Ever since I was 16 and saw the video for No Doubt’s "Just A Girl" for the first time, Gwen Stefani has been my idol. I’m almost grateful that I’ve never had to interview her because I’d probably start crying and telling her waaaay too much about myself -- “I had my first kiss to Don’t Speak! Sob!” -- and it would be horribly embarrassing, but I’m sure she’d be very gracious about it. (Yes, I’ve given this scenario a lot of thought.)
She inspired me back then, as an awkward skater-punk indie kid, for being so fearless as a woman in the macho music industry, for having her own unique style and for not being afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve through her lyrics.
(Yes, this entire article is an excuse for me to feature the "Just A Girl" video -- what of it?)
I loved Gwen’s spirit as much as her dress sense and I still do. It’s been amazing seeing her career and life unfolding over the years as she tackled new roles and challenges –- getting married (that wedding dress is still my all-time favourite), having kids, launching a solo career, developing her fashion lines –- and through it all, she’s remained completely herself.
From reading interviews with her, it feels like Gwen is still the same funny, smart, self-deprecating person she was when Tragic Kingdom made her a star. And on a superficial level, the most obvious way in which she’s has stayed true to herself is through her style. For me she is the ultimate lesson in "growing up" without abandoning what makes you you.