John Waters’ 10 Best Pieces of Advice for Functional Freaks


For some reason, we’ve been reading a lot of memoirs this year. We’ve seen good, bad, and ugly, but by far our favorite so far is John Waters’ Role Models. The book introduces us to a new Pope of Trash, a man who is undeniably fond of the extreme and shocking but also has a genuine and keen appreciation for true beauty, Hollywood glamor, and great literature. Waters’ series of essays amounts to a surprisingly open and sincere self-portrait, rendered through explorations of the cultural icons — from squeaky-clean Johnny Mathis to Cy Twombly to Manson girl Leslie van Houten to “outsider porn” directors — who have helped to shape his personality, taste, and work.

What we found most touching about Role Models is the wisdom Waters imparts throughout the book. Like the eccentric uncle we never had, he waxes profound about how to be a happy, functional freak…

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