There’s this fairly new website – to be rather honest we can’t tell if it’s new or not because these things pop up every other day including Christmas, but that’s an aside. The website’s called A Nasty Boy. Why anyone would fly that flag knowing full well that there’s the struggling company Nasty Gal is quite frankly beyond the edge of reason, but this is 2017. You can name your website/blog anything, it’s only the content that’s worthy of consideration.
For those of you who have never heard of it, its description reads like so…
“A Nasty Boy is a new radical and agenda-setting fashion publication based out of Lagos—Nigeria, with a rare ability to convey the raw energy of iconoclasm in African fashion, society and culture while staying true to mainstream — catching whiffs of the underground and turning them into brutal yet utterly honest editorial and visual content that glorifies the decadence of the millennial generation which are advancing new ideas inspired by those before and after them.”
There are a few problems with it and we’ll list them out because we’re feeling a little bit generous today. The 76 word behemoth of a sentence quite literally makes no sense. It’s surely rather reductive to insist that millennials are uniformly decadent and no matter how clever or how wide anyone’s vocabulary is, it is highly unlikely that anyone will look at the word, “iconoclasm” and smile. The paragraph fails to do what any self respecting description should do. After reading it, you do not know what it is that you’ve read, so one can safely assume that it’s for people of a particular persuasion that are far too clever for their own good. It’s just like the average Yoruba demon calling himself an extra-marital copulation adviser.
Out of the website’s 20 or so articles there are two that stand out. The first is a rambling interview with Bayo Oke-Lawal, the creative director of Orange Culture, which doesn’t seem to go anywhere or come from anywhere. And calling an interview with Bayo Oke-Lawal an exclusive is a stretch, he’s done so many interviews at this point, that it would be possible to construct one strictly based on the quotes of his that litter the internet. However, the pictures are fairly good.
The second is a visual essay called “Boys can be anything”.
The words that accompany it are as follows:
“Society has placed such a high value on masculinity that it has allowed hyper masculinity to thrive. As a major facet of hyper masculinity is the fear of sharing even the slightest bit of non-intimate closeness with other men at the fear of being labelled, many men have been boxed in the way they relate with their peers. In order to raise better, kinder men, the walls of masculinity and what it is to be a “man” must come down.”
After that you’d think what you were about to see would be something that would challenge all known notions of hyper-masculinity. A male nurse, a man breast feeding a baby through a pair of artificial breast, a male maid… the list could go on. However, that’s not the way A Nasty Boy sees it. The editorial challenged the idea of hyper-masculinity by posting 12 pictures of 3 very naked men. The question here is how does that challenge anything? It’s a glorified underwear advert, or an advert for the porn version of moonlight. And that’s no problem at all, naked men aren’t anything new. The issue here is that if you’re going to challenge the order of masculinity, then that is exactly what you should do. Don’t say one thing and then do another, it’s obscene.
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