One of our favorite daily reads is Go Fug Yourself, a snarky and hilarious blog that chronicles the lows (and sometimes highs) of Hollywood fashion. I had a little chat with Jessica & Heather, the brains behind the blog…
When and how did Go Fug Yourself get it’s start?
JESSICA: Our first entry was on July 1, 2004. It all basically started as a joke between me and Heather. We’d been at the mall, and saw a movie poster in which all the principals looked just terrible. It was truly a horrible photo. And we started riffing that this is what the kids are doing these days — trying to look as terrible as possible. And it just went from there.
How has the blog changed over the years?
JESSICA: I don’t think it’s changed hugely. We’re lucky enough that the blog is now our full time job, so we’re able to update more and do more writing, both for ourselves and for other publications, and we definitely have gotten a greater access to photos, which allows us to post more, but overall, I think it’s held fairly steady.
HEATHER: I think over time we’ve become more generally fond of the people we’re fugging — paying more attention to the PR games that are played in conjunction with their lives and their fashion choices sometimes makes us feel more like dispensing tough love than just toughness. We’ve also upped the number of times we compliment what works, so that our criticisms of what doesn’t will resonate a bit more. Oh, and we got rid of our original truly awful masthead, which I designed in five minutes on Photoshop. That was a good move.
Who is your favorite celebrity to feature? Does anyone hold a special, fugly place in your heart?
JESSICA: I used to love to write the Britney pieces, but she’s too sad and tragic for me to even deal with now. I love Heather’s vision of Karl Lagerfeld the most, I think, and I personally always like writing about the Peldon sisters, who are now sadly no longer attempting to reach a proper level of celebrity. I miss them.
HEATHER: I am also loving J.Lo’s “Am I Pregnant Or Not?” Tour Of Crazy Outfits. And I’m always rooting for Kirsten Dunst to look fantastic because she seems like such a good sport, but her missteps are often so odd that we can’t help enjoying them too.
You ladies have done a lot of cool stuff… like you’ve been featured in In Touch magazine and you have a weekly column on New York Magazine’s website. What’s been the most exciting opportunity to come from writing the blog?
JESSICA: That’s hard! We’ve been very very fortunate in that we’ve been given a lot of great opportunities thanks to the blog. Obviously, being able to attend Fashion Week in New York has been incredible, but I imagine that the most exciting project we’ve undertaken has been our book, which Simon and Schuster Entertainment is publishing in February. I never really thought I’d see my name on a book, and to be able to experience that has been really wonderful.
HEATHER: Yeah, the book and Fashion Week are the two biggies. Fashion Week is so incredible. Every season — we’ve done three — we sit there and pinch ourselves, because we can’t figure out how we got to be in this place in our lives. And then we weep copiously about the blisters on our feet.
I know you also get a lot of negative feedback as well – people calling you fat, jealous, stupid, etc. How do you deal with it?
JESSICA: You know, I don’t think we get measurably more negative feedback than most bloggers. The vast majority of our emails are actually really lovely. You have to be able to take the negative ones with a grain of salt, though — they’re just one person’s opinion, just as the site is simply our opinions, you know?
HEATHER: You just can’t take any of it to heart. All we can do is write for ourselves, and hold the blog to standards that make us proud, and whatever happens from that is just… what happens. If you’re pleasing everyone all the time, then you’re not taking any chances; if you get hate mail, hey, at least you’re inspiring an emotion in someone. Although it’s a special person that takes the time out of their day to e-mail a site you hate to tell the two bloggers how MUCH you hate it, and an even MORE special person not to bother punctuating or spelling it correctly. So in that sense, each e-mail like that is a treasure.
Go Fug Yourself is totally my guilty pleasure, I read it when I just can’t stand the thought of working anymore. What’s your guilty pleasure?
JESSICA: Aw, thank you! I like to think that my job is providing procrastinatory material for others, so I’m glad to hear that! Personally, I have a load of guilty pleasures, most of which I think I’ve written about. I have a shameful love of soaps, and the works of Aaron Spelling, of course, and I do love US Weekly. And, naturally, online shopping.
HEATHER: Oh, I couldn’t name just one thing. I read my mags, I read books, I watch TV — sometimes, the worse the better; have you SEEN “Moonlight” and “The Ghost Whisperer”? They’re almost poetic, they’re so bad. There is a particular message board called Snarkfest whose blind-item guessing thread — it’s called “Guess Who? Don’t Sue” — is a serious guilty pleasure of mine because I love reading all the speculation.
Any big plans in Go Fug Yourself’s future? A fug-free clothing line perhaps?
JESSICA: Oh, gosh, we so don’t have the training for that! We WILL be selling more merchandise at some point, however — tee shirts and whatnot — and of course we have the book coming out. As far as anything else goes, we try and just take opportunities as they come.
HEATHER: Exactly. I mean, hey, if the folks at Hostess want to make a GFY Snack Cake, we certainly wouldn’t slam the door in their faces.
Any words of wisdom for up-and-coming bloggers?
JESSICA: I think my most succinct advice would be to update daily, and to make sure that you’re writing about something you truly love and find fascinating. Otherwise, you won’t have any fun, and it will show in your writing. You have to enjoy the writing for its own sake, I think, rather than as a means to any other end.
HEATHER: Also, trust in your own voice. Don’t try and emulate anyone else — find YOUR way of expressing what you want to say. People respond to a point of view, and a style of communicating that, as much as they respond to the actual content of your blog. Find what makes your writing special.
Thanks to Jessica & Heather for taking the time to talk with me!