The Power Of Shane’s Charisma
AUGUST 26, 2019 | BY CURVE STAFF
The L Word, Katherine Moennig,
Only fast-forwarding to the bits Shane was in
There was a dark moment late-2015 where I did momentarily *key word* attempt to pull-off leather pants cause of that outfit Shane wears in the first episode (I really can’t pull-off leather pants I’m big enough to admit that. I looked like some kind of hideous, shiny car-seat, plus they made a noise whenever I needed to stand up – I won’t die wondering though). This very poor life choice was one of my less successful attempts to somehow harness Shane’s confidence – at least outwardly, through imitating some of her bolder fashion choices.
While she’s fictional, patently unrealistic and a bit of a fuck-boi, my first impression of The L Word was that I admired this aura of sexuality and suaveness that Shane’s character effortlessly emits (she can even pull off the name ‘Shane’! What a god!). Every part of her just seemed to naturally exude a desire and love for women; and while she’s hardly a healthy role-model, watching this painfully early-noughties show, and seeing this level of self-assurance in a queer character – amid my own earlier months of becoming increasingly more open about my sexuality – was incredibly refreshing and hopeful for someone who was feeling pretty terrified, alone and insecure at that time.
Back then, the thought of ever being able to coolly flirt or to ask a girl out without it being embarrassing seemed beyond me; and yes, to be fair my current ability to successfully play it cool or to make a dashing, Shane-esque first impression leaves a lot to be desired, BUT my confidence to even try has definitely improved, and I feel like a small part of why that is, is that reminder Shane’s character has since been to me of how attractive and sexy being self-assured is.
Shane is one of those fictional crushes where I’ve never been quite sure if it’s that I want to be with someone like her, if it’s just that Kate Moennig is babe or if it’s mainly that I wish I was a more like Shane – that I could be a touch more of a bad-ass, or my confidence in who I am was much stronger.
And I do wonder what any of those motivations says about my personality in general: particularly the first one which is likely a worrying indication that what I’m attracted to can sometimes be self-sabotaging.
I’m definitely not saying that I admire everything there is to this deeply flawed character or that I want to imitate the toxic way she can sometimes treat people. But the power of Shane’s charisma both inside this fantasy version of Los Angeles and on fans outside watching – even those coming into the show over a decade after its first airing, has – at least for me – been a useful prototype for inspiring ‘faking it til you make it’ style action. Cause when you ask yourself ‘What would Shane do?’ the answer is never stay in your comfort-zone or be riddled with self-doubt!