Karen Carpenter: America’s Most Defiant Square

  • Freya Jarman-Ivens
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan’s Critical Studies in Gender, Sexuality, and Culture book series (CSGSC)


All my life, I have known I was different. I would come home from school, hoping that I had left no trace of the pleasures in which I had been indulging, the secret life I was leading. I lived a lie for many years, until I could stand the burden no more. Eventually, I sat my parents down to tell them the truth. I took a deep breath and confessed: “Mum, Dad, I have something to tell you: I like easy listening music. And swing. And Elvis’s 70s stuff.” There was silence. I could feel the disappointment in the air. My father in particular had done everything he could to bring me up right, diligently playing me The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and informing me that I should consider the Doors a significant part of my musical education. Here I was, shattering their dreams. The questions started: How long had I known of my deviant musical tastes? Might it be just a phase? Perhaps it had been a bad experience with Led Zeppelin. Couldn’t I feel anything for the Grateful Dead?


Sexual Object Original Emphasis Popular Music External Technology Original Unity 
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© Freya Jarman-Ivens 2011

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  • Freya Jarman-Ivens

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