Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster Explains the Genesis of Her Onstage Uniform. (It Began in Junior High.)


One of the distinguishing characteristics of Screaming Females’ front-belter Marissa Pasternoster is her array of boxy, vividly colored housecoats. She wears them onstage habitually, if not religiously. Even when it was 94-degrees at Coney Island, Pasternoster swam in that trademark outfit, a cherry-red military-style number with black nylons to boot. The style is such a fixture of her onstage persona that SOTC correspondent Michael Tedder once asked if the Sgt. Pepper-like one had symbolic qualities. It did not. But according to a painfully honest essay Pasternoster wrote for our friends over at Impose, uniforms in general do represent a personal rebirth.

“Junior high had been nightmarish for me – I was unbearably awkward, pimpled, stocky, and brutish,” she writes. “A handful of older kids made it their daily duty to attack me on our school bus, in the cafeteria, and at the corner store. It was tiresome. I had become paranoid and fearful of getting hurt at all hours of the day.”

Many people who became guitar heroes can surely relate. This one opted to attend a Catholic high school, her father’s alma mater, which meant wearing a skirt everyday, something she says she’d only done “about three or four times in my entire life.” There was anxiousness, long looks in the mirror, “crying into my cereal bowl.” But blessedly, the tale comes full circle for our heroine, to a place where “I take great joy in putting on a uniform before every Screaming Females show. All of my dresses serve me as a dependable support.” Read Marissa Paternoster’s piece about uniforms, but someone please tell her she’s not “stocky, pimply, and brutish.” That’s just shit. [Impose]

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