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Letter from the Editor: Strange Powers

If you had to pinpoint your superpowers, what would they be? Mine would be making those I love and hold dear laugh hysterically, performing well under pressure, and always knowing what to wear.

But what if you were able to choose your superpower—what would it be then? This is the question I asked myself after seeing one of my all-time idols, Fran Lebowitz, speak in Toronto earlier in May. It was my third time seeing the prolific writer—and even after all these years of reading her books and watching her speak, her impact on me continues to grow.

It goes without saying that Fran’s mystique is rooted in the power and conviction of her words. She has a singular point of view and never backpedals on the sentiments she expresses, and that on its own is an enviable trait in the climate we live in—particularly for the young people who are still developing and finding their place in this world, and who make up a good portion of the attendance at her recent shows.

Beyond her straight-to-the-point (and straight-to-the-gut) musings on everyday issues, Fran stands as one of the few figures in pop culture who remain true to who they are. She has a uniform—also enviable—that she’s worn like a second skin for decades, a signature haircut, and glasses, all the while remaining painstakingly current. Whether she’s being interviewed by Bill Maher, Ziwe Fumudoh, or Martin Scorsese, Fran always has an answer ready, no matter the subject, no matter the line of questioning.

When faced with someone as extraordinary as Fran Lebowitz, it’s hard not to compare yourself and be filled with the desire to emulate them in some way. She genuinely looks to be in the prime of her life at 71.

My biggest takeaway from her latest talk was the importance of getting acquainted with yourself. Lean into and nurture what feels authentic, carve your own path, and find your own interests rather mimicking someone else’s, for that’s the superpower that unlocks endless possibilities.