Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fashion Advisory: The Trappings of Manual Labor

Just over two years ago, I commented here on a blog post celebrating the apotheosis of the scrawny, undernourished boy model on the runways of the US and Europe. "The meek truly shall inherit the earth," gushed the blogger. "Until next week or whenever the fashion changes again, that is," I jeered.

Well, it took a little longer than a week, but now the New York Times reports? decrees? proclaims the gospel which shall be of joy to all nations that "the boys of recent memory have been transformed overnight into men." Well, not men, really, more like models who've bought "an interview suit and a package of Gillette Mach 3 blades ... men who certainly look as if they’ve never been waxed or had a manicure" but who in fact probably have. The article is full of pretentious tripe that might have fallen from the lips of Robert Bly.
"Men have always been defined by their jobs — always," said Joe Levy, the editor in chief of Maxim. When the economy was flush, consumers were content to indulge designer subversions of age and gender expectations, he added. That was before the recession lodged in the landscape like an errant iceberg taking its own time to thaw. "Suddenly the notion of having a job or a career is in doubt," Mr. Levy said. "So you fall back on old notions of what it meant to be a man or to look like one."
The more it changes, the more it is the same! Thanks to commenter jethrosexual at Who Is IOZ? for the link.