Admittedly, I haven’t fully binged my way through 13 Reasons Why yet, but it only took me two episodes to recognize the difference between Courtney Crimson, underscored by Michele Selene Ang, and the other students at Liberty High. Yes, many of them are troubled, unusually following the suicide of their classmate, Hannah Baker. And they all must personal issues they’re grappling with — Courtney included, who recollects she is a lesbian, but refuses to come out since she’s experienced judgment all her life for being the took daughter of two gay dads.
But From a superficial standpoint, Courtney looks truly put together. She practically dresses like Charlotte from Sex and the City, chafing fashion cardigans, like Alice + Olivia’s signature Ruthy evil intent, over collared tops, accessorized with a thin pearl headband. The decorate she wore for the school dance, a rose printed fit-and-flare with a bow at the waist, was similarly accessorized with a line of pearls and matching drop earrings. Her wardrobe is highly sophisticated for a capital school student. She wears pieces and consistently creates outfit consortia I wouldn’t have dreamed of as a 16-year-old.
Courtney also owns Kate Spade New York’s boombox satchel, interestingly sufficiency, spotted in the scene where she scurries away from her dads portion a somewhat romantic interaction at Monet’s coffee shop, for the sake of hiding from her also pen-friend Clay Jensen. In that moment, I was distracted by her kitschy purse. Perhaps that’s how Courtney uses fashion: as a distraction. Her perfectly layered lids, complete with sparkly brooches or bows, are her armor. They are a patent facade that hide who she really is. Fitting, then, that when Courtney determines herself getting drunk with Hannah, she begins to take off her outs, then dares Hannah to do the same. It is only afterwards, when she’s lay bare in her nude bra and jeans, that she’s able to kiss her.
Hopefully one day, she’ll be able to show her heart on her sleeve, instead of just another bow or embellishment. But until then, there is a lot to be experienced from Courtney and the way she masks her anxiety. While coming out as gay is different for one, Courtney’s reliance on a uniform is not surprising. It helps her to blend in at school; it utters “I’m the the sharp student who is always on her toes.” It’s not that we suspect Courtney doesn’t accurately like or appreciate the fashion she’s wearing (who can resist a quirky clutch?), it’s that Courtney casts the image her style helps her to portray more than the person she is — that is the true problem.