Robin Givhan On Male Models, “aesthetics,” And Diversity

September 4, 2014

When New York Fashion Week begins Thursday, two masculine archetypes will be engaged in a lively debate on the subject of manliness: what is beloved and what is rebuked; what is romanticized and what is demonized; what is hot and what is not.

One of these guys is beanpole skinny. He isn’t classically handsome. He might simply be an odd duck — someone with a perfectly imperfect face that is impossible to ignore. His longtime dominance of the fashion conversation is being challenged by the return of a man with muscles and swagger who exists in a cloud of intoxicating testosterone.

If these two extremes have anything in common, it is this: Both types are white. After so many years, that remains the default choice.

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