Anna Khachiyan Shares Her Gut Reactions On Everything From Toxic Masculinity to ‘Vanderpump Rules’

By
Photography Quil Lemons
Stylist Malaika Crawford

Published December 26, 2018

Anna wears Shirt, Jacket, and Pants by GUCCI.

The writer Anna Khachiyan was a struggling art critic until she elbowed her way into the public debate on her podcast Red Scare, a series of scathing biweekly conversations with fellow Russian-American Dasha Nekrasova. In New York’s center-left bubble, Khachiyan has garnered ire and admiration for her upstream takes on everything from #MeToo to A Star Is Born—which is why we asked her for her gut reaction to a few trending topics, both sacred and profane.

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Kanye West

“A little out of touch. But he’s an artist who understands on an intuitive level that there’s a difference between playing with aesthetic symbols and ascribing a moral weight to those symbols. He’s the perfect avatar of the moment, of its bewildering terror where nobody knows what to believe anymore.”

The Blue Wave

“The left seems generally incapable of producing eccentrics. All of the interesting political personalities of our time come from the right—Stephen Bannon, Roger Stone, Ann Coulter, Candace Owens. The right is producing interesting female figures in spades. We can quibble over whether they’re feminists, but they are definitely self-determined women, as disgusting as their politics may be.”

Baby Boomers

“They’re confused. Boomers can’t cope with the non-linear ways in which information now travels—the frequency with which it’s beamed through the cosmos. There’s a generational war going on now in addition to the class war. Baby boomers like beating up on millennials for being lazy and entitled and apolitical. But how surprising is it that the biggest generation of narcissists bred the second-biggest generation of narcissists?”

Art Basel Miami Beach

“Cocaine? Rich, bored masochists? Who wants to walk through a hall of modular walls filled with bad contemporary art? But I can’t be too mean because I just gave a talk at an art fair.”

Vanderpump Rules

“I want Lala Kent to come on my podcast. I love Lala because she’s the feminist icon on the show and she says things like, ‘If you want your man to take you to dinner and buy you jewelry, you have to give him a blow job.’ I was just like, ‘Amen, sister.’” 

Melania Trump

“Hottest First Lady of all time. I think she’s a person who desperately wanted to escape communism in Eastern Europe and just wanted a rich husband—don’t we all? Instead, she got herself a husband who’s basically forced onto the world stage as a statesman and politician, and I don’t think she wants all of that.”

Toxic Masculinity

“Fake news. I think toxic masculinity is a made-up thing. I think the ‘patriarchy’ is a made-up thing. I think men and women are equally stupid in different ways. Men have a particular brand of stupidity that is focused on dramatic delusions. And what feminists don’t understand is that you can use this stupidity to your advantage.”

The Sopranos

“Brilliant. I think the show foreshadowed the current neoliberal moment when people are completely unmoored from their families and any sort of human or cultural connection. The premise of the show is brilliant. A mob boss who sees a shrink? The Sopranos and Michel Houellebecq were the two cultural forces from the 2000s that saw the present we are living in now.”

The Opioid Epidemic

“Tragic. It’s a perfect storm of big pharma, the complete erosion of social welfare, and all-around anomie and despair. Our generation is probably going to go down in history as America’s Lost Generation.” 

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Hair: Rubi Jones at Julian Watson Agency
Makeup: Grace Ahn at Julian Watson Agency
Production: Leonel Becerra 
Photography Assistant: Chad Murdock
Fashion Assistant: Dominic Dopico
Hair Assistant: Lara Barney
Makeup Assistant: Sena Murahashi
Manicure: Rachel Shim using CHANEL Beauty at Joe Management
Production Assistants: Jacob Gottlieb, Natsumi Takahashi