Thursday, June 22, 2006

Good News for Fat Bastards

Well, here’s one of those strange media bits that makes absolutely no sense to me, but I understand the selling point: an article in the New York Observer stating that fat guys are now “in” and skinny guys are, for the most part, “out.”

What’s this based on? Movie characters (Vince Vaughn and Jack Black, both appearing in bombs), and random interviews on New York City streets. I’d be willing to wager with people the writer of the article knows personally. (And you should never trust interviews or surveys taken on the streets of New York because people here are crazier than shithouse rats and not indicative of any sweeping social movements.)

Is Vince Vaughn really that fat? Granted, he’s got a chubby face, especially compared to how he looked 10 years ago in Swingers. But I think we all learn that unless we’re simply geared to look that way, or starve ourselves, very few people maintain that late teen/early 20s sleekness throughout life. Vaughn has a big frame to work with – it’s only natural that he would fill out. He’ll one day turn into your uncle, the one who smells vaguely of onions and picks up dogs by their ears. But for now, he appears to be in reasonably good shape.

Now, Jack Black is chubby, but I suspect much less chubby in person than he looks on screen, where he’ll purposely make himself look heavier by going shirtless or wearing tight clothes to accentuate his size. His size isn’t an issue – his personality is. Some people love that “wacky big guy” routine. It sort of makes me want to throw right hooks into his face until all I can see is red pulp and a pair of eyes.

But even if Vaughn and Black were in hit summer blockbusters, the set-up of the article is this: to get fat guys to feel good about being fat, thin guys to feel empty, women dating fat guys to feel good about dating fat guys, and women dating thin guys to either feel justified if they want to dump them for being vain, or angry if they’re really good guys. The payoff is to get people debating the issue.

And there is no debate. Fat guys getting laid by models have money. Thin guys getting laid by models have money, too.

I suspect the type of women who would be affected by an article like this in a New York paper are the kind who would then date a fat guy for a week, realize he was just as assholic as their thin, neurotic boyfriends, spend the next week fretting over their shallowness, then drop a few extra grand on more therapy. Everybody else reads the article and goes, “What the fuck?” Especially fat guys, with the addendum, “Where’s all the pussy?”

About the only worth I’m willing to attribute to an article like this is, in that fictional world magazine and newspapers create, metrosexuality may begin to decline. This stuff is cancer on our society, the concept of making men feeling as uptight and inadequate about their physical presence as women. It’s cancer enough that women are brainwashed into buying this nonsense. It’s not an issue of gayness. I don’t care if “metrosexuality” is overly feminine. The real issue is getting men attuned to the idea of buying over-priced beauty products and services to keep them looking like they’re in their late teens forever. And as far as I’m concerned, the only beauty products I’m into are Cornhusker’s Lotion, Old Spice Speed Stick, Ivory soap and Pert Plus.

(A confession: last job I was on, a woman there got me turned onto Orange and Ginger hand soap from Bath & Body Works. So, I allow myself that one metrosexual indulgence. But every time I walk into one of those deeply unmasculine stores to buy the soap, I make sure to walk into a corner, unzip my pants, drop them to my knees, tuck my shirt back in and hike my pants back up – just like Dad used to do all the time.)

But, hey, no need for any beauty products – fat guys are now getting laid by models because the New York Observer said so! Guys, don’t even wipe your asses anymore. It’s not necessary! Women don’t want skinny guys who smell nice! They want big, stinking, ill-defined hunks of men, exuding an earthy musk, guys with huge sweaty balls and handlebar mustaches, who wear “Burn This One” American flag muscle shirts that accentuate their beer bellies. Six-pack abs? Keg abs! Cat hats and wallet chains! Screaming eagle forearm tattoos!

… then again, I’ve just described your average Williamsburg, Brooklyn trustafarian bullshit artist pretending he’s a redneck. The kind of guy I regularly see squiring around Paris Hilton lookalikes. Once again, it’s all about the benjamins, dude. Or in my case, the Washingtons.

1 comment:

Drooch said...

"It’s not an issue of gayness. I don’t care if “metrosexuality” is overly feminine. The real issue is getting men attuned to the idea of buying over-priced beauty products and services to keep them looking like they’re in their late teens forever."

And why is that objectionable to you (and me)? Because it's a traditionally feminine ideal, not a masculine one. If your objection to the "metrosexual" concept is really just about men being influenced to waste money on vanity products, you'd have to be equally critical of sporting goods marketers (especially golf), hardware stores and home improvement centers, which is where men traditionally waste their money on useless vanity products. The metrosexual has just shifted his purchasing to a new, more feminine, category.

Hitch up those britches, bro.