Is the idea of a “lesbian look” outdated and offensive?

Maybe J-Law was thinking of Basic Instinct?

Maybe J-Law was thinking of Basic Instinct? AP

Everyone loves Jennifer Lawrence. She’s sassy. Irreverent. That’s why in January she told Glamour magazine that her preferred style was  “slutty power lesbian.”

“That is literally what I say to a stylist,” she said, laughing. “I don’t know if that’s offensive–”

Well, the remark certainly “raised eyebrows.”

That’s how AfterEllen’s Tosha Rochelle Taylor puts it in a new piece that asks, “What exactly is the slutty power lesbian’ look, or any lesbian look for that matter?”

Taylor points out that we’ve come a long way from the days when it seemed the only identifiable “lesbian look” was the butch, buzz-cut, mansuit-wearing profile that’s still (beautifully and proudly) rocked by someone like Lea DeLaria.

Now, we have Portia de Rossi’s girly elegance, Sarah Paulson’s sleek glamor and the sort of gender-neutral skinny-jeans hipsterism of Tegan and Sara.

Taylor also points out that the old-fashioned binaries of man = masculine and woman = feminine are breaking down. Fashion is becoming even more androgynous: young men like Jaden Smith are rocking skirts and dresses.

J-Law’s comment at least has the defense of Orange is the New Black‘s lesbian bombshell Ruby Rose, who told New York magazine’s The Cut blog, “I think that is an easy quote to misinterpret or to pick apart. But I know that [J-Law] has an amazing sense of humor, and for her to say that, I know that would never come from a bad place. She’s always spending so much of her time supporting other women and the LGBT community. There’s no way that she meant that with any kind of malice.”

Just for the record, we think we know exactly what J-Law was talking about. Remember the deliciously trashy 1992 film Basic Instinct with Sharon Stone?

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