Is the gay community looks and body-obsessed? Do we value physical perfection above all else? It’s something I’ve always taken with a pinch of salt.
Yes, I’m fixated with my hair and would prefer a six-pack to a no-pack – but beyond that, the stereotype simply does not apply to me, or most of the gay men I know.
I’m too easily distracted to focus on my appearance, or the appearances of others, for long. And I find exercise boring (cycling’s OK, because the risk of an accident keeps my mind stimulated).
Plus, I fancy wildly-different looking men: from the Ken doll fantasy to my local Turkish shopkeeper to Kit Harrington, Frank Ocean, Chris O’Dowd, Ricky Martin, Idris Elba, Chris Brown, Seth Rogen, a 71-year-old Sam Elliott and – oh good lord – Giles Coren.
I always assumed most of my peers felt similarly. And to be honest, I believe on the whole, they do.
But then, one day, I stumbled across Scruff’s ‘Most Woof’d Guys’ feature and what I saw shocked me. Every guy looked exactly the same.
As I type, all of the 16 most globally-desired guys on the app are white, topless, tattooed men with muscles like tumours. All are pulling, in my opinion, hilariously unconvincing masculine poses. Of course, several have shoehorned ‘XL’ or ‘XXL’ into their profile names.
You might say: who is he to judge? (For the record, I think they’re all attractive for the most part). But whether or not they’re hot isn’t my point: it’s the fact they’re all near-identical that scares me.
How did it get to this? Yes, the gay media plays its part – here at Gay Star News, we try to celebrate different kinds of guys as much as possible, but we don’t always get it right.
However, Logo’s upcoming Lance Bass-fronted and as-of-yet unnamed reality series, believed to be a gay version of The Bachelor, takes things too far. Potentially.
If it follows past templates, it’ll see a bunch of gay guys compete for the affections of the show’s leading man – reportedly the devastatingly beautiful interior designer Robert Sepúlveda Jr, whose fantastical Instagram feed makes me feel fat, ugly, poor and terribly dressed all at once.
Île Saint-Honorat uninhabited until Saint Honoratus founded a monastery on it at around the year 410 AD and home to the Cistercian monks ever since who care for the vineyards and olive trees. A peaceful and serene place to enjoy a relaxing afternoon. #cannes2016 #cannes #frenchrivera #urbanexplorer #lifeincolor #historylesson #France #ruins
Before I continue, let’s get this out the way: I haven’t seen the show. For all I know it could completely defy my expectations and be as playful, ironic and subversive as many of its Logo stablemates.
What’s more, as Sepúlveda’s involvement has been unconfirmed, it would hardly be fair to criticise him.
My problem is with the show’s premise, which has already been widely dismissed as sexist, misogynistic, and all-round gross. I’m not sure if the removal of gender from the equation makes it worse, or simply equally abhorrent.
How will this elusive bachelor be selected? The decision is totally arbitrary. Or will it be scientific, based on the symmetry of his face? The width of his shoulders? The length of his dick? The size of his wallet? The spectacle of his arrogance?
And that’s just where the judgement begins – week-in, week-out, he’ll be deciding who’s sexy, who’s not sexy. It’s one man’s perusal of Grindr come to life. And it’ll influence others.
Being at best the boy next door, at worst a distant relative of Jabba the Hutt, I for one wouldn’t last a single episode. But then again, I would never sign up for such basic, discriminatory tripe.
I understand why a show like this has come to exist. There’s a demand for it. I’ve no doubt we’ll be covering it on Gay Star News plenty. And every time it comes up in conversation I’m going to have to swallow my bitterness, because I reluctantly admit, it’ll probably be immensely entertaining.
But I still won’t be tuning in. The idea of competitive seduction as entertainment or sport makes me feel sick, and honestly? There’s enough of that going on in real life.