On peaking at the age of 6:
I peaked at the age of 6. Thirteen was awkward — I was shiny-faced, with bottom braces and bad highlights. But then again so was 30, with the misshapen news-anchor bob and tea-stained teeth…But 6 — with my blond hair, tanned skin, and purple leggings with matching bedazzled headband — was perfect. I was everything I’d ever wanted to be (formidably adorable), everywhere I ever wanted to go (my bedroom), and hanging with the hottest company in town (my parents). So, like the high school quarterback who can’t stop milling around the football field well into middle age, I have just continued to dress like a full-scale baby.
On the fact that her style is criticized:
Rompers? Check. I’ve got dozens. Saggy-crotch harem pants? Those too. Blouses with Peter Pan collars and loose baby-doll shifts? I can’t buy enough. No matter how many times red-carpet blogs eviscerate my cutesy, well-meaning but ill-fitting outfits, I continue to draw from the same well. I just like how my body feels, knock-kneed and flat-footed, when I’m in clothes that might be more at home on a playground than at an actual play.
On preferring comfortable clothes:
It was about more than comfort, though comfort was key. It was also about the power of subverting expectations. I could be sexy in a frilly white communionesque prom dress. I could critique a novel in a striped onesie. Nobody could tell me sh-t about politics when I was wearing my six-tiered minidress. I was the biggest, smartest baby on the block.
On the pressure to look “sexy”:
When my career began to take off, I felt enormous pressure from parents, publicists, and pundits to start looking and acting like a real, live grown-up. The same thing I was celebrated for — my honesty and sense of self — was lambasted by those who felt celebrity (especially for women) meant a duty to appear camera-ready and probably sex-ready too…So I made a Z-line straight for the clothes that made me giggle. Lord, when pressed, I could even get Prada to put me in what was essentially a giant lace T-shirt for the Emmys. Everyone was complicit in my sick game.
On her recent style:
Through massive personal shifts, like my body’s betrayal and a desperately public breakup, my baby clothes stood by me. Before my hysterectomy, I wandered the halls of the hospital in a frilled purple lounge set. I spent my first night alone in stretch mustard shorts and a T-shirt that read, “I’m a very complicated child.” I plunged into early menopause in stars and stripes….Being an adult is hard. Might as well go back to when your look soared as high as your youthful heart.