Go Fug Yourself makes us laugh out loud every day with its witty take on celebrity fashion. Ever wonder who’s behind the blog that never misses a red-carpet misstep or a ridiculously absurd ensemble? We caught up with Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks, the editors of the blog, to find out.
Were you always entertaining others and making people laugh even from an early age?
Heather: You’d have to ask my mother. I’m sure, she, my dad and my sisters had plenty of chances to laugh at me, if not with me, particularly the time(s) I insisted upon dressing up as Annie wig and all for no reason other than that I wanted to be her. I have always been a very odd mix generally I was quite shy and not the type to put up my hand in class, but at the same time, I was always doing piano recitals, musicals or plays, choral solos ... all that stuff. But the class clown I was not. At all. Which isn’t to say I didn’t have a good sense of humor; just that I wasn’t the person who was drawing attention to herself for the sole purpose of getting a laugh. You can probably tell that from reading the site we love cracking wise, but we’re not as much about pithy one-liners and broad comedy as we are about wordplay, or longer-form humor.
Jessica: I have been HILARIOUS SINCE BIRTH. No, in all seriousness, that question is hard to answer. I would not say I was the class clown either, although I did do a lot of performing and writing during high school and junior high, and my cohorts seemed to think I was funny. I’m sure sometimes my parents, on the other hand, just wished for some blessed silence.
Do your readers’ votes ever surprise you?
Heather: All the time! Mostly during Fug Madness. That’s our annual tournament in which we mimic the NCAA Basketball March Madness elimination tournament we seed 64 celebrities in terms of how strong a year in fug they had, and then they “play” each other, which basically means we present the evidence for each matchup and our readers vote on who was fugliest. And every year I am surprised that Lindsay Lohan does not make it further somehow she always comes up against some upstart that people embrace. There are always matchups during Fug Madness where the readers vote one way and I vote another. That’s what makes it so fun, though.
Jessica: That often leads to hilarious conversations in our comments section, as well, where we all quite seriously debate why Lindsay Lohan has not earned our vote this year.
What has been the most rewarding experience you’ve derived from blogging thus far?
Heather: We’ve been blessed with so many. Publishing our book based on Go Fug Yourself was an awesome dream come true we are so proud of how it turned out and of course, thanks to GFY, we are ridiculously lucky enough to get to attend New York Fashion Week. Every time Jessica and I sit down at a fashion show, we pinch ourselves, because we can’t believe our lives brought us to that place and gave us a window into that whole world. We also got to meet, and do a few TV specials with, Joan and Melissa Rivers. Jessica and I say all the time, “Thank God we have each other,” because if we hadn’t been able to turn to each other and make meaningful eye contact the first time we heard Joan freaking Rivers call us by name, we might never have believed it was really happening.
But frankly and I know this sounds cheesy, but it’s also totally true I feel rewarded every day just by the interactions we’ve had with our readers. We’ve heard from cancer patients, neurosurgeons, soldiers or even just a 14-year-old who had a crap day at school, all of them saying, “Sigh, THANK YOU for giving me a place to come and forget about all the bad stuff.” Sometimes we get e-mails of moral support from people who are afraid that all we get is hate mail. And other times, people just feel like telling us a random story about the clothes they saw on the street, or a celebrity sighting, or a random dream that cracked them up. We love getting e-mails and comments and Tweets we get from people who treat us like their close girlfriends. It makes us both so proud that GFY inspires that kind of kinship. And our readers are so smart and erudite and funny, they make us laugh as much as we do them.
Jessica: Our interactions with the GFY readership have been so rewarding. Recently, we’ve started running contests on the site where we ask our readers to write something about a particular photo so far, we’ve done haiku and limericks and I am consistently entertained and impressed by how clever and creative our readers are. I also recently was able to go speak to some college journalism students about GFY and our experiences working for New York Magazine, and our other freelancing projects, and it was so fun and valuable for me to talk to people just starting out in their writing careers. The students were so enthusiastic that it was really reinvigorating for me.
You have so many fans the world over. Has there been anyone that you are particularly thrilled to have as a reader?
Heather: We’re thrilled to have every reader. For real. That’s so touchy-feely, I know, but it’s just a privilege to write every day and have people want to read it I can’t ask for anything better than that. But we’ve had anecdotal reports of various people reading the site that always geek us out. For instance, someone told us that Jason Bateman reads us, and I cherish him and I loved him when I was younger, and that brought out my inner fangirl for sure. We were also thrilled to find out Joe Zee from Elle (and now The City) reads GFY, and once, the awesome Grace Coddington of Vogue who totally steals the documentary “The September Issue” from Anna Wintour linked to us on her Twitter account. I did not expect that at all. Vogue is so much about the aspirational high end of fashion and forecasting trends and clothes-as-art, and we’re the exact opposite we’re focused on the absurdities, and the practicalities of how an outfit looked on this day, on this celebrity, regardless of whether the outfit is on-trend or from which runway it came. So it was nifty to see that somebody influential at Vogue still gets a kick out of a layperson’s take on clothes.
Jessica: We do love our readers. It’s a treat to get up in the morning and hear from them. Kirsten Dunst mentioned us in an interview ages ago we were being totally snarky about her at the time, and she was a tremendous good sport about it. That was exciting. And we were recently quoted in The New Yorker in an article they wrote about Kelly Wearstler, the interior designer and seeing our name in that magazine was quite a surprising delight.
Do you have any moments in your past where you looked back and thought, "I can't believe I wore that?"
Heather: Oh, sure. I think everyone who lived through any part of the
1980s thinks that. Luckily, most of my cringeworthy moments were all
things where we didn't know any better at the time. For instance, my
flirtation with stirrup pants was in 1990, and not, say, yesterday.
Thank GOD. If I had worn stirrup pants yesterday, you would have my
permission to whack me on the head with a copy of Mr. Blackwell's
Jessica: Totally. In fact, this summer saw an unfortunate two-week
period where I tried to make boyfriend jeans happen on my body. It
Heather: Wait, I just remembered, there was an ill-advised period in 2003 or 2004 in which I bought a pair of pink Frye's cowboy boots. They weren't SUPER cowboy, but still. And as soon as I got them home, I was like, "Am I high? I can't wear these anywhere. I will look like an idiot." But they were pink! So pretty! So I didn't return them, because I am stubborn, but I only ever had the guts to wear them under jeans. Seriously, what was I thinking? Cowboy boots are not me.
I read on your PopMatters interview that you might write some fiction. Can we give readers any insight into your plans?
Heather: All I can say right now is that we’re moving right along, and we’re very, very excited about the way things are shaping up.
Jessica: Stay tuned!
Check out the Fug Girls' lookbook of celeb styles they actually like!
Photo: Courtesy of Go Fug Yourself