Thursday, June 14, 2007

All Gay Men Are Stylish?

Reading has become such rarity for me past months what with all the "I'm so busy" excuses lately. Since the hand over of our project, (post-mortem work aside), I am a tad freer than before. And, I have finally found time to read, which is really my favourite past times...and play with my new "baby" :p, catching up with all the tv series that we've missed, among other things. Life *sigh*.

I have recently added Photography journals and magazines in my ever growing numbers of magazines of different genres - cooking, Interior Design, fashion, lifestyle magazines, female & gossips. Yeah, we love to read. No, actually we are more attracted to the glossy magazines than reading it, really. But, I reckon Ad has taken out gossip/thrashy mags since the inception of E-News on channel 76 on Astro. Just so you know, it really is my least favourite channel unless I've nothing much to watch cos how much of gossips can one take in a day, man?

Goss aside, these are some articles I've read today that I find it amusing, inspiring, entertaining and baffling. This particular article extricated from this month's Detail's magazine pique my interest to write about it.

Who Says All Gay Men Are Stylish? -By Katherine Wheeloch

The idea that all homosexuals are fashionable is bull—just look at all the friends of Dorothy who dress like they're still in Kansas. Tell us what you think about the myth of gay style below.

According to a perception that clings to popular culture like a sparkly barnacle, a visit to a predominantly gay neighborhood should yield style enlightenment. Going to the West Side enclave of Chelsea in New York should be like strolling the via Montenapoleone, in Milan. Fashion-challenged men and women should flock to these places and take notes.
Tracing the roots of this myth is easy.

The Stylish Gay Man is at least as old as the Magical Negro, and older than the Nerdy Asian. Since time began, homosexuality has been associated with aesthetic acumen. It's a reasonable generalization—one that Edward II, Quentin Crisp, Liberace, and others did little to weaken, and one that understandably sashayed into the late 20th century and the early 21st; most of the openly gay men American society first accepted as public figures were clothing designers.

"This idea comes from how awareness of homosexuals grew over the last 40 or 50 years," says designer Isaac Mizrahi. "To someone who only knew of three gay people, it looked like all gay men were stylish."

But even now that the confetti from the gay-makeover party has settled, the myth of the Stylish Gay Man persists. William Sledd, a 23-year-old Gap manager from Paducah, Kentucky, just signed a deal with Bravo to do an online, critic-at-large—style show based on his video blog, "Ask a Gay Man." This spring it blew up as the fourth-most-subscribed-to video blog on YouTube. Sledd has a side-swept haircut like Clay Aiken and often wears a tight argyle sweater or a slogan T-shirt. He says things like "What's up with all the black? I don't think there are enough pink ninjas in the world." He's entertaining. But what makes him a style expert—besides the fact that he's gay?

"Schooling and exposure determine your ability to say what looks good and what doesn't look good, not your sexual preference," Mizrahi says. "It's like saying all black people have rhythm."

And as a walk through Chelsea demonstrates—in the spring, it's often a visual smorgasbord of pink polo shirts skimming potbellies, patch-bedecked denim jackets, and silvery sneakers worn with an 11-year-old girl's naive enthusiasm—the idea that homosexual males have more style sense than any other category of human beings is patently untrue. If you were picking teams, kickball-at-recess-style, for a fashion championship, who would you call first dibs on? Lance Bass, George Clooney, Alan Cumming, Jay-Z, Rufus Wainwright, or Brad Pitt?

Take your time. (Read on)

My say:

There are people, gay guys specifically, who are offended by this article. But, seriously. Simply because you are gay, you are stylish?

That is a generalisation that many gay men would like to think/believe in but many times, it is really more myth than truth. I have seen many disastrous fashion faux pax committed by local gay men in the clubs, gyms, and on the street for that matter. Loud colour, bling bling, mismatch bags and shoes i.e. over size branded bags, or belt just to flaunt IS NOT fashionable just so you know. And, do not get me started on supertight Tees fit for a 10 year-old worn on a pot-bellied 40 year-old man. On bright daylight! Or, yellow Crocs!

Is this stylish to you?

Sigh. I am not saying I'm a fashionista with damn good taste. I am, in no way, saying all gay men have bad taste, too. There are some gay men who have impeccable taste and manners out there and more often than not their styles are usually more subtle than it is loud.

Ultimately, it is your upbringing, schooling and a person's creativity when it comes to being stylish and I truly agree with Mizrahi. Is Brad Pitt stylish? Yes. Is he gay? No.

I rest my case.


adrien said...

OMG! i JUST read that article yesterday at the curve's borders, and even thought of quoting the magazine myself! lol.

savante said...

Certainly not limited to gay men of course :P And I've seen more than a few fashion disasters, including myself!

Legolas said...

Well, stereotyping and generalisation are just so normal among humans. Exposure and experience still count the most.

_ethnwg said...

adrien: freaky isn't it. gr8 minds think alike :P

paul: when im stressed, i'd usually wear stuff i'd curse others for wearing LOL

legolas: agree, agree, agree