Right, for those who tuned into yesterdays hate-love-hate post, here is today’s bit of anti-culture.
When I see pictures like this, I know not to interact with the person posting them, or read their books. There is quite a strong literary genre in America of books which have shirtless men on the cover, the worst of which refer to ‘Alpha billionaires and small children/animals/chocolate.’I really hate this stuff.
What I see when I look at this picture, is a slightly inadequate man who has spent months bodybuilding and cutting, months on a sunbed and maybe a week on shopping for clothes. Whilst, as a very scruffy artist, I do have a penchant for a snappy dresser when it comes to my peacock men, I do not relish the prospect of bursting for the toilet whilst waiting for some dude to finish plucking his eyebrows.
Why do we allow the persecution of men, in the form of making them feel small about their looks in the same way that women have been commodified for the last few decades? We already know that instead of selling products, it merely makes us feel unhappy and insecure, so why do we continue to buy the products, or support this unpleasant feature of the political economy in the form of reading trash literature?
I have unfollowed around a hundred authors who put out this pulp, reading each other’s pulp and reviewing it in order to attract whoever reads this stuff. It is basically the acceptable face of porn, as far as I can see. What is wrong with actual porn? It uses up far less of your time and allows you to move on to something that has an actual point. Shirtless men and romantic drivel, on the other hand, takes up most of your day.
Aldous, an absolute oracle on popular culture, who once had to explain to me who the Olsen twins were, does not know his porn at all. I, considering I watch porn for maybe 45 seconds every five years, am a comparative expert. I cannot be bothered finding out what the Kardashians are wearing, but you can be sure I can rhyme off half a dozen or more porn actors and actresses. Maybe I am just funny that way, but it seems to be part of my off-the-wall relationship role to be the scruffy porn expert, with a relatively well dressed romantic male on my arm. How odd that I have never looked on males in the strictly sexual/economic provider way that I am supposed to?
Anyway, the point of the day is, although men love to be objectified, why do we not stop the rot in terms of objectifying the ones we would actually hit the hay with, who tend to be chubbier and more cheerful than the overdone shirtless male of the trash bookshelf? I have been out with male models and bodybuilders, and whilst they are very sweet, they don’t actually have a whole lot to say.
If the public chose to celebrate personality, rather than oohing and aaahing over a photograph, marketing would look very different and a lot more diverse. Maybe we should just stop, appreciate ourselves and stop falling for the idea that perfection is just out of reach. Start with the idea that you are happy already, and then see how much this stuff fails to impress.