I am rough now, and new, and will have no tailor

February 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

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In the world of Glamour – a world in which hot straight guys are constantly “telling all” and gay best friends are there to mop up your tears whenever you misread straight guy “signals” – my partner doesn’t fit in. Nor do most men I know. It’s not to do with being gay, straight or bi. I think it’s to do with being a real, live person. Or am I being simplistic?

The author of the Glamour piece notes how she and her partner “run with a pretty arty crowd” (I’m taking that to mean they don’t hail from Cumbria). Her husband is “a performance artist, eccentric and has – true to stereotype – better style than me”:

And if I’m like, “Wow, Mike is super-hot”, he doesn’t stare blankly but says, “Totally. Because of the way he plays guitar, right?”

I have no idea who Mike is, by the way. All the same, I find it slightly depressing that in order for a man to see attractiveness in another man – or at least admit to it – it’s presumed he has to be gay or bi. Are these the rules in Glamourland? The author also claims that going out with a bi guy is extra-flattering:

I came to look at it this way: If he was choosing to be with me, then he was choosing me over all men and women everywhere.

Without wishing to burst the author’s bubble, I’d suggest this isn’t quite true. I, for one, have not yet consented to a hypothetical adulterous relationship with her man (if she sends me a picture, I’ll think about it).

It seems to me that in Glamourland, however enlightened one is trying to be, people who are “different”  – in this case, not straight – are reduced to the status of objects who define the “normal” people, with the latter being seen as more real. It’s clear the author of the piece has an authentic, honest relationship with her husband, yet when something like this is translated into Glamour-speak it can’t quite hold together. As soon as you plonk a story such as this right in the middle of a whole range of glossy gender stereotypes, it feels demeaning. And yes, I’m not the one with a bisexual partner on my arm, so perhaps I don’t know what I’m talking about. It just seems to me that “bi guy” is on a par with the latest handbag or pair of shoes: a possession which defines how urban and trendy you are, rather than an actual human being (so maybe I’m just jealous because you can’t buy them on Net-a-porter).  read more

ART: Montserrat Guidol

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