Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
NOT PLAYING THE VICTIM ANYMORE
Boy George knows a thing or two about turning a clever phrase. So when he began his forthcoming autobiography (Take It Like a Man, due from Harper-Collins this fall), which covers everything from his coming out to how he kicked heroin, he assumed that the writing would go smoothly. "I thought I could chuck the book out in a few months," says the 34-year-old, whose real name is George O'Dowd. "But," he adds, laughing, "five, six, seven years later, I was like, 'Oh, my God! this is not as easy as I thought it would be.' "
Have you changed through the years?
In the past I sort of portrayed myself as the great unloved with songs like "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" and "Victims." When I started writing the book and when I went into therapy, I began to realize how much I was perpetuating the whole myth myself. I've stopped being a victim. I've been through so many extreme experiences, I've come out on the other end with a much stronger attitude about myself. I really believe that if you can't be who you truly are, if you can't be free, if you can't express yourself, then you don't really have a life. So this music and this book are me saying, "This is who I am. And if you don't like it, well, tough."
Is this new attitude reflected in your latest, more conservative look?
Well, I still have the very extreme image. But in the past, I was trapped in that look. Now, if I want to walk down the street in a pair of sloppy pants and a T-shirt with no makeup on, I'm free to do that. But I'll always be an exhibitionist. I'll always be attracted to the highest platforms and the glittery shirt. That ain't never gonna change.
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