David Bowie’s Bisensuality

Mark Simpson on how Bowie, the 1970s progenitor metrosexuality, shape-shifted masculinity  (Originally appeared in High50 magazine, March 2013) The video for David Bowie’s first single in a decade, the melancholic, low-key ‘Where Are We Now?’ – featuring the faces of Bowie and an unnamed woman superimposed on conjoined puppets – is striking for all sorts of reasons. For those who can remember such things, it is also a striking reminder of his 1979 Saturday Night Live US performance of ‘Boys Keep Swinging’, with Joey Arias and the late great Klaus Nomi on […]

Nightmare Balls

Once again, I’m very grateful that American feminists have scientifically proven (by looking at dusty back issues of Rolling Stone magazine) that men aren’t ‘really’ objectified, only women are. Because it means that this eye-popping ad for toilet cleaner featuring a tarty boy band suspended beneath the rim of a toilet in cages, imploring ‘baby’ to pull the chain and flush them – slowly washing away their clothes – doesn’t really exist, and none of us need have nightmares about it. And I don’t need […]

Mirror Men on Canvas – and in Crocs

The Delhi-based artist Pallavi Singh has been meditating on metrosexuality in the Indian subcontinental context again and has very kindly sent me these rather wonderful new paintings and given me permission to post them here. I think my personal favourite is ‘Rise of Mirror Man’ – I particularly like how his Crocs match his suspenders. Here’s Ms Singh’s accompanying write-up: In my recent work “Here comes the Mirror Man” and “Rise of Mirror Man”, I have tried to present the growing confidence and comfort of […]

It’s Not a Journey: The Endless Trend of Male Vanity

The next time someone tries to convince me that Pitt is ‘a really great actor, actually’ I’ll just throw my eyes around the room in a casually-but-profoundly dramatic fashion before fixing them on the Fight Club fanboy – and it always is a Fight Club fanboy – and saying: “THERE you ARE!” I don’t mean to be bitchy, but… Ab Pitt seems to have all the neuroses of a Marilyn Monroe about being thought a dumb blond, but little or none of the talent. It’s […]

‘Get Your Filthy Hands Off Me!’ Gorgeous George’s Glamorous Legacy

Rather than watch the Olympics, and all that noble, serious sporting uplift, I’ve been reading a book about a carny, corny, shameless 1940s-50s American wrestler: Gorgeous George: The Outrageous Bad-Boy Wrestler Who Created American Pop Culture, by John Capouya. My American chum Chris Supermarky recommended it to me, thinking it would be of interest. He wasn’t wrong. It was nothing less than a revelation. It was like finding the Rosetta Stone of metrosexuality. Or at least, post-war male glamorousness. George Wagner was a baby-faced brunette, pint-sized, […]