Simpson Tops Arnie and Freud in GQ Spread

From this month’s GQ Russia. My Russian is a little rusty, but I think the piece from this 50th anniversary of GQ issue is about ‘Forty Things That Changed Men’s Lives’. I’ve no idea what GQ has to say about me, but all I care about is that: there’s a scarily large picture of me oiled-up pulling my pants down and I’m ahead of, and much bigger than, Sigmund Freud, Arnold Schwarzenegger and – this is really impressive – Biotherm Homme I only wish I’d, […]

Size Hero: How Steroids & Muscle Marys Conquered the World

Mark Simpson on how steroids got into our bloodstream and changed the shape of masculinity (Guardian CIF, 6 Dec, 2007) ‘Roids may sound as Eighties as Cher’s black-lace bodice. But they’re baaak, even bigger and bustier than ever. According to a series of recent reports, steroids, or ‘juice’ or ‘gear’ to the initiated, once an exotic drug of cheating athletes and freaky bodybuilders have entered the mainstream and have become just another lifestyle product for young men: some boys as young as 12 are reportedly […]

Metro Cowboy to Play Metro Athlete

Hollywood has apparently taken note of the global publicity surrounding uber-metrosexual English footballer David Beckham’s arrival in Tinseltown and decided to dust off America’s own, discarded metrosexual sportsman prototype, 1960s flamboyant, fur-coat wearing NFL quarterback Joe Namath and give it the big-screen treatment. Jake Gyllenhaal is to play Namath – popularly dubbed ‘Broadway Joe’ – in a Hollywood biopic of the Hall of Fame sportsman who was the first American footballer to become a multi-media phenemonon and Madison Avenue model. In other words, the actor […]

Cuba’s Metrosexual Revolution

Despite the 45-year US economic blockade designed to make life on the island as comfortless as possible – and despite the fiercely Marxist-Leninist leadership of its famously hirsute, cigar-chomping, khaki-wearing, gay-hating, fashion-spurning legendary leader – Cuba’s younger macho men are apparently also succumbing to the unstoppable world-wide metrosexual revolution. ‘Metrosexuals Coming Out – But in Cuba?’ an English translation of an article which appeared in Cuba’s youth publication Junventud Rebelde offers a fascinating profile of a country whose manhood and way of life is in […]

Elvis Hasn’t Left the Building

Why Elvis the ‘virile degenerate’ refuses to let us rest in peace by Mark Simpson   (Independent on Sunday, April 2000) Elvis didn’t want to be black, he wanted to be Tony Curtis. A natural blond, Memphis’ belle boy dyed his hair in imitation of his 50s idol’s shiny black pompadour and continued tinting it that unnatural-supernatural blue-black colour until the very end (though later it was probably merely to hide the grey). Even those virile sideburns, which by the early Seventies seemed to be […]

America – meet David Beckham

(The Guardian, 13 July, 2007) America, meet David Beckham. America, meet The Metrosexual. You’re going to be seeing even more of both. As most of the world already knows, today Becks is proudly ‘unveiled’ by LA Galaxy on their home turf. Brand Becks, the ultimate metrosexual who transformed himself from a talented professional soccer-player with a cute smile into global me-dia, is the not-so-secret weapon in their campaign to seduce America into opening its arms, legs – and, most importantly, wallets – to that obscure […]

Mens Health Magazine – How Gay is It?

Mark Simpson probes Men’s Health – and finds it in painful denial (originally appeared on Guardian CiF) Isn’t it about time Men’s Health, the world’s biggest-selling ‘men’s lifestyle’ magazine, came out to itself? I couldn’t get to sleep the other night and so resorted to flicking through last month’s UK issue: I find the pictures of semi-naked men’s perfect, sweating muscles and the droning narcissistic hypochondria of the copy in this notorious metromag strangely soothing. Then I happened across a five page cringemakingly earnest article about ‘heteropolitans’ (complete with […]