excerpt Fresh Air from WHYY
On becoming a woman
"The feminine role models I had were the cast of Dynasty and Dallas, and I just found that terrifying. I just remember sitting there sadly going, 'I'm just not gonna make it.' Literally, it was like being a woman was a boat that was leaving a dock and it was already too far away for me to jump. I mean how could I — this fat girl from Wolverhampton, you know, who had no clothes, I didn't have a coat, I was wearing a dressing gown for a coat, a tartan dressing gown — look like Alexis [Carrington Colby on Dynasty] or beautiful Cybill Shepherd in Moonlighting?
"I would cling to people like Doris in Fame and it was kind of like, 'But it's OK, her personality will get her through. I know what, I'll have a personality instead, that'll be useful.' ... I just wanted to be smooth and thin and have beautiful glossy hair and lovely clothes, and be able to walk in heels. And I thought once I did all that stuff that my life would begin."
On pop culture, clothing and women
"In the early '90s, it was grunge, everybody was fully clothed. Alanis Morissette was one of the biggest artists in the world, never wore makeup, wearing Doc Marten boots, and then the Spice Girls turn up, and suddenly it all looks a bit burlesque, suddenly they're the biggest band in the world. ... And as you go all the way through the '90s, the clothes just fall off the women until you get to the year 2000, and Britney Spears is just wearing a snake." [MORE]