Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Camp as tits...

A friend of mine from my college days used to use the phrase, camp as tits to describe anything that he thought was really camp. I could never work out why female secondary sexual characteristics should be camp (unless some guy is wearing a false pair perhaps - which, I guess, is what he meant) but I like the phrase anyway.

Whilst most of us recognise it when we see it, defining camp is not easy. The Oxford English Dictionary gives it the following definition: ostentatious, exaggerated, affected, theatrical; effeminate or homosexual; pertaining to, characteristic of, homosexuals. In Susan Sontag's essay Notes on 'Camp', she emphasises artifice, frivolity, naïve middle-class pretentiousness and shocking excess as key elements of camp. In his book, Camp, Mark Booth defines it as "to present oneself as being committed to the marginal with a commitment greater than the marginal merits."

All of the following may be considered camp: Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Bette Midler, Carry On films, the films of John Waters, The Munsters, The Addams Family, Dynasty, Dallas, the 1960s TV series of Batman, Absolutely Fabulous, British panto, drag, retro fashion, the 1970s, musical theatre, John Inman, Dale Winton, Russell Harty, Kenneth Williams, The Eurovision Song Contest, Eurotrash, ABBA, Cilla Black, Liberace, Marlene Dietrich and, of course, Kylie Minogue. I'm sure you could come up with as many yourself in just a couple of minutes.

Search on any of the above in YouTube and you'll see enough examples of camp to make you a world wide authority on the subject. Alternatively, you might just want to watch this example I came across recently which does it for me...



Today's run at 17:17
Distance4.07 kmTime21:32
Pace5:18 min/kmCadence83 spm

2 comments:

  1. I'm all covered in glitter, how camp is that?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is that all you've got on; glitter?

    ReplyDelete