Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Homophobia in Men's Magazines

This is the new ad that 2(X)ist created for their new underwear that will be coming out soon and they tried to get the ad in Men’s Health Magazine and Details; however, both turned down the ad saying that it was too provocative. The ad will appear in the magazine Out, however. It’s interesting to see how magazines for men such as Men’s Health are still so homophobic that they are not willing to put men (though clearly fit) who are posing in only underwear; yet if this were to be a picture of a woman only wearing tiny underwear (such as the pictures in the “sex” section of nearly every issue) then it wouldn’t be an issue and the picture would be inserted into the magazine. I remember reading a study, done but a gay magazine, that looked at a number of “men’s magazines” and counted the number of the times the words “gay” and “homosexual” appeared. The results were very few of them used “queer words” unless they were magazines directed towards the gay community. Furthermore, Men’s Health Magazine didn’t use the words even once in a single issue. I think this is ironic considering that a fair chunk of subscribers and readers of Men’s Health Magazine (as well as other men’s fitness/health magazines) are gay men. I believe it could be argued that on average, gay men are more body image aware and concerned than hetero men, and so you would think that men’s magazine would try to make even a tiny effort to acknowledge this population of readers. Again, with athletes starting to “come out” while still playing their sport rather than only after they’ve retired, (such as Gareth Thomas) I again would think (and hope) that men’s magazines would realize that their magazines are STRAIGHT Men’s Health (or whatever the mag’s name is), but solely MEN’S Health – gay men are men just as much as their hetero counterparts. Hopefully soon men’s magazines will come out to realize this is 2010 and will catch up to the times and not try and closet many of their readers anymore.

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