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Allie X on her radical transformations and idolising Aquaria
Courtesy of Allie X

Allie X on her radical transformations and idolising Aquaria


TextFelicia Pennant Old

We catch up with the singer-songwriter on how she’s asserting her identity through beauty, why she’d reduce her boobs, and the songs she’d play hostile aliens

The surreal, horror movie-like sequences of Allie X’s “Fresh Laundry” music video, directed by SSION aka Cody Critcheloe, reveal the Toronto-born singer and songwriter’s latest transformation. With an alien-like glow, bleached eyebrows and Mallen streaks crowning her (and her twin doll’s) dark hair, she performs the deeply confessional lyrics that signal a new, more melancholic side to her offbeat pop sound. “In complete contrast to wanting to fit in like I did when I was a kid, I now pride myself on being original and standing out. I love playing with radical looks, androgyny, taping my boobs, bleaching my eyebrows, and modifying silhouettes,” she says.

The diversity of her beauty references and idols is clear, from so-called ‘pretty’ girls like Danielle Bernstein to her drag queen friends Sasha Velour, Violet Chachki and Dazed Beauty’s Entertainment Editor Aquaria. Having toured with Charli XCX and written several songs on Troye Sivan’s Bloom album, Allie X is supporting Marina’s Love + Fear Tour Part 2 across Europe later this month. Instagram doubles as the singer-songwriter’s interactive moodboard, documenting the out-of-this-world visuals and beauty-centric content that accompany her music, which has garnered a cult following and millions of YouTube streams.

Here we speak to Allie X about her radical transformations, the diversity of her beauty idols and the fun in being an otter. 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where you grew up?

Allie X: I grew up in the suburbs outside Toronto. I’m the weird girl who’s never fit in, a Leo who is very moody, and a major hustler. I’m ambitious to a fault, I don’t lie to people, and I try to help fellow outsiders find their confidence.

What’s your earliest beauty-related memory?

Allie X: Refusing to cut my hair. I wanted it as long as possible (nothing has really changed there) and it drove my mom crazy. She used to offer me twenty dollars to cut it. To sum up beauty in my childhood and teenage years, it was always me doing things that I thought made me beautiful, and then people asking me if I was a goth or making fun of my buck teeth or potbelly and the outfits I would put together. Eventually when I went to art school, classmates started to applaud my ‘interesting style’. I think even then I still just wanted to fit in, but this upbringing eventually made me embrace that I was just different. I began to embrace that stylistically by the time I was 18. 

What is it you do and why do you do it? How did you get into it?

Allie X: I sing and I write. I don’t remember not singing – it was always my escape and form of expression. I played classical piano for a while too and got into writing towards the end of college. I wish I started earlier. 

How do you assert your identity through your beauty looks?

Allie X: In complete contrast to when I was a kid, I now pride myself on being original and standing out. I love playing with radical looks, androgyny, taping my boobs, bleaching my eyebrows, and modifying silhouettes. It’s been very empowering to take all the photos I’ve taken and transform myself. Questioning what beauty really is. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self I’d be cool.

“To sum up beauty in my childhood and teenage years, it was always me doing things that I thought made me beautiful, and then people asking me if I was a goth or making fun of my buck teeth or potbelly and the outfits I would put together” – Allie X

If you had to choose one surgical enhancement, what would it be and why?

Allie X: I would get rid of my stomach rolls and be super flat-chested. Having bigger boobs still feels weird to me, even at this age, but I do my best to embrace these things. I can definitely say I’m more comfortable in my skin then I’ve ever been. No plans to go under the knife anytime soon, but maybe Botox eventually. 

When do you feel most beautiful?

Allie X: When my body and mind are working well. I’ve taken good care of myself, no makeup on, I do a big smile and my partner tells me I’m beautiful. 

Who are your beauty idols? Which of their looks do you recreate? 

Allie X: I idolise so many different types of beauty. I’ve always been and remain fascinated with pretty girls. Having never been one, I think I’ve always been infatuated at how it might feel. I follow influencers like Danielle Bernstein and Chiara Ferragni who I couldn’t be more different from. I’m also in awe of my drag queen friends and their various takes on beauty. I love Sasha Velour’s boldness and nods to history, Violet Chachki’s sexiness, and Aquaria’s complete and utter transformations. I relate to female figures that are able to create striking beauty without it being traditionally pretty – lots of singers: Björk, Grace Coddington, Grace Coddington, PJ Harvey, and Patti Smith. 

You have to replace your body with that of an animal or a mythological creature. What do you go for and why?

Allie X: I’ve always thought being an otter would be fun because they get to swim and they have lots of otter friends. 

You encounter a hostile alien race with an inability to see colour, while sound is their only mechanism for communication. What would you play to them to inspire them to spare you and the rest of the human race?

Allie X: I would play them “Tibetan Bells”, something peaceful. Can’t count on aliens to understand lyrics but if they could, I would play them “Can’t Stop Loving You” by Phil Collins. 

What is the future of Beauty?

Allie X: I’m super excited about where beauty is going. There is so much more inclusion and excitement around different body types, gender diversity and race. I’m seeing so much more representation. I think we have a long way to go until major fashion brands and corporations are truly inclusive and not just riding a trend, but big progress is still being made and eventually this stuff won’t just be trends. 

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