Gay Men Don't Get Fat
Simon Doonan knows that when it comes to style, the gays are the chosen people. A second anthropological truth comes to him midway through a turkey burger with no bun, at an otherwise hetero barbecue: Do the straight people have any idea how many calories are in the guacamole? In this hilarious discourse on and guide to the well-lived life, Doonan goes far beyond the secrets to eating like the French—he proves that gay men really are French women, from their delight in fashion, to their brilliant choices in accessories and décor, to their awe-inspiring ability to limit calorie intake. A Gucci-wearing Margaret Mead at heart, Doonan offers his own inimitable life experiences and uncanny insights into makes gay people driven to live every day feeling their best, and proves that they have just as much—and possibly better—wisdom, advice, and inspiration beyond the same old diet and exercise tips.
So put down that bag of Pirate’s Booty and pick up this fierce and fabulous book. From slimming jaunts through Capri in the evening to an intrepid “Bear” hunt (if you have to ask, you have to read this book and find out for yourself), Gay Men Don’t Get Fat is the ultimate approach to a glamorous lifestyle—plus, you are guaranteed to laugh away the pounds!
Like many gays, I am a deeply spiritual person.
Forced from the confines of traditional religion by my faggotry, I have sallied forth and developed my own philosophy of life. I call it Go Go Fabulosity.
Here are the basic tenets.
I think of life as being like a disco cube. You climb on, you jiggle about a bit and eventually you fall off. It’s just not that complicated.
When you are young, you look pretty on your cube. Everyone likes pretty things. They show their appreciation by tucking dollar bills into your panties, metaphorically, of course. As you get older, you start to lose your looks.
Good-bye, looks! Nice knowing ya!
As your looks fade, the dollars turn to coins, and then to tomatoes. If you are lucky, you drop dead and fall off your cube before the tomatoes turn to rocks. C’est la vie! C’est la mort.
The possibility of extending this timeline so that you could stay on your disco cube simply never occurred to me. The notion of dimming the lights slightly, and going right on jiggling like an ingénue, was never part of my philosophy. And the notion of pruning off bits of yourself so that you could look younger and delude everyone into giving you more cube time seems quite sneaky and, dare I say it, ungodly.
The story of Max.
Like every gay man, Max is obsessed with lighting. Tweaking it, adjusting it, bathing in it and, most important, reducing it. When it comes to lighting, he is a latter-day Blanche DuBois.
Like Blanche, Max’s main goal in life is to minimize the glare so as to optimize whatever is left of his middle-aged flair. Like Blanche, he has even been known to throw a paper lantern or a peach-colored chiffon scarf over a lightbulb. Anything to flatter the visage!
Dimmer switches are his lifeblood. Max has always relied on the kindness of dimmers. Dimmers are to Max what red corpuscles are to other human beings. Every fixture in his domain is dimmed to a low level of melancholy glamour. Even the toaster has a dimmer. If Max was on life support, he would ask for those big hospital machines that go ping to be on a dimmer so that he could control his final fade to black.
Christmas Day, a couple of years back.
I call Max to wish him season’s greetings. His cell phone rings forever. I assume he has dimmed the lights to such an extent that his phone is unlocatable. This would not be the first time. Then he answers, sort of.
His speech is impaired. It almost sounds as if he has duct tape over his mouth. I assume he has been mugged by rough trade (again!). Should I call the police?
“I’m fine. I’m down in Brazil.”
“Xmas on the beach?”
“No. I’m in the hospital. I just had a face-lift.”
Max’s Christmas prezzie to himself was a cut-rate Brazilian makeover: an eye lift, a turkey wattle-ectomy, and a whole buttload of lipo.
To prove he is alive he has the nurse take a picture of him, waving from the bed. He sends it to me. It is terrifying.
Above the bed hangs a meager garland of tinsel, like those thin feather boas that Janis Joplin used to feature. Max is sporting a fetching floral surgical gown. On his head is a strange white plastic bonnet that recalls the 1960s futuristic creations designed by André Courrèges. The flawless white architecture of the bonnet contrasts dramatically with Max’s pulverized visage.
His face looks like a strawberry-blueberry fruit compote.
Merry fucking Christmas!
Max’s surgery is a wake-up call to me.<
I always thought that face-lifts were just for chicks. Heterosexual women, with their self-critical, masochistic age obsession, seemed more likely, much more likely, to submit to the knife. Straight broads are always looking for ways to tweak what God has given them, especially if it involves pain and parting with large quantities of dough.
In the past, a gal was happy to dollop a mittful of Pond’s Cold Cream onto her face and call it a day. Now she stops at nothing in her quest to look like a seventeen-year-old sexy siren: we’re talking lipo, skin peels, anal bleaching, fake boobs, vaginal rejuvenation.
But the gays? Did not see that one coming.
Why the blind spot?
Simply put: plastic surgery does not jive with my disco cube Go Go Fabulosity philosophy of life.
It all seems very counterintuitive to me. Why would you want to remain on your disco cube after your sell-by date has expired? How horrid to be stuck up there, all stretched and tortured, hoping nobody will notice your crepey old knees? How horrible to be so embalmed with fillers and Botox, and so sliced and diced, that you have to remain backlit 24/7 or people will just start screaming à la Freddy Krueger whenever they see your face?
I realize I am in the minority. The anti-aging movement has gone global. And now Max and the gays have leapt upon the bandwagon. I should have seen it coming. It was inevitable that my homo brothers, with their relentless focus on appearance, would start slicing and dicing.
