You know what a premium we put on awkward these days? Coltish, beautiful young people who have never looked or been awkward in their lives love to use the word as a catch-all that’s supposed to mean ‘I’m a little more interesting than the average person.’ But awkward is not always charming, and assuming the two go together is a luxury most people can’t afford.
I was thinking about this as I watched Laverne Cox last night because everything she did was the exact opposite of awkward. It was so graceful. Her interview on E! was charming and genuine, and she interrupted her gushing about the possibility of presenting to Beyoncé only to gush over catching sight of Kerry Washington—but when Giuliana forgot to ask who she was wearing, Cox smoothly mentioned it, like that was always the plan. “Oh, and I’m wearing Naeem Khan.” No awkwardness, just doing what she had to do.
Later on, when she was presenting her award, and maintaining her composure since it clearly would not be going to Beyoncé, she made a lovely, articulate addition to her speech, pointing out that without people taking a chance on trans performers, as Jeffrey Tambor entreated earlier, she wouldn’t have a career. Some people can’t make a sentence if the prompter goes down, and she went off-book like it was her job.
Oh, and didn’t have a tantrum when it became clear that nobody was getting any Beyoncé, anyway. It shouldn’t be so amazing that an actress can be poised and graceful in an unscripted way, AND YET.
I do think I’ve seen her wear better dresses, though. I love metallics, but this one left me kind of meh, there’s a lot of what looks like beige poking its way through the shimmer.