A particularly fabulous book landed on my desk this afternoon. Gay Men Don’t Get Fat is the latest book by Simon Doonan, the longtime creative director at Barney’s, fashion columnist at Slate and author of several other books. I’ve been invited to breakfast with him tomorrow.
Although the title recalls the title of the popular diet book French Women Don’t Get Fat, Doonan’s book won’t tell you how to lose weight. Although Doonan finds French women to have much more in common with gay men than the ability to control their caloric intake, the book is really about how to enjoy the world like a fabulous gay man/French woman.
The book, of course, deals out stereotypes in a manner that’s sure to make a lot of people uncomfortable if not angry. You don’t have to Google far to find criticisms of the book from before it was even published. Although Doonan touches lightly on the sexual and social politics that make it less acceptable for homosexual men to be overweight or out of shape than straight men, the whole book is so tongue-in-cheek that such a criticism seems to miss the point of the book’s message. This is a book is about pairing floral prints and not caring what anyone thinks–regardless of your size.
Perhaps my conversation with Doonan will change my mind about all that, be sure to look out for the interview tomorrow. Now, what am I going to wear?
January 4th, 2012