Clearly, I can’t stop y’all from having a little work done but I can offer a few tips and a little cautionary advice: Before you buy that round-trip ticket to Rio, try adjusting your bathroom lighting. Max and Blanche DuBois, though clearly out of their minds, are onto something when it comes to lighting. Before you tweak your visage, tweak your wattage.
That critical moment every morning when you glue on your lashes and pop in your teeth can set the tone for the day.
If the face staring back in the mirror at you looks like Harry Dean Stanton, and you are a woman, then you may wish to pursue a new lighting strategy: Heat it up and dim it down. If the lighting is cold, then warm it up a bit. Your mot du jour is “peach.”
Regarding liposuction: Here’s a little-known fact, and a word of caution. Whether you are gay or straight, you have only a finite number of fat cells in your body. If, post-lipo, you eat your weight back on, the remaining un-lipoed cells will be obliged to expand. Max, an insatiable gourmand, has been back for more rounds of lipo. As a result, his fat cells, while fewer in number, are getting larger and larger. I imagine that by now they are each about the size of a Tic-Tac. If he keeps going back for more, the dwindling remaining cells will be obliged to further increase in size. They will soon become macaroon size, and then, ere long, bagel size. Eventually, if he keeps up the lipo/gorging cycle, he will have only one remaining fat cell, and it will be the size of the Anish Kapoor bean in Chicago.
Regarding eye lifts: An extraordinary realization hit me while vacationing last summer. There I was, sitting on my deck out in Shelter Island, enjoying a bit of global warming and cruising my new favorite website, menwholooklikeoldlesbians.blogspot.com.
Yes, I was chuckling, but I was also looking for answers. What exactly was making geezers like Jon Voight and Bruce Jenner look so much like old lesbians and, more important, how could I avoid it?
Just as my vexations were reaching a peak, my pal Vickie, a lesbian landscape designer, dropped by to fill me in on the prognosis of a white pine that has been looking a bit peaky of late.
As soon as she had finished opining on my pine, I lobbed the question du jour: “You are a gay woman: Can you please tell me what it is about George Steinbrenner, Tony Curtis and Roy Orbison that makes them look so sapphic and sisterly?”
“It’s really quite obvious,” she replied, in a why-are-gay- women-so-much-smarter-than-their-male-equivalents kind of a way, “it’s the eye lift!”
I realized instantly that—by Georgette!—Vickie was on to something. A pudgy older guy, or gay, with decreasing testosterone already looks a tad femmy, but the eye lift is the coup de gràce. Anytime an older dude gets a little up-tuck he immediately joins the sisters over in Carpet Village.<
And what, you may well ask, is so terrible about looking like an old lesbian. Okay. Nothing. Nada. There’s nothing wrong with looking as if you are riding a one-way ticket to the end of the line and the last stop is the Dinah Shore Open. Absolutely nothing. If Al Gore gets an eye lift and turns into Rosie O’Donnell, then so what? I merely wanted you to be aware that this was a distinct possibility. That’s all.
Regarding your post-surgery recovery period: Don’t be rash with your cash. Max and my other pals who went to Latin America in order to stretch their dollars, and their faces, all came back broke. Those cut-rate face-lifts were a triumph. However, the money my homos saved on surgery they quickly splurged on the godlike “escorts” they encountered on Ipanema beach.
One final chilling thought before you sally forth into the land of rusty scalpels, potential bacterial infections, Lisa Rinna lip re-dos, unblinking cobralike Cher eyes, Madonna masks, frozen Kid- man foreheads, inflated porno hooters, frozen rigor-mortis smiles and Faye Dunaway fillers:
Keep your expectations in the basement.
An eminent plastic surgeon of my acquaintance always warns his clients to minimize their post-surgical hopes and dreams. To illustrate his point, he tells the cautionary tale of a client named Muriel.
Muriel scrimped and saved for her surgery. She even set aside money for a new wardrobe and a post-op recuperation vacation. When Muriel returned from the Seychelles, she felt reborn. Sun-kissed and rejuvenated, she headed home for Thanksgiving. This would be the grande voilà! This would be the first day of the rest of her life!
She timed her arrival so that her entire family would already be seated. As she walked up the driveway, she braced herself for a ticker-tape welcome. The finale of American Idol was spooling through her head. Tears. Confetti. A heartfelt toast to the reborn Muriel. Maybe even a prayer!
“Where the fuck have you been?”
“Sit next to Uncle Clyde! And give him some more black-eyed peas.”
“Pass the gravy, Muriel . . . and smile for chrissakes!”
“What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?”
The moral of the story: always carry a large “before” picture to family functions."[D]eliciously mischievous wit...Doonan is the David Sedaris of the style universe."
-Christopher Muther, The Boston Globe
"Dining with Mr. Doonan is like lunching with the "Jersey Shore"-era grandnephew of Oscar Wilde....there are times when his thoughts on the sexual orientation of food can be unexpectedly eye-opening."
-Jeff Gordinier, The New York Times
"Blisteringly funny ... [Doonan] dishes on everything from the sartorial to the sensationalist."
"Simon Doonan is one funny gay nugget."
"If I were really short, gay, and way funnier than I am now, I would try to pass myself off as Simon Doonan."
"The most un-tragic book about being gay ever written."
"Simon writes like a lethal combo of Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker. I laughed so hard while reading this book that I split my Spanx."
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