The Prime Minister, Mr Albanese, and I came out last month as proud metrosexuals. That’s what the “M” in LGBTQIAM+ stands for. We don’t have a flag yet but we do have a metrosexual sticker with grey, black and red stripes. The sticker will soon evolve to a pride flag. I expect Mr Albanese during press conferences will backdrop this flag alongside his First Nations, Torres Strait and gay pride flags, with the Australian flag still visible on the left of the row.
You ask, “What’s a metrosexual?” It means a man not afraid to show his feminine side, and, says wiki, “who is especially meticulous about his grooming and appearance, typically spending a significant amount of time and money on shopping.” We metrosexuals use moisturisers a lot and have become, as wiki says, “an advertiser’s walking wet dream.”
The first, or ur-metrosexual was New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath, who posed for a Hanes Beautymist pantyhose ad, wearing the product, in 1973. The voiceover: “This commercial will prove to the women of America that Beautymist pantyhose can make any leg look like a million dollars.”
In the case of Mr Albanese, he likes to sport black leather Comfort Craftsman boots costing $649. He eclipses Victoria’s perpetual Premier Dan Andrews’ North Face jacket with his own Burberry beige cotton gaberdine car coat at $3890. After such an outlay he shows real class by not even wearing it – instead using his right forefinger to hook the trophy-wear casually over his shoulder.
I didn’t realise my bond with the PM until a week ago when, shamefully clad in dressing gown and ugg boots, I collected The Australian off my driveway. It came bundled with a glossy 108-page edition of GQ, known as the holy text of woke capital. I threw The Australian aside and feasted my eyes on the cover shot of fellow metrosexual and GQ Man of the Year Murray Bartlett. Murray, from my home town of Fremantle, is the actor who plays Armond, the manager of Hawaiian resort The White Lotus (on Binge).
En route to this cover story on page 50, I was held up admiring the GQ ads. Up front was a double-page spread of a young blond man dressed in a Gucci suit with a huge trolley bearing 18 Gucci suitcases. He is pushing it through a foot of wavelets, with foam breaking almost to the thighs of his Gucci pants. I calculate that if each bag contains 14kg of Gucci gear, that’s close to a 300kg load (gross) that Mr Young Blonde is hefting through the spray. Why? We metrosexuals just enjoy a challenge.
I began flicking past several pages of beautifully clad but pouting male models and George Clooney (Omega). I had to halt at another double-page spread featuring a giant naked black man on a sofa, every finger encrusted with jewels and every muscle a-ripple, plus a six-pack to die for. Dolce & Gabbana had arranged an appropriately large cloth to cover his lower mid-section. I thought such images lapsed after the movie Mandingo (1975) but what would I know?
In GQ’s cover story (page 50), one learns that hotel manager Murray aka Armond is infuriated with an obnoxious rich roomster. (The filming was done at Four Seasons Maui, which in real life charges $A2900 to $A37,000 a night). While the guest is out, Armond does a poo in the guest’s suitcase. Murray tells GQ, “This character fully follows through on their (sic) intention and that’s just a beautiful thing to play as an actor.”
The Murray Bartlett interview was a treat and White Lotus deserved its ten Emmy’s despite being so long-winded.
The four-page spread on Mr Albanese, who is GQ’s Politician of the Year, starts on page 66. It includes 10 photos with the PM re-configured as a clothes horse. He’s styled by an Emma Kalfus in all the finery (Boss mostly) that any metrosexual could desire. Still, he never made the GQ cover, unlike Malcolm Turnbull in 2015 beneath the headline, “Primed Minister”.
Interviewed, Albo lets us know that deep down, he hasn’t shed his grungy rock-band T-shirts and old jeans. People think he’s changed but it’s just that he’s stopped eating pizzas, got fitter and lost weight. He had his favorite suit taken in and he wore it on election night.
For the sartorial splendour of the GQ profile, he’s donned threads costing in total $6,439, including Boss $24 socks (but excluding any jocks he might be wearing). Not sure what predecessor Ben Chifley would make of that: Ben’s real jobs on the way up included cashier’s assistant in a general store, railways shopboy, cleaner, fireman and at 24, the youngest first-class loco driver in the NSW railways. Albo’s world of work other than politics: zero.
To ensure lashings of gravitas, and not just Boss blitz and beautiful boots, Albo’s interview is by famed pundit Peter van Onselen (what’s GQ pay per 1000 words and where do I apply?) PVO calls Albanese a gent who “is arguably the most socially progressive leader our country has ever had” – that sounds ominous. He’s also “an idealogue with a passion for social justice”. Albo doesn’t beat around the bush – by just the second question from oracular Onselen, he discloses that he became PM after growing up in council housing. His memory of growing up in council housing stops his fame going to his head, we’re told. Has he ever mentioned the council housing previously?
By Question 4, he is regretting that some of the “good work” done by the “good governments” of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard was undone because the deeds weren’t entrenched, so he wants to make all his reforms well entrenched and preferably permanent.
“Our agenda is very clear: action on climate change [which won’t make the slightest difference to the climate, just ask China], action on gender-based inequality [federal equal opportunity