The new Brawny Man

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Has anyone noticed the studly new Brawny man? This article in Slate drew my attention to the regime change in the paper goods aisle. Or should I say, the passing of the tiara? The Slate article spends a lot of time talking about how the Brawny mascot has been Queer-Eyed or some such nonsense and how housewives into romance novels are really into him.

Well, the last time I saw a romance novel the guy on the cover didn’t look like either of these Brawny men. He had long nelly flowing hair a la Fabio. Don’t people realize that the Brawny man is a big friend o’ Dorothy and always has been? It doesn’t take a bitch slap from Richard Simmons to figure that out.

The guy hasn’t been Queer-Eyed. In his time, the age of cocaine, Halston, and Studio 54, the old Brawny man was just as put together and groomed as this new Falcon Studios Mike Branson type appears today.

What interests me is the metamorphosis from 70’s Castro clone to Abercrombie Zombie. Everything about the old Brawny man — the Gap blue denim shirt, the perfectly groomed Magnum P.I. moustache, and the bleached, feathered, so West Hollywood hairstyle — is straight out of the Badlands Bar at 18th and Castro circa 1978.

Now, the new Brawny man is harder to call. Homos blend in more easily these days. You see, he wants you to think that he’s a character straight out of The Legend of the Great Moose, but rip off that plaid flannel shirt (and undershirt I might add) and you’ll find him sporting a freshly shaved chest and black gothic armband tattoo. Somebody’s ready to twirl off to the White Party in Palm Springs!

I do have a fondness for both these men though, power bottoms that they be. It’s very reassuring to know that by buying a paper towel that can stand up to the toughest spills I can also ensure that the male homosexual’s place in history is well documented.

Oh, looks like somebody’s getting jealous!

Posted March 26, 2004 at 5:00am ETC by Andy Towle
in Art and Design