February 14, 2008
More than just a pretty face?
Posted by: Chris
There's a cute story out by Christopher Sandlin in Edge Boston about the Mr. Gay International competition that quotes yours truly, who you may recall posted a rather catty opinion about the contest when the winner was first announced. The headline asks, "Is Mr. Gay International more than just a pretty face?"
Not surprisingly, winner Carlos Melia from Argentina sees the contest as a meaningful attempt to pick the hottie who does the most for his country. (Carlos' travel agency donates 1% a month to charity. That's called micro-tithing, I think.)
My quotation was (predictably) a bit more skeptical:
The Mr. Gay International contest is, in one sense, a creative excuse to show off hot gay guys from different countries, the same as any pageant. Living in both Brazil and Argentina during the preliminaries of the competition, I saw a mixed reaction.
Some people seemed to take genuine pride in a representative of their country and gay community going to compete internationally. That was more the case in Brazil, in both São Paulo and Rio. In Buenos Aires, on the other hand, most guys seemed to think it reinforced why they don’t associate with 'the gay scene' anyway, because it is (in their view) superficial and obsessed with looks.
The story also looked into the "controversy" over Melia's 11th hour substitution for Jorge Schmeda, who it was discovered has done gay porn:
"I'm not concerned about what people do for career choice," said Josh Robers, America’s contestant in the competition. "But I’m not sure I’d want an adult film actor representing our culture. What we’re trying to do is break stereotypes, present a positive image to the community. Frankly I’m not sure if an adult film actor is the right image."
The article doesn't indicate Robers' profession, but no sooner than Melia took the crown than he posed nude himself (link semi-NSFW) for a Swedish magazine. Apparently the pageant is about more than a pretty face; it's about having a pretty body, too.
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