And it was just as fabulous as you could imagine!
My lover and I were in San Francisco when I saw her eyes dance. I love her eyes, when they dance for me, but this morning they danced over my shoulder. What on earth could she be finding so mesmerising? I turned around, casually, and there, sipping a cappuccino, was San Francisco’s dreamboat mayor Gavin Newsom. His chestnut hair was slicked back without one strand out of place. His mouth, pulled into the perpetual smirk of the gorgeous, exhibited straight teeth white enough to light a boudoir. His jaw was chiseled from marble. Goddamn him. He was beautiful and I loathed him for it. His handsome, his beauty, had, almost instantly, undone the arrogant je ne sais quois that I most usually feel about myself. I find myself compelling. But confronted with her dancing eyes and his unquestionable gorgeousness I felt weak. I felt second tier. I felt I had lost my power.
I swallowed these feelings, agonisingly, and we went about our days with little mention of Gavin Newsom. I set about building myself up, internally, once again, and when he showed up in the newspaper I undermined him by telling my lover that with those looks and that political pedigree he was underperforming. He should be President of the United States not mayor of California’s third largest city.
Some time later, The Social Network came out and my lover’s eyes danced at Armie Hammer. He was even more stunning than Gavin Newsom, tall, patrician with the bluest blood and there was nothing I could say to undermine him. Nothing. I was back to the second tier. And I could no longer swallow these feelings.
Beauty is a son of a bitch. I could be good at many things, even great, but without exceptional, noticeable, defined handsome I would merely be a clanging gong. It all seemed so arbitrary. Talent and wealth are mostly earned, even if one’s parents are Olympic athletes. Beauty is given at birth. Dolled out by the gods.
Beauty certainly does not guarantee success. Many beautiful men grind at Starbucks. But when rich, talented men take their lovers to Starbucks their eyes, too, dance for the barista and their men are relegated to the second tier, even if momentarily. And what else is there besides being desired by all 100% of the time? Yes, there is talent, there is wealth, there is beauty. And of these three beauty is the greatest.
I had come to a definitive fork in the road and, as I saw it, three paths lay before me. I could give up entirely and no longer assume I was the greatest thing to ever walk the face of the earth. I could become grossly self-deprecating. I could become beautiful. I decided to become beautiful. And that meant I had to become a male model. I would be beautiful because I was a model, not necessarily a model because I was beautiful but this difference would be purely academic.
As arrogant as I am, I am fully aware that I am not classic male model material. I was born skinny, not thin, not trim. I was born with eye the color of a dirty swimming pool on a cloudy day. I was born not classic. Still, I am tall, I have hair, and I possess and unshakable belief that all things are possible to him that believeth. I sometimes even feel all my “shortcomings” might, if honed, if bent just right, if captured by Terry Richardson himself, might make me a very beautiful man. I sometimes feel I am the Big Bang. A cataclysmic, once in history event of dirty eyed, crooked nosed, tall tall awesome.
But how to become a male model? One very hot summer’s day, I walked from Manhattan’s Meatpacking District toward the downtown Ritz-Carlton. I was going to meet the owner of one of the most respected male model agencies. I was going to get famous.
The Ritz-Carlton doorman eyed me as I drifted past him into the cool of hackneyed decadence and the agent owner was waiting for me at the bar. He had a kind but business-first face and he looked over at me and I launched into my pitch.
“So, here it is. My lover thought that Gavin Newsom was too handsome and it upset me greatly and I’ve been thinking about male beauty and its relation to power ever since and I have decided that…”
He finished my thought. “That you want to become a male model and that you want me to represent you.”
“Yes” I answered. “I want to be famously beautiful. I want to discover, first hand, if there is really power in beauty. And I want to spite my lover for the Newsom incident and also the newer Armie Hammer incidents.”
He looked at me some more, this time carefully, and asked how tall I was. I replied I was 6’4″. He said that I was too tall. I was taken aback. Isn’t height the very building block of male beauty? He told me that 6’2″ is ideal and I said,
“Yes, I am 6’2.”
“No. You are 6’4.”
And kept looking carefully. Thankfully, he continued. “6’2” and a 31 inch waist.”
My waist was 31 inches! Usually! And I told him so.
He looked down and said, “You know, male models are winners of the genetic lottery. That’s it. And, don’t get me wrong, you are a good looking guy but…” I kept staring at him and kept a straight face but burned inside and thought, “I’m the Big Bang, motherfucker. I’ll show you and all your beauty industry cohorts that beauty can be willed!” Sensing my passion, or wanting me to leave, he cracked. “OK I’ll do it. I’ll help you.” I don’t know why he decided. Maybe he just wanted to send an “unusual taste” down the mineshaft. That is what he called me, an unusual taste, when I asked if I should get a nose job. “No no no no. No need. You have tattoos and a certain, whatever. Look. You will already be an unusual taste…” He then told me I had to gain 15 pounds of muscle, while studying my arms, and get my teeth whitened.
We parted ways and I was fifteen pounds of muscle, and a trip to the dentist, away from the start of an adventure.