The Truth About Pink
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
October 16 2012 4:10 AM ET
(From left) Pink in her 20s; Pink and Hart at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards
Not everything on the new album is so heavy. On the album’s wittiest song, the edgy “How Come You’re Not Here,” Pink channels Joan Jett, Janis Joplin, and Melissa Etheridge on speed. Her straightforward manner, expressive voice, and uncanny drollness have kept her relevant after 15 years on the scene, but her voice has never sounded better than on this song. “First of all, the reason my voice sounds so cool in that song is absolutely 150% the distortion,” she interjects, laughing. “We were just inspired to go rock-and-roll. Great rock-and-roll songs are either revolutionary or political or about total heartbreak or just shit-talking. So…I talked shit for four minutes.”
In “Just Give Me a Reason,” she duets with Nate Ruess from Fun in a ’70s-feeling ballad, and she collaborates with Eminem on “Here Comes the Weekend.” But the most entertaining (and least radio-friendly) of her songs is the perfect pop–country-western hybrid “Slut Like You.” In this song about female empowerment and owning one’s own sexuality, Pink whoops, “You’ll be my little friend / I got a little piece of you-hoo / And it’s just like woo-hoo / Wham bam thank you ma’am / Woo-hoo, I’m a slut like you.”
It’s a song her LGBT fans are sure to get behind. Of course, she says lesbian and bisexual women in particular have always been there for her.
“They’ve been the most loyal part of what I do. They’ve been my most loyal friends, to be honest. I’ve had a lot of my gay boys around, but my gay girls are my rootstalk. They’re my honesty in an ocean of bullshit. I should be gay by the way that I look and the way that I am. I just happen to not be. But it just makes perfect and complete sense.”
Gay people constitute her core fan base, she says, appearing at every show. “But then over the years you kind of bring in [new] people that have never really embraced gay culture, and it’s just this clusterfuck of people,” she says. There are the “adorable little gay girl couples and gay boys, and then there’s the older straight couple together” who enjoy the music and learn a bit of tolerance while they’re at it. “I just feel like it’s bringing people together and it’s rad.”
The “loyal love” she gets from lesbian fans is due in part to her iconography as well. Queer women identify with Pink, her strength, her persona, her mouthiness—and her dykey look. She’s one of the few female performers even now to sport short hair, tattoos, and a butchy attitude.
“Fucking-A right!” Pink exclaims. “And we can be androgynous and be butch and be muscular and be one of the guys but also be feminine and beautiful and do all this crazy shit and talk shit. It’s awesome.”
CoverGirl appears to agree and has named her the newest face of the established beauty brand. The endorsement of the edgy and awesome says to Pink that she and all the honorary (and real) lesbians shouldn’t change one bit. “It’s like, ‘Fuck you, world! We’re awesome,’ ” she says, laughing. “I told you we’d get invited to the party one day!”