Ashley Smith by Jason Lee Parry
Good for: channeling a This Is Engand aesthetic, embracing the idea of regular shoe polishing, looking like you work at a Doc Marten store, revealing ankle tattoos, leather jackets, The Old Blue Last, spontaneous acid trips, dating goth girls who are famous on tumblr, wearing with flannel shirts, listening to the Black Keys, exclusively smoking roll-ups, working for Vice magazine, getting a wet-shave at an old fashioned barbers, Glastonbury.
Bad for: developing immobilising blisters, EDL/Skinhead vibes, weddings, office parties, Christmas, meeting your girlfriend’s parents, restaurants other than Meat Liquor, engaging in serious political debates, cycling to work, wearing with chinos, mispronouncing Bon Iver as your claim them to be your favourite band.
Magazine covers are made with the specific intention to be judged. Months of effort are devoted to crafting its appeal so that you pick it up and have it proudly peeking out of your briefcase. So why did GQ’s latest edition fill me with a bleak sense of dread?
Can we, as a society, please try to reel in our nostalgia for the past? I am not suggesting that actors or musicians over a certain age need to be banished from our cultural gaze but can we not take stock from any of our current, (not necessarily younger) and probably more talented stars? The theme of the cover was ‘heroes’ and I found it depressing that the kind of heroes I am destined to look up to was limited to anachronistic womanizers, drug-riddled rock stars and Disney pirates. For the record Johnny Depp’s daughter goes to school about five miles from where I live and I can confirm that he dresses like a human dreamcatcher and it’s very unsettling.
Have Generation Y really bought so little to the table that we need to regurgitate black and white photos of John Lennon and the like for yet another cycle of idolisation? We should leave these images where they belong, in the quirky coffee table books sold at Urban Outfitters. I partially blame the musical stylings of Lana Del Rey for the collective #TBT vibe of the media. My generation was told from a very young age that we will grow up to be movie stars and rock gods and we will never be able to live up this if we don’t make some room.
Here are three cover ideas off the top of my head that I would like to see in lieu of desperate attempts to further recycle and glorify a part of history that I would like to stop reading about.
1) Dane DeHaan
Bafta-nominated actor currently filming a James Dean Biopic. Models for Prada. Annoyingly referred to as the ‘next James Dean’.
2) Ezra Miller
Bret Easton Ellis said that Ezra Miller was the future, and whilst I certainly take all of Bret Easton Ellis’ tweets with a pinch of coke I have to agree that his raw talent, acute social awareness and bold film choices are exciting to watch unfold. Strangely he also models for Prada.
3) Matthew Mcconaughey
Just over a year ago he would be up there with likes of Johnny Depp, receiving certified eye-rolls from me whilst standing at magazine stands. But he has shown us re-invention is possible for all of us by shedding a shit-load of weight, winning Oscars and co-starring in shows with Woody Harrelson. A True Hero.