May 11 - The Hunks
Our society’s increasing obsession with celebrity has been incessantly discussed, surveyed and analysed. Everyone has their own pet theories. One of mine is that, in a world where more of us are living in tightly packed cities with relative strangers, gossiping about the famous helps replace old-fashioned over-the-garden-fence conversations about our neighbours.
Journalists like me are often accused of fuelling the hype. It’s hard to plead “not guilty” to that. But others would argue that giving the public what they want – even if it’s a guilty pleasure – is our job, not to mention being a good way of keeping up circulations.
I also believe celebrity serves some deeper purposes for us. Trevor Wayne’s illustrations in this issue wittily combine different kinds of icons – Elvis and He-Man, for example – and remind me how celebrities can be a mirror for ourselves, our culture and our society. In 2011 fame is far more egalitarian than at any time in history. Gay and straight, black and white, posh and working class – the famous are ever more representative. And while most of us don’t have much in common with an A-lister’s lifestyle we may be able to associate with their background or character.
There’s plenty more visual stimulation to enjoy in this issue too. Our Hunks photospread may inspire you to get fit for summer or just make you move to Cornwall, sit on the beach and enjoy the view. By complete contrast the images of Mumbai’s masseurs are a touching reminder of how far gay liberation has to go.
Meanwhile we give you the top 10 talent from London Fashion Week, spend a night in an airport hotel unlike one you’ve ever seen before and even suggest a new treatment for the common cold. Altogether it should be more than enough to put a seasonal spring in your step.