Interview With Jessica Clark

 
 

AE: Do you think straight women’s body
issues differ from lesbian body issues?
JC:
I feel it’s a double-edged sword in the gay community. Stick-skinny isn’t
revered in [the lesbian community] the same way it is in the straight community.
I’ve never personally come across lesbians who say, "I want a super-thin girlfriend
as a status symbol."

An awful lot of straight men, particularly successful, New York, L.A. men are
very, very into that status thing. But, on the other hand, if you have issues with
food … there can be more of a tendency to dismiss those problems as not serious
issues.

AE: You can reject the super-thin ideal
as being unrealistic, but the opposite end of the spectrum isn’t exactly noble.
JC:
That’s right. I definitely think a body is attractive if it’s healthy and
if you treat it properly. It’s not a size issue, particularly. It’s a health thing.
Is it toned? Does it look like you care about your body? If it doesn’t look like
you care, then to me, that’s not attractive.

AE: You’ve said that people don’t always
believe you’re gay.
JC:
Try "never." Even my girlfriends don’t believe I’m gay until we
go to bed. I’m sure I’d do much better in L.A., because there are a lot more skinny
femmes out there, but —

AE: I think they’re all here, actually.
JC:
[laughs] I have less competition in New York.

AE: A memo went out and they were all
told to move here. I guess you didn’t get that one.
JC:
[laughs] Yeah, they’re here in New York, but they’re not. I mean, if I go
to a girl bar, people say to me, "You’re in the wrong place, sweetie."
Or, "Did you walk in by mistake?" I get all that stuff.

AE: That’s reverse discrimination.
JC:
My straight friends think it’s hilarious — how little I appeal to lesbians.
They say it’s God’s way of addressing the balance. Because if I were straight, I
could pretty much date any guy I want because I’m a model and that’s what they’re
into. But because I like women, I have to work, work to get a date. It keeps me
humble.

AE: Maybe women are intimated by your
looks.
JC:
But people forget — I don’t want to sound like I’m playing the violin for
myself — but the body I was born into doesn’t really have much to do with me. I’m
still just a woman who gets scared of rejection and all those things, just like
anybody else. People make assumptions that your life is perfect because you’re pretty.
Yes, in certain circumstances, the doors get opened for me because of the way I
look, absolutely. But people also assume I’m a bitch and they prejudge me. They
say pretty gross things to me on the street on a regular basis.

AE: Speaking of saying gross things, Usher
was quoted in Vibe earlier this year saying,
"Women have started to become lovers of each other as a result of not having
enough men." You starred in his "Burn" music video. What’s his deal?
JC:
Well, a couple of issues with that, really. Rumors have abounded about Usher
himself about his sexuality. So he’s very, very self-conscious, I think. I certainly
didn’t tell him much [about being gay]. I still wasn’t comfortable talking about
it at work and just wasn’t sure about those things.

AE: When you’re on a job, your sexuality
isn’t relevant, is it?
JC:
Except when you’re shooting for a couple of long days, people talk about
their girlfriend or boyfriend, their vacation, or whatever. So now, I’m pretty open.
But back then, it’s also working with a man in that context. You’re not quite sure
how they’re going to respond to that.

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