their pieces. Go Fug Yourself has been mentioned in various media including making Time’s 50 Coolest Websites and initiating a regular blog gig for New York magazine. Over the four years I’ve been a fan; it’s only getting more critical, more hilarious and more global. Have a look-see at one of the FUG girl’s Aussie favourites: Ms Brynne Gordon.
One of my faves was MIA’s Fug: M.I. Fug:
The comedic stylings are spread between its two creators, Heather and Jessica whom I was lucky enough to interview and oh what a hoot they were.
How did you meet? How did you come up with the idea?
JESSICA: Heather and I were friends for years before we started the web site. Basically, she and I had gone shopping at the local mall, and we noticed that all the posters and ads there were just TERRIBLE — poorly styled, unflattering pictures, the whole shebang. And we started cracking to each other that maybe that was the new trend, and we were just too out of touch to know it. We’d had a LOT of caffeine that morning, and we found this unreasonably amusing. So we started a blog about it, just to amuse ourselves. We never thought anyone else would read it.
HEATHER: The two of us met because we both recapped for the web site Television Without Pity. Jess was living in Los Angeles, and I moved out there in 2001 not knowing more than about two people, so I got in touch with her and we met for drinks. A really creepy old dude was hitting on her when I arrived in the bar, and so I swooped over and rescued her, and we’ve been pals ever since.
You guys are some of the funniest writers I’ve come across on the Internet and I really mean that. What are your thoughts of women in writing and comedy? How did you get into it?
JESSICA: Thank you so much! I personally can’t wait for the day when people don’t ask questions about women in writing and comedy — which isn’t a complaint about your question, I promise, but just a hope that we’re getting close to a time when it doesn’t even occur to anyone that it might be a discussion-worthy issue, you know? I’ve known funny women my entire life, and I don’t think women being funny is a new trend — Roseanne was funny twenty years ago, Dorothy Parker was funny eighty years ago, and Jane Austen was funny nearly two hundred years ago. Whenever I read one of those articles where someone opines that women can’t be funny, I always think to myself, “You must know some very boring women.” As far as I’m concerned, I’ve generally always gravitated to comedic writing in my own work — even in high school, when we had creative writing assignments, I’d try to write something funny.
HEATHER: I’ve never considered myself a comedy writer. I hope to be an entertaining writer who makes people laugh, but for some reason to me they’re not the same — I equate Comedy Writers with stand-ups or sitcom writers, with an emphasis on quippy one-liners. That is probably a gross oversimplification, but what I mean to say is, for whatever reason I have never actually stopped to think of myself as that. As for women in comedy… Look, I enjoyed Bridesmaids. I had some issues with it, too. But one of my big issues was that, while everyone was busy holding it up as proof that women can be funny, the scene they were using as an example was the explosive-diarrhea scene. Not any of the other wit in the movie; just that part. Like women have to resort to scatological humor in order to prove that we’re funny. That bothers me a lot. It’s like, in order to fit in comedically, we’re supposed to turn ourselves into dudes and prove just how guy-like we can be. Where’s the equality in that?
What do you enjoy more – satirizing fashion or fashion itself?
JESSICA: Although I LOVE shopping, I don’t think of myself as a huge fashionista. We definitely have more fun laughing about the crazy stuff that people wear.
HEATHER: Absolutely. I have no great passion for the fashion industry itself — I actually don’t really read very many fashion blogs, if any, on a regular basis. My interests lie in pop culture, food, sports, etc. I don’t look down on fashion; it’s just that the business of it, the trends and the season-to-season changes and whatnot, is not as intriguing to me as actually trying on clothes and/or reading about other stuff.
JESSICA: Some of the vitriol is for humorous effect, of course — and as far as leggings go, I think I have accepted that we’ve lost that particular battle. But on a personal level, I think they are a bad idea outside of the gym. Either wear tights, or wear actual pants. Leggings aren’t doing anyone any favors.
HEATHER: Yeah, I really do hate leggings. I mean, I don’t see them and feel my blood boil, but it’s just something that totally confounds me. I wore them too, in my youth, and they sucked on me then, so why would I put myself through that now? Why would anyone? They really don’t do anything for anyone that another article of clothing couldn’t do better.
Who is your favourite celeb/non-celeb to roast?
JESSICA: We don’t roast non-celebs — on the theory that we don’t know what’s going on with a civilian, but we do know that celebs have all kinds of resources that the rest of us do not — but I must say that I always love it when Heather writes about J. Lo.
HEATHER: You are too kind. I enjoy anyone who gives us a glimpse of a larger-than-life persona or personality, or who at least tries to create one. Not really Gaga, per se — she is trying so hard at so many things, none of which really involve who she is inside — but Kanye and J.Lo and Sharon Stone… they’re fun to parody.
Have you had your own “Go Fug Yourself” moment? (where you realised what you were wearing was insane/inexplicable)
JESSICA: Oh, sure! I think everyone has had that moment. I’m sure there are times when I have gone out looking like someone’s crazy old auntie.
HEATHER: I look back on a lot of what I’ve worn and think, “Huh. Glad THAT’S over.” In college, in Indiana, I came through at a time when everyone was selling flannel button-down shirts. And it was cold there, so I wore a ton of those. I believe there was even a moment when I thought to myself, “Thank God for flannel shirts! What would I do without these?
Tell me about Spoiled, your new YA book.
JESSICA: Spoiled is a young adult novel about a 16 year old girl who discovers that her father is the most famous movie star in the world. She moves to Hollywood to live with him, and her half-sister, who is NOT happy about these turn of events. Shenanigans ensue!
HEATHER: We were on a tight deadline, so we mapped out the story in a detailed outline, and that enabled us to work on different chapters at the same time without accidentally stepping on each other — we knew the plot and emotional beats in each one, and so there was no way I’d get Jess’s chapter and find out she, say, killed a character that I had put in my chapter, or turned them all into Nazi hunters, or whatever. We’d swap and write through each other’s stuff and buff it and whatnot, and then once we had a full draft we’d take turns with it and tweak it and leave little comments for each other in the margins to make sure we got a chance to debate everything.
Did you guys ever really expect to become this successful/famous? How do you handle it?
JESSICA: We definitely did not think the blog would EVER be a success at all. And I never ever think of myself as being famous in the least — I don’t really think that we are at all famous. We have had a bit of success in a very specific arena on the internet, but that’s about as far as I would go with it. So while having the blog be a success has led to some really wonderful things happening in my life — covering fashion week for NY Mag, and writing our book — and I am incredibly grateful that it has, 335 days of the year my life is basically exactly the way it has always been. Which is good!
HEATHER: We are definitely not that famous, at least not in my perspective. I’m flattered anyone would think we are. As far as having a really loyal readership, we enjoy handling it because we LOVE our readers. Love the comments, the tweets, the Facebook stuff, all of it. Everyone who reads GFY makes it really easy to want to interact with them, because they’re so smart and cool.
Tell our readers something about the GoFug no one else knows.
JESSICA: We have no secrets!
HEATHER:I secretly drink Diet Pepsi. … No! Kidding! I can’t even joke about that.
Words: Melissa Kuttan