Hello and welcome to the first installment of Physical Discourse. Physical, as in relating to the body versus the mind. Discourse, as in written or spoken communication or debate. Put them together and you get a cheeky forum exploring the uncharted terrain of “new beauty.” What in the lovely fuck is new beauty, you might ask.
A movement in aesthetics culture, liberated from outdated, negative connotations like vanity and narcissism. Beauty culture as a vehicle of self-expression, conversation, self-care, and pleasure.
The disruption of white-lady-with-an-orchid-poster spa culture and beauty culture in general.
And because we know the last thing you need in your lives is another beauty blog with 15-step skincare routines and overly curated home tours, we’ve decided to serve up less, dare we say, shallow content with an extra side of sass.
I’m your host, Julia Reiss. My likes include ankle boots and foie gras. Dislikes: white pepper and French manicures. I met Ricari founder and human fairy, Anna Zahn, on a fortuitous day in Los Angeles when I booked myself a session at her hideaway of a studio in Beverly Hills. As the stars would have it, we are both hardcore Virgos and fluent GIF speakers. We also happen to share the same irreverent approach to cultural convention and beauty norms. We quickly established a certain ride-or-die relationship status and today, we’re making it Internet official, as Anna has bestowed upon me the great honor of spearheading Physical Discourse.
So, without any further ado...
If God Doesn’t Exist, Explain Tabitha’s Hair
words by Julia Reiss
In case you weren’t aware, we are currently living in the second week A.S. That’s two weeks after Succession. Two weeks without a satisfyingly baritone “fuck off” from the man, myth, and legend himself, Logan Roy. Two weeks sans Gerri’s eyebrows. (Did you know they have a Twitter account?) But what I miss most, more than Kendall’s figurative fuckery and Roman’s literal wanking, is Tabitha’s hair.
If you’re not a Succession fan (how dare you?!), this topic may seem like a rather rogue inaugural subject to kick off Physical Discourse. However this show and its characters style has struck many a cultural nerve, especially in these economically disparate times of ours. There is something subversively subtle about the discrete manner of dress of the billionaire set and their entourage. It’s like a secret language of expertly ironed poplin and side parts, with nary a synthetic fiber nor the obvious use of dermal filler in sight. Tabitha’s flaxen nest of sexy spirals may help us crack the code, for she is a relative outsider to the Roy family and their fuck-you wealth.
Let it be known that not since a certain well-heeled woman by the surname Bradshaw has such an iconic head of golden tresses graced cable television. Tabitha’s borderline-1970s coiffe has made me miss my pre-Keratin locks, but I’m no fool. My kinky half-Jew fro could never attain the mid-to-large size barrel curls, which bear a texture I imagine can only be rivaled by dolphin skin, that grace the skull of Roman’s harlot-turned-almost housewife. And I cannot for the life of me understand why more people aren’t talking about them and instead worry themselves with pseudo “cleanses” and the nuances of eye cream.
For those of you, who for some unimaginable and surely blasphemous reason, have not been attending Sunday mass at the Home Box Office at precisely 9PM EST, Tabitha is played by Caitlin FitzGerald, previously of Masters of Sex. (Should you feel tempted to convert to the Church of Roy, get thee an HBO Now subscription stat, throw on a face mask, and get ready for a PMS-level binge, but with less sodium.)
Now, I don’t care if her Succession character’s plotline is (spoiler alert) that she blew Tom and made him swallow his own, ahem... cum. Before you let that cum reference leave a bad taste in your mouth (LOL), you should know that FitzGerald has impressive track record for breathing life into sexually empowered female characters. Fun fact: she wrote about precisely that for Glamour, and there’s nothing we love more than a fellow woman addressing gendered taboos. Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, Tabitha’s true claim to fame, and a co-star worthy of its own credit, is the hair on her head she wears like a goddamned crown. In a beauty landscape currently dominated by the sleek and girly Kaia Gerber bob, there is something deliciously insolent and womanly about Tabitha’s voluminous halo of tousled curls.
It perhaps goes without saying that I Googled the fuck out of the subject. It would appear that IRL Tabitha (FitzGerlad) does appear to be follicularly blessed with a thick golden mane, but not with the bouncing, swooping, angelic spirals she dons on the show. Of course not. Succession is, afterall, not real life (for 99% percent of us, at least) and this kind of do simply could not be maintained during an average day in the life of a mere pleb. Us normies have to battle with things like, I don’t know... humidity? Sweat? An occasional strong gust of wind? This kind of texture is like a five-inch stiletto, it requires a car-to-carpet lifestyle. In fact, I’m convinced Tabitha’s silky, frizz-free volume actually sustains itself upon the affections and loyalty of her billionaire boyfriend, Roman Roy.
It is only fitting that Tabitha’s hair should enter the public consciousness and assume its iconic status when the cultural conversation regarding women’s sexual liberation has reached its hot and sweaty simmer. Her hair, much like her character, oozes independence and I-do-what-I-fucking-want-ness. Where as her SATC predecessor may have gotten her sexual groove on, it’s hard to ignore the fact that emotionally, she was always a slave to her deep-pocketed beau, Mr. Big. Conversely, Tabitha seems not a singular fig about whether Roman wants to lock it down, and she doesn’t indulge his sexual deviencies at the expense of her own personal boundaries either. Tabitha is remarkably indifferent to the perks of fucking into wealth. She doesn’t pine or worship, but that’s not to say she’s heartless either. You can tell she really sees something in her broken manchild of a partner, and her affections are sincere but not to the point of rendering her into a doormat. Tabitha’s unapologetically seductive tresses flow as an extension of her take-it-or-leave it, independently fabulous attitude. They exude a certain joie de vivre, and I am here for it.
For us peasants, this all begs the question, what styling magic, what deep-conditioning sorcery is being used on the Succession set to get FitzGerald through a day of shooting? Do I DM Adam McKay to find out? Feel free to comment below with any leads. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go order a curling iron on Amazon, before I defer to these Ricari recommended hair-y godmothers.