My 5 Girl On Girl Crushes

From Maggie Gyllenhaal to Lady Gaga and Sasha Grey to Laura from school. It's easy to hate beautiful, intimidating women - but it's much more fun to want them.
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Too many men have told me that they think women hate pretty much all other women, and it’s breaking my brain. Of course there are woman I don’t like. I’m not a fan of Angelina Jolie, but then I’m not a fan of Bono either and no-one asks me if it’s because he’s thinner than me. (It isn’t that. He has better tits.)

The girls other girls don’t like don’t want to be liked. Megan “girls think I’m a slut” Fox is the leader of their tribe. I thought Megan was ace in Jennifer’s Body but lost interest when I discovered she expected other women to be “intimidated” by her. No love - not unless I’ve bumped into you on a darkened street and you’re standing over me clutching a knife.

From the moment we were sat next to Laura at school because “she’ll help you improve your handwriting” to last Thursday when the Daily Mail asked us to guess which woman in their line up weighs the most, we’ve been invited to measure up against all other females in the world and find ourselves wanting. But it’s much more fun to want these girls we’re supposed to hate for being more beautiful than us.

A proper girl crush has a sexual element, but there’s far more to it than fancying. As a (mainly) straight girl I can walk past a poster for Drive, think “mmmm, Ryan Gosling” for 45 seconds and then get on with my day. Whereas Lana Del Rey bewitched me to the point where I spent a solid morning Googling her. Sure, I daydreamed about her in a Ryan Gosling way, but those fantasies were interspersed with ones of being her friend or just being her. A (girl) friend spent the day emailing me pictures of Riley Keough, explaining “I just can’t stop looking at her.” We’ve had longer conversations about Riley than we’ve had about her boyfriend.

The typical subject of a girl crush has a huge amount of erotic power, but that isn’t her raison d’etre. Or rather, for someone to have that power they need to possess a sense of otherness beyond oiled tits. Take Abbey Clancy. For a long time I thought she was just another generically beautiful, dull girl who stood around in her pants. Then I read an interview and was briefly infatuated with her. She seemed so full of warmth and wit that in my head she made the journey from siren cipher to girl I wanted to go to the pub with. The irony is that all girl crushes are ciphers - women we use for emotional masturbation. Whatever guys think, straight ladies have a whole lotta love for pretty girls - we’re just looking for something quirkier than any Zoo spread can offer. Here is a list of my favourite ladies.

Lana Del Rey

What’s not to like? She’s a Sophia Loren/Ava Gardner hybrid. Her voice has all the grace and smoulder of a Hopper painting. And she sings about the most mundane, relatable thing in the world - being shut out by an inarticulate, twatty boyfriend - and makes it sound as lovely and lonely as a Sofia Coppola film. I know that I’ve got about as much in common with her as I have with an ostrich but she still makes my bones ache with longing and recognition.

Sasha Grey

I guess I just have a thing for women whose names end in ‘ey’. But Sasha is special. Sex is what she does, but it’s not who she is, which makes her very hot indeed. Like Katie Price she’s a business woman whose business is getting other people’s business up her. Unlike Katie Price she seems clever, funny and beautiful. If you’re a woman who worries about her guy’s porn stash, check out some of Sasha’s early work and you’ll see what all the fuss is about. Her arse is exquisite - but so are her eyes.

A (girl) friend spent the day emailing me pictures of Riley Keough, explaining “I just can’t stop looking at her.” We’ve had longer conversations about Riley than we’ve had about her boyfriend.

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Sister of the more famous Jake, I fell hard for Maggie when I first saw Secretary. She may talk and walk like Marilyn but she has the sass and snap of Marlene Dietrich. She’s made a career out of playing emotionally and sexually damaged women but finds a quiet confidence in every one and is impossible not to like. SM was never so adorable. Quietly engaging rather than crazily kooky, she is the thinking person’s Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Zooey “oh-my-gosh-I-spell-my-name-weird-and-have-a-fringe” Deschanel can suck it.

Lady Gaga

Watching Gaga makes me feel like I’m encircled by an army of Tyra Banks clones shouting “girlfriend, you look FIERCE” at me from all angles. Totally pro freak in both the Prince and sci-fi senses, Gaga has a keen sense of the absurd and makes fucking look fucking weird. I wish she’d been around to guide me through adolescence. She’s showing the next generation of teen girls that embracing your sexuality has everything to do with examining themes of alienation and nothing to do with lip gloss and tight tank tops.

Scarlett Johanssen

Hipster disclaimer: I’ve liked ScarJo for YEARS, right? Long before the photo leak, anyway. I still remember coming out of the cinema after Lost In Translation in a daze of bum lust. She’s wonderful at playing wistful, but in real life she’s a glorious blaze of shiny hair and bondage couture. She looks insanely hot naked, but she also looks insanely hot in a pencil skirt on an Eames chair. Despite being one of the most sex positive movie stars around, no-one has ever called her a slut. At least, not within my earshot otherwise there would have been trouble.

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