Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Guy Behind the Bod

Coming home from a happy hour with friends the other night, I stopped on my way into the Metro to pick up a copy of Metro Weekly, a gay and lesbian alternative "magazine." I'll freely admit that the reason I picked it up was because it featured a hot mostly shirtless guy on the cover.

What I didn't realize as I flipped through the magazine, though, was the level of loot these guys get for placing first, second, and third in these MetroWeekly coverboy contests get. Yowza! Apparently just being very hot pays off.

Of course, not that I didn't know this already. Having good genes pays great dividends, clearly. Not just in the form of money tossed at you from gay magazines. Apparently being attractive also tends to influence people who may give you a job (or so I read somewhere; I don't remember where). Of course, there's also the number of dates you can get from just looking good. And then there's the tendency of people to buy you stuff, like drinks or something.

(And it's not just gay folks. I've heard of attractive women who live in New York through the "Manhattan Meal Plan": enough men will offer to take them out to dinner (and pay for it!) so much they almost never have to pay for their own meal.)

What I find funniest about the MetroWeekly coverboy edition is the article itself. I mean, yeah, that guy is fun to look at and all, but really, isn't that all we really need? His spread goes into his life history (when he came out, where he went to school, blah blah blah)... but in all honesty, do we really care? He's a coverboy. His one qualification for that distinction was looking good. Does anyone who picked up the magazine because of the hot bod on the cover really care about the rest of this guy's life?

Do they interview Hustler centerfolds about their life histories? I get the sense that even if they do, those interviews deal more with the woman's sexual history than anything else. Because that's what the men who look at these chicks would care to read about. There's masturbatory material not just in viewing the woman in a come-hither wink while licking her lips, but also in reading the story of when she first lost her virginity or how she likes to pleasure men.

Which is why I find the interviews in MW so funny. I mean, I suppose it's impressive that the coverboy graduated from Princeton. But really, in the end, it's not like his claim to fame is any different: he's hot. Yeah, there's a person back there. But there's very few people who looked through that magazine thinking, "He looks like a guy I'd like to enjoy an intelligent conversation with."

1 comment:

Neil Morse said...

My stab at queer/feminist theory (not that I necessarily believe this at all, but here goes):

As in antiquity, when the royalty of a conquered nation would be taken as valued slaves and concubines, highlighting a coverboy's intellectual achievements only serves to make him more "Other," and to complete his objectification. The coverboy becomes a trophy, a thing to be collected rather than a person to be respected for those accomplishments.

(How was that? It's been ages since I tried to do that kind of stuff. I'll leave it to professionals next time.)