The latest episode of Bryan Safi’s video series That’s Gay pokes fun at the anti-sissyness that seems to be pervading television commercials for everything from light beer to Arby’s these days. “Just a couple of years ago, the metrosexual was king (or queen),” says Safi. “But now American advertisers have a clear, new message: ‘Masculinity is in crisis, so bring back the real men and smear those queers.'”
In response to the proliferation of metrosexuality in American media over the past decade, there certainly does appear to be a return to masculinity in male-targeted advertisements, but are these ads really anti-gay? Is this something gay men should take offense to? My first reaction is to say that anyone who takes offense to these commercials is simply lacking a healthy sense of humor, but at the same time, I understand the argument.
Tapping in to mens’ masculine sides by making more effeminate men the butt of the joke is nothing new, but does that make it okay? Safi’s social commentary, blithe as it may be, raises some interesting questions about our culture’s tendency to not only accept this practice, but to also find humor in it.