H&M Whittles Down Acceptable Body Types To Exactly One

I hope that years from now we’ll look back and laugh at the time when female clothing models were all expected to conform to a very narrow and specific range of body types. If so, we’ve got our punchline. This week, H&M has pushed this trend to the point of absurdity: Instead of accepting minor […]

On Lad Mags and Masculine Panic

Say this about lad mags: Their writing may be clunky and their attitude towards women troubling, but they do offer a fascinating window into a peculiar type of male anxiety. Take FHM‘s 2011 edition of their Sexiest Women in the World list. Over one million readers of the UK’s equivalent to Maxim voted to rank various […]

True Grit’s Ad Campaign Buries the Lead

The other night, I got to see an advance screening for the Coen brothers‘ latest, the revisionist Western True Grit. The movie was no Fargo or No Country For Old Men, but it was still predictably excellent. It also bore only the faintest resemblance to whatever commercial blockbuster this TV spot is supposed to be […]

Can Feminism Liberate Men?

Simone de Beauvoir famously wrote, “One is not born a woman, but becomes one.” The male corollary, a much older aphorism, is usually framed as an imperative: “Be a man.” Or its inverse: “Don’t be a pussy.” So what is a man? Don Draper is a man; James Bond is a man. We’re told pretty […]