“Do you like the girl in red?”  Queer pop artist Marie Ulven is a TikTok hashtag.

“Do you like the girl in red?” Queer pop artist Marie Ulven is a TikTok hashtag.

Once upon a time, queer people, mostly men, used a coded question to find others when it was not safe to go out: “Are you a friend of Dorothy?” While its roots go back to a variety of sources – Dorothy Gale’s ungrateful team (especially that of the lion) in The The Wizard of Oz, the character of the film starring the mother of all gay icons, Judy Garland, and even Dorothy Parker, who often invited gay men to her soybeans – the phrase was used at least until the 1990s, when it was said in Ignorant.

Gen Z, of course, has its own version, and that is for and for girls: “Do you like Girl in Red?”

Reaching its peak in 2020 thanks to TikTok, the phrase became the new fun code and hashtag / meme for lesbians and two girls almost everywhere. And this time, its meaning is easy to spot – directly to 23-year-old Norwegian queer pop artist Marie Ulven, also known as Girl in Red.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 02: Girl's Marie Ulven Ringheim in red plays at The 3Olympia Theater Dublin on May 2, 2022 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Debbie Hickey / Getty Images)

Girl in Red’s Marie Ulven will perform in Dublin, Ireland in May. (Photo: Debbie Hickey / Getty Images)

“I just thought it was funny,” Ulven told Yahoo Life, referring to lesbians and queerness. “I’m a big fan of how the internet works when it works well and does good things … I just thought it was funny when it happened, and then I said, ‘Hi, this is great.’

She embraced it to the point of using the hashtag question itself, as well as posting question posters in places around the world.

“We thought we could do something more about it, and somehow make it not necessarily political, but… maybe put it in places where people should really rely more on something code-coded than actually say it. just loud, like Russia or Brazil or whatever, Poland [for the] “People who fight there,” he says.

Although the use of meme has greatly diminished (“This is, like, a very old thing”, he points out), Ulven – whose dreamy-stressful songs like “Girls” and “We Fell in Love in October” speak clearly about The girl-girl crushes, love, relationships, sex and grief, and who recently helped a fan come to her mom calling her from the stage – attaches great importance to queer visibility in pop music and the wider zeitgeist of pop culture .

“I think it’s important for every type of person to find something in pop culture or anywhere they can connect,” he says. “So, even if you are a boy in a small town and you really want to become a footballer and you have someone to look up to, because that’s your biggest dream… It’s the same for someone in a town who has feelings about their sexuality and they may think they are queer or that they feel different from other people. I think it’s important to have this person that you can look for and help you come to terms with those feelings. “

While Ulven has previously spoken out about what she sees as a lack of LGBTQ standards, she tells Yahoo Life she was excited to see it change, “whether it is Heartstopper Netflix series “or something similar.

From that romantic boy-boy series, based on Alice Oseman’s British graphic novels and a huge hit with American teens, he adds: “I also think boys really need to see that boys can be two and boys can I like boys because I notice that many of my male friends are very, very, my male friends are very careful when trying to understand their sexuality. They know they like women and they say “I will stop here”. “They are too scared to go any further.” For encouragement in this kingdom, Ulven is grateful for what she considers to be “more and more representation” and more and more artists are saying, “in a short sentence, ‘I’m bi, I’m gay, whatever it is. “- as well as people who are doing well with their homosexuality, such as Lil Nas X.

“It’s like, ‘I’m gay, I’m gay, I’m gay!’ “And I’m so proud of that!” And everyone listens to him. And I think he’s very nice, “he says.

Ulven first appeared on stage with “I Wanna be Your Girlfriend” in 2016 when he went crazy on SoundCloud. She is currently in the middle of a European tour and recently joined forces with another hero of pop culture queer Gen Z: Hunter Schafer, of Euphoria fame, which made its directorial debut in the music video Girl in Red for “hornylovesickmess”, released in May, to the delight of both their fans.

“Personally, I wanted to work with another creative that I was very excited about – someone I really respect and think is nice… And that for me at the time felt more exciting than finding the X, Y, Z type director, “says Ulven, noting that she is a huge fan of his Euphoria. “

Schafer, when approached by Ulven, said she wanted to try her hand at directing, so the two met for lunch in Los Angeles and “talked for hours” before continuing with the FaceTime sessions, through which they outlined the idea. for the video. “Then we were, okay, let’s put a real production company here. Let’s really do it. And then we did it.”

The result is a moody, passionate, nervous portrait of longing and emblematic of the way Ulven seems to put all of herself into her music – as with “Serotonin”, a 2021 song in which she is bravely transparent to them. mental health struggles, referring to everything from “intrusive thoughts like cutting my arms” to “stabilizing with medication.”

“I’m just saying exactly what I had in mind at the time and I did not put any kind of filter in the lyrics and I’re just pouring it all out,” he says. “So, it came to me very quickly when I was writing And I did not think much about it. I did not think, “what does that mean?” I honestly never think about these things. I never think. I think a lot, but never when I make something άνω I do what looks good to me and is right, and what makes the song the best. “

In the many months between writing “Serotonin” and publishing it, Ulven says, even she was impressed by her own honesty.

“I was like,” Saint p ***. This song is like, really brutal. I’m talking about cutting my hands. I swear to God, someone will cancel me [because] there was no trigger warning in the song. ‘ And [then] I say, “My God, I can not be alive in this world right now with people like that!” says. “At the end of the day, it’s a song and I think music or art or whatever you want to say; if someone is offended, it does not matter.”

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