Archive for April, 2008

Since the dawn of second wave feminism and the civil rights movement, queer people (much like other marginalized groups) have learned to question the popular media around them. Queer people have collectively realized that those with control over what we see and hear never have the best interests of disenfranchised and minority people in mind.

As a result, queer people find themselves constantly having to evaluate whether or not the media they absorb is in reality damaging to their community. Since few gay specific media resources critically analyze much of anything besides resort towns and fashion (future post), queers are forced to turn to non-queer specific magazines such as Adbusters  and Bitch (Fig A.).

Anthropologists studying queer culture have discovered a common trend in which queer people are most critical of the pop culture entertainment that they most enjoy to view.

Tyra Banks of Top ModelAn excellent example of this is the popular television show “America’s Next Top Model”. All queer people watch and enjoy this show as a general rule. The frequency with which queers watch this show is only challenged by the frequency with which they ask, “Tyra Banks: feminist triumph or feminist failure?” (Fig. B)

It is important to remember that the motivation behind this analysis is based as much in the need for cultural checks and balances as it is in the very singular desire to alleviate personal guilt over the conflict between belief and action. (power sentence!!) Queer people love to hate on the stuff they love (future post), and feminist/leftist belief systems simply provide a way in which to do this intellectually. Thus, queer people are given yet another way to take the moral high ground over heterosexuals (whoa, another future post!) without having to actually sacrifice any form of “status quo” entertainment absorbtion. Queers will defend this lifestyle contradiction by simply stating that they only watch trash in order to critique it.





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After several months of research, a recent study was finally released that officially stated what many had assumed for years: at any given point in time, roughly 80% of queers have identical haircuts. Though it is not known what the exact root of this phenomena is, many anthropologists have hypothesized that it may be an evolutionary trick developed to aid queers in spotting each other in a crowd.

Several researchers have also hypothesized that similiar haircuts are simply an advanced form of queer merging (future post). For those new to studying queer culture, merging is the queer term for the common practice of queer couples becoming more and more visually similar the longer they remain coupled. Many anthropologist’s have wondered, “If two queer people in close proximity over time begin to physically appear the same, why not entire cultures of queers?”


Since the turn of the century, numerous queer haircuts have come in and out of popularity. From roughly 2000-2003, the faux-hawk was quite popular (fig. A). It was eventually phased out by queers when it was adopted by heterosexual male clubbers and American Idol contestants. The next style largely adopted by queers appeared from 2004-2007 in the form of the fashion mullet (fig. B), which only recently fell out of style, as a result of Christian Siriano’s appearance on the TV show Project Runway, which was when the style officially “jumped the shark” . The newest (and tamest) development in queer hairstyles emerged in late 2007, and is called the side sweep (fig. C). Little is known of it’s origins so far.

When examining these styles along a timeline of their popularity, a trend seems to emerge. Queer haircuts expand and become more severe, until they eventually (and quite literally) collapse on themselves. Fashion mullets are simply extreme versions of faux-hawks. And what is a side sweep but simply a flattenned and deflated fashion mullet? Anthropologists studying these trends have predicted that the next evolutionary step will most likely be something “puffy” (fig. D), and is expected to arrive by summer 2009.



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