Last week, the GQ Men of the Year Awards took place in a glittering ceremony in London where 20 men and one woman received awards. Really TWENTY men? Are you sure? Wasn’t it just a Kim Kardashian West show? We also had the unnerving news that 101 celebrities (not Dalmatians) had their phones hacked and all their secret naked selfies posted onto the internet. Sorry that should read 101 female celebrities. 101 unsuspecting alpha females and not one single man in that list. Bless them, there must be one bloke out there hoping that his secret knob shots will end up online. Alas the hackers were not interested in R-Patz and co sans pants, they were interested in Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna and co but not a single naked man to be seen. Neither it would seem were the media that any men had turned up at the GQ Men of The Year Awards – it was awash online with news of Cara Delevingne, Rita Ora and of course Kim Kardashian West on the red carpet, what they were wearing, who fell over whom. I could not help but wonder, where have all the men gone? Apart from Tony Blair, who created his own controversy through securing an award for philanthropy – that garnered a few headlines in all the wrong places.
It’s not that we should feel sorry for men. I mean they have their fingers on the control panels of the majority of the industries in the world. Leading the way (in the majority of cases) in politics, sport, business, and so on. But in show business marketing, the GQ Awards really needed those women to be there to secure those column inches, and there is seemingly less allure of the naked male. The hackers were not interested in the iPhone/iCloud accounts of Leonardo DiCaprio, David Beckham, Tom Cruise, Gerard Butler and so on. In an effort to level the playing field CotillionGirlsComedy are even those calling for women to learn how to hack in this satirical video in an effort to see Ryan Gosling in the nude. The key message from is that there are not enough women in Silicon Valley – so women must learn to hack, how to code and build apps to act as men do. But remember kids, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Why are men so marginalised by the marketing side of the show business industry? Even GQ magazine has chosen to pop a half-naked Kardashian on the cover, as the Daily Mail is beside itself to share with us. But that is only actually half the story, because if you actually check the GQ website, you’ll find out that there are several covers dedicated to different winners from the evening (whilst the men presumably are wearing their Hugo Boss sponsored suits) . Can you imagine GQ trying to sell that into the Daily Mail?
‘So yah we have some GREAT pics of Cumberbatch in a suit – do you want the exclusive?’
‘Err, kind of like he looks all the time? Nah you’re alright.’
‘Ok, what about Kim Kardashian in nothing but a pout and a bedsheet?’ ‘Ooh that could work, how naked are we talking?’
By using Kim Kardashian, sorry, by honouring/paying for Kim Kardashian to receive an award, GQ in return got themselves a really big splash. I totally get that we are the ones CLICKING on the story. I wouldn’t mind betting they’ve printed more Kardashian covers than any of the others, but men just really are missing their moments in the media. Kanye is a mere accessory to Kardashian in this instance. Our continuing need to gaze on women is all consuming to the industry. So even when events are about men, for business reasons we’re inserting women into the mix regardless. It is tricky territory for GQ, they’ve seen the demise of their fellow men’s magazine Nuts. It is a business at the end of the day and women are willing to try and wear something hotter, shorter, ‘Kim Kardashian’s most revealing red carpet dress ever’ whereas men quite resolutely stick to the suit. A designer suit, one in grey, or black or navy. To my knowledge, no man has ever turned up in nothing but a couple of sequins, or showing a bit of side knob (sorry I jest). Is this stopping them excelling in the headlines? Could a pair of boxers encrusted in diamonds and flashing lights help? Brad Pitt could totally secure the headlines with that bad boy! And speaking of the Pitt/Jolie wedding, did you clock those covers? More of an Angelina cover than a marriage. On both of Hello! And The People we have Jolie in her wedding dress taking up three quarters of the cover, Brad, this is BRAD HUNKY AWARD WINNING ACTOR, gets a little shot on the side with his bride. More obsessed with the dress than the story.
In all honesty though, we are all responsible for the world we are creating. Believe it or not, the Daily Mail will be checking their analytics. ‘Yes Jennifer Lawrence naked pictures post beat the story on terrorism’ or such the like. Meaning that no matter what is going on, those slightly ridiculous stories on ‘female celebrity steps out in a dress’ will continue to flourish. The only way to stop this is to:
- Stop buying media that supports these stories
- Stop clicking on stories about women’s ass/thighs/bikini pics – just flipping stop it (check my PR Dictionary for the definition on ‘Click-Baiting’)
But since we’re all seemingly obsessed with looking at women, clicking on women, talking about women, writing about women, are women on top in terms of the pay scales? Robert Downey Junior tops the actors list on Forbes raking in an impressive $75 million per year, Sandra Bullock is top of the actress list making $51million for 2014. Think how many more times you are likely to see a huge splash of a woman in her red carpet dress than the guy in his suit. Jennifer Lawrence took home $34 million last year, but overall we’ve read more about her life/love life etc etc than her male equivalent Christian Bale who pulls in $35 million. Isn’t it interesting that women can’t achieve the same pay cheque as men? They get these great parts, show more flesh, pull in those extra headlines through those brightly coloured sparkling dresses, fill those cinema seats. But alas, not fill their bank account as much as the male equivalent. And the man, what if he’s just dying for some attention, what if he’d like us to question his love life, ask him when he might have kids, if he’s met the one, if he thinks he has cellulite?
As we gear up for another season of X Factor and the Cheryl/Mel B what are they wearing saga and the ‘which hot woman is performing a scorching salsa’ on Strictly storyline, perhaps it is time to pay a little more attention to what we choose to lead or illustrate our show business stories. Why we choose to gaze on women rather that share the spotlight equally. Whilst everyone is still enjoying a voyeuristic look at women (whether perving or comparing) we’re all missing a few hours of our lives that we could be getting back. Men and women, think of all the things you could be achieving if you spent a little less time focusing on celebrities.
Read Next – Interview with GQ’s Editor Dylan Jones