So GQ’s newish editor in chief, Will Welch, is taking a crack at overhauling our benighted gender, presenting an issue in which, as he puts it, “traditional notions of masculinity are being challenged” and “overturned.” In doing so, he holds, we can be more generous, empathetic humans, even to ourselves, since “toxicity simply cannot thrive in the golden presence of genuine self-love.” Tell that to Harvey Weinstein, who allegedly “self-loved” into a potted plant in front of one of his trapped victims.
For those curious to see just how much American masculinity is shifting — at least at Condé Nast headquarters in Manhattan — the trouble starts on the cover, in which the singer Pharrell Williams sports a canary-yellow, high-fashion Moncler sleeping-bag-as-gown, looking like Cinderella going to the Dick’s Sporting Goods ball. From there, “The Glorious Now of Men in Makeup” spread is little surprise, with lacquered-up boy-banders, models and influencers dispensing invaluable beauty pointers, such as Gen Z trans model Casil McArthur, who advises going with “mascara and lip tint. If I want to be extra, I’ll incorporate intense sparkles.”
It’s difficult to envision the guys down at the tackle shop or Tractor Supply going in for sleeping-bag couture and hot makeup tips. But then, they’re the Old Man, the kind of man the new masculinity seeks to leave behind.