Pool Boys And Window Dressing
by James Tuttle
It’s June in Los Angeles and that can mean only one thing. That’s right, it’s Gay Pool Party Season! This fascinating cultural phenomenon descends upon the city each year, raising funds for deserving charitable causes while providing an opportunity for fitness-obsessed homos to show off their abs when there are cameras around. The Equality California party went down a couple of weeks ago and the LAGLC’s sold out Poolwatch party in Bel Air is where you’ll find me on Saturday afternoon. As you probably know, this bunch is filled with early adopters so it’s a great time to witness the swimsuit trends that we covered a few weeks ago and to check out what the new ideal body looks like.
Yes, you heard that right. The body that we’re all working for has officially changed and, if you don’t believe it, just ask me. We’ve now moved decidedly away from the bulky bodybuilder physique that still holds most of the fitness industry in its grasp. It might seem odd that a stocky, bulging fireplug remains their ideal of male and even female fitness but the billions of dollars raked in each year by all the supplements, products, events and competitions that surround the bodybuilding business must make it hard for them to move on. Recently, even popular fitness model Max Wettstein came out in a courageous interview about the steroids and fakery that his industry continues to encourage.
At the risk of sounding crass, have you ever had sex with someone taking steroids? Didn’t it seem like a hot idea at the nightclub, with your shirts off and your ears ringing from the thumping beats and all those big muscles bulging out everywhere? Then you get home and things get a little intense and you suddenly realize where that strange, plastic-like smell has been coming from: HIM! Gross.
Outside of that weird bodybuilding bubble, our goal is now a leaner, more athletic body that looks like it was formed by activities other than sitting on a germ covered bench in a dark gym, grunting and pumping out bicep curls over and over again. You may have noticed more people leaving the 80 lb. dumbbells on the rack in favor of push-ups, pull-ups, planks and all kinds of organic-looking things. Bodyweight Exercise routines, TRX Suspension classes and Boot Camps are gaining popularity everywhere. I personally found a great weights-free routine in Details and added a minute of jumping rope between each set in order to efficiently kick my own ass in 25 minutes or less. That workout is here and a jump rope is ten bucks so you have absolutely no excuses.
Bodies that can row boats, run along beaches, jump and do other things that don’t require a membership and athlete’s foot medicine are now gaining the upper hand but, if you really think about it, Tarzan has always been way hotter than Superman.
In addition to the workouts, most of my trainers over the years have told me that the formula for a great physique is only 20% exercise. The remaining 80% is diet so you’d better put that damn donut down and step away. I don’t know how this magical balance was calculated but I do see people who work out constantly yet look much the same year after year. Do you think it might be what they’re eating?
“Daphne’s Window” by documentary filmmaker Brennan Stasiewicz features heiress and fashion icon Daphne Guinness and her own peculiar take on fashion and design. We are treated to intimate glimpses of her in her Fifth Avenue apartment as she prepares for her installation in a Barney’s New York window that included pieces by her friend, the late Alexander McQueen as well as some from the late Isabella Blow’s collection, purchased by Guinness last year. The climax of the installation is a performance art piece in which she dresses for the Met Ball in a lilac McQueen gown as crowds watch from the street.
The film is captivating and beautiful but I was surprised by how Guinness perceives our business. I have always thought of Fashion as a form of self-expression, a way of sharing one’s feelings about oneself and the world around us through the things we choose to put on our bodies. Guinness, who is surprisingly shy and introverted, on the other hand, uses Fashion as something to hide behind. I suppose it caught me a bit off guard that one who embraces and is so embraced by the fashion industry uses it, in part, as armor. In keeping with this theme, Guinness recently collaborated with London jeweler Shaun Leane on a gorgeous armor-like glove that is shown in the film.
A couple of great moments stood out for me while watching this short piece. During a montage of Daphne at a dressing table putting on wild hats and capes, we catch her furiously chewing gum and it’s wonderfully incongruous. Later, as she makes her way through Barney’s on her way to her window, the crowds and attention catch her off guard and she has to duck behind a doorway to catch her breath. I’m not sure why someone who is painfully introverted sits in the front row at Fashion Week, goes to all the most fabulous parties and gets dressed for a ball in the window of a New York department store but you’ve got to hand it to her. The bitch got style.
In the end, don’t worry about showing up over- or under-dressed. Just pretend that you’re going somewhere more important after.