Anyone for a Tom Cocktail?
Boylesque and cabaret star Tom Harlow, literally served up on a platter as a merman, is beckoning his audience to see their inner beauty, all the while displaying, and revelling in, his own androgynous vintage gorgeousness.
As we, the small select group, blow on his glass ball (steady!) which he manipulates with his hands like a sorcerer, he reminds us of the innate need of the performer to be adored. Narcissism as vulnerability, as something intangible, yet tangibly human, as ephemeral as the bubbles blown from his bubble machine.
Once on dry land,though, the merman can’t survive too long, and he beckons us to leave him with a wave of his perfectly manicured fluttering hands.
Harlow, as his surname suggests, evokes the golden era of Hollywood: of innocence, yet strength.
The glamorous ladies and men his beauty reminds us of are symbolic of a time when allure had a mysterious, unreachable cachet, not something ubiquitous, faddy or Facebook-friendly. He sparkles like a pearl.
Part of Close Shaves strand at Buzzcut 2017