Arms: BLACK PANTHERS
Personality: POTENTIALLY BLAH?
Distinguishing features: GAME CHANGER
Attainability: AVAILABLE? HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO?
For me, growing up as a white kid meant that there was no shortage of white superhero films to watch (even if they were all fucking men). It took aeons for a mainstream studio to make an incredible movie with an almost entirely black cast; systemic racism is all too real, yo. Anyway, on its release, Black Panther blew the competition out of the water making Marvel a SHIT ton of money (which is all that matters in Hollywood, let’s face it) and giving millions of little children of colour a cast of fucking badass characters (especially the women! Hoo boy!) to aspire to. Am I right when I say that Michael B. Jordan stole the film with probably one of the most outrageously sexual baddies to ever grace the screen?! FUCK. But Chadders here, as the eponymous hero T’Challa, is a game changer, a record breaker, a worthy entry into the WOULD Hall of Fame: the first globally and critically successful black superhero. May he be merely the first of many. There’s a lot of catching up to do.
Face: CHRISTIAN BALE IF HE WERE AN ANGEL
Body: AVOCADO ADVOCATE
Arms: GENTLY RIPPED
Distinguishing features: HANDY WITH A CANAPÉ
Attainability: HAS AN INCREDIBLY GORGEOUS BOYFRIEND
I can’t hold out any longer. I didn’t want to be one of those sad little hags who gushes endlessly over the Queer Eye guys and constantly wishes I were their friend, but I absolutely love all of them and I fucking do want to be their friend. They’re all absolutely LOVELY and I just can’t decide who is my favourite, because they are all my favourites, and if you follow all of them (separately) on Instagram you’ll know that their loveliness is the real deal. However, Antoni is a goddam honey and he looks like a movie star: just the right about of naive prepster, but the knowing smile of a man who knows exactly what his worth is. He is frickin’ gorgeous, with those fluffy puppy eyes and the slightly wonky smile. I love that in the opening sequence to Queer Eye he’s the whitest dancer by far, but still somehow comes across like an adorable goof as opposed to a desperately unsexy frat boy. His gentle demeanour and non-judgmental attitude made him the perfect choice to help clueless straight dudes sort their fucking lives out. I wish he’d sort my life out. And my vagina. WHAT.
(For Doron: thirst trapped, but happy. Xx)
Face: DISNEY’S ALADDIN
Arms: CRISS CROSS
Distinguishing features: PACKING IT
Attainability: FUCK IT. GIRLFRIEND
I mean, if you’re gonna be shot in the face by someone…….right?! Listen gurrrl, I got this. Darren Criss in a pink Floridian bedroom gyrating to Easy Lover in a tiny pair of salmon-hued Speedos is nowhere near the campest thing to happen in The Assassination of Gianni Versace, but it’s certainly one of the fucking sexiest. Although compact and lithe, Criss packs a surprisingly considerable load in the genital region and it has not gone unnoticed: not by me, not by the millions of gays who’d like to Welcome to Miami and Bienvenido a Miamiiiiii. He’s smart, he’s woke, and he’s well aware that his privilege needs to be kept in check; qualities that mean his straightness doesn’t seem to have annoyed anyone who generally believes that queer roles should go to queer actors. He’s respectful and open, and he champions LGBTQ+ art and performance at every given opportunity. He’s the cis boy we need in these times of toxic masculinity, and the salmon Speedos are merely our reward for having to deal with Trump and Putin and all those other absolute dickheads.
(For Joe: your type is practically written in the Rosetta Stone; and for Jim: you know a good dancer when you see one. Xx)
Body: I MEAN…
Personality: PROBABLY THE KINDEST MAN EVER
Distinguishing features: ACTIVIST EXTRAORDINAIRE
Attainability: TOO BUSY
For those of you who haven’t yet watched the new series of Queer Eye on Netflix, do yourselves a favour and wrap yourselves up in a comforter of kindness, revel in the raucous joy, and marvel at the gentleness of five strangers who are about to become huge household names. Rebooting the original, Emmy Award-winning show for a slightly more woke audience, this time around the “Fab Five” are not just outwardly improving the men they’ve been nominated to help, but also helping them deeply examine parts of their lives or psyches that require a firm nudge in the right direction. I love them all, but my personal favourite is Karamo – ostensibly in charge of “culture” – but really in charge of being the kindest, most patient, least judgemental, and most supportive beautiful man I have encountered in YEARS. As well as literally looking like an actual fucking angel, he is a social worker, an LGBTQ rights activist, runs a support group for HIV & AIDS positive men of colour, is a single father to two sons, and I think he’s genuinely caused my boyfriend to seriously question his own sexuality. I’m telling you now, if he left me for Karamo I would fucking SUPPORT THE SHIT OUT OF THAT.
(For all fans of Culture. Xx)
To learn more about what Karamo does, check out his HIV awareness organisation here.
Face: DARK ANGEL
Arms: HEINZ SPAGHETTI
Distinguishing features: ASCENDING STAR
Attainability: SINGLEEEEEEEEEEEEE WOOO!
Every once in a while an actor appears – seemingly out of nowhere – whose talent is so exquisite, so heavenly, that you feel actual chills up your spine at the immediate understanding that they are going to end up being one of the hugest stars of their generation. For me, Timothée represents the type of budding hopefulness that we are all desperately craving to see right now. He’s smart, and kind, and eager to learn. He’s beautiful, but (crucially) not too beautiful, and he’s already choosing roles that have predetermined his legacy: his virtuoso, Oscar nominated performance in the sumptuously gorgeous Call Me By Your Name is so heartbreakingly perfect that I’m still thinking about it six months after first seeing the film. His shrewdness belies his callow youthfulness, and it’s no stretch whatsoever to predict that he’ll be appearing in some incredibly fine movies in the years to come. Also, in ten years time he is gonna be REALLY fucking sexual . . . and I cannot wait.
(For Sharmila: carry on, creepazoid. Xxx)
Distinguishing features: TENACITY OF A BLOODHOUND
Attainability: POSSIBLE BOYFRIEND?
Rapidly running out of fucking options for this blog, I thought long and hard about the men who are risking their careers or reputations in order to fight for the right for abused women to be heard. Given that there are approximately three of these men globally it wasn’t too difficult to focus on the consistently incredible Ronan Farrow, a man whose dogged and diligently researched expose on Harvey Weinstein in The New Yorker helped to topple the seemingly firmly cemented Hollywood House of Cards built on sexual abuse and rampant misogyny. A fiercely, frighteningly intelligent and audacious young man, Farrow has reported tenaciously on this topic for almost two years. In these perilous times for the media, he is a solid voice of conviction and a truly empathetic female ally. The fact that he looks like a sapphire-eyed cherub is merely a bonus. Hopefully, the careers of e.g. the repulsive Woody Allen and Roman Polanski will soon finally receive the death knell that they deserve. And when they do, we will have Ronan to thank for kicking away that first card.
Face: DEFTLY HEWN
Body: BIG (FOR YOUR BOOTS….AND HIS)
Distinguishing features: GRIMY
Attainability: MIGHT BE WORTH TWEETING HIM
Nothing brings me greater joy than knowing that there are fiercely intelligent, articulate, humble, kind, and fucking inspiring blokes like this to give the British youth something – anything – to cling on to in these desperately depressing days. Whilst Grime as a musical genre has almost entirely passed me by (I’m a white 37 year old woman, it’s not being made for the likes of me) it excites me to think that artists like Stormzy are vanguards of such a special tidal wave of creativity. Astute enough to recognise when his previously held opinions needed to evolve, he’s taken steps to learn, and listen, and learn some more. Politically vocal and a clear voice of reason for many, in my eyes Stormzy is a true modern day icon. He’s been on my list for a long, long time, but his genuinely altruistic act of kindness this week pushed him to the top. Long may he reign as the King of Grime.