July 11, 2010

Dear Teen Vogue: Gay Guys Are Not An Accessory.

From the article:
Reasons that the straight girl-gay guy relationship works so well both on- and offscreen can range drastically. But according to Jennifer Gray, Ph.D., a New York City psychologist who focuses on issues pertaining to human sexuality, it's hard to find a female high school or college student who hasn't experienced drama with a frenemy at one point or another. "Friendships between girls are often fraught with competition, whether it's over looks, weight, boyfriends, or clothes," she explains.

"But there is little underlying competition between young women and gay guys, which can often make for a stronger, more trusting relationship." Gray says it can also be hard for many girls, particularly ones in high school, to have platonic relationships with heterosexual guys. "A lot of teenagers don't feel comfortable around members of the opposite sex, and the friendships can get complicated," she says. "It can also be hard to have a friend relationship at that age without one person developing some kind of feelings for the other."

Teen Vogue Quiz Results!
-1 for a psychologist using the hipper-than-thou portmanteau word, "frenemy."
-5,478 for implying that straight girls can't be friends with other girls or even straight guys, because girls "need" that non-competitive clause.
-1,111,920,399,848,58 for working my nerves by being this stupid and declaring gay guys a must-have accessory. Seriously? Are we going back to slavery here? Because if people can be accessories, it must be okay to own them, too.

:excessive temper:
If only it were April 1. If only there was the possibility that they weren't seriously urging girls to go out and "get" a Johnny Weir lookalike bestie to match their Blackberry.

Seriously, Teen Vogue. You're turning my stomach, here. Do yourselves a favor: listen to Aretha. The word is R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And you need some.

Hat tip to Salon.com


Sarah Stevenson said...

Argh. In addition to relegating gay teen guys to accessory status, this gives so little credit to teen girls, as if their motivations for friendship were completely homogeneous. But mainstream teen magazines often focus on what they think "most teens" are like, or want to be like.

And don't even get me started on the whole "frenemy" thing.

On a tangential note, though, how adorable is Johnny Weir? Seriously.

tanita✿davis said...

Okay, we're totally ruining our credibility here. We don't DO adorable here, missy.

Okay, he has purty eyelashes.

True - most teen magazines try to appeal to the "common denominator" teen, which means that if you're not into what's in the mag, you feel a little more off than you might have already. Yay for making everyone feel bad about being an individual! Woot!


Sarah Stevenson said...

We don't do adorable? When we spent so much time swooning over Mr. Landy? Uh-uh. :)

But, yeah...it kind of feels like mainstream teen magazines have gotten worse, in some ways, at promoting individuality. That's a generalization, of course, but I think it tends to be the case.

Anonymous said...

Haven't read the article, but I would venture to say that friendship can be complicated at any age, with same-sex or opposite-sex friends, of any sexual orientation. Because we're talking about human relationships, emotions, and expectations.

tanita✿davis said...

EXACTLY, writerjenn. And it's beyond lame to simplify it to the point that "if you want to be IN get a gay best friend."

Even if he's as adorable as some among us consider Johnny Weir :cough:, he may still be a butthead. People are just people, and we can't define them by their inability to present a competition conflict to us in terms of friendships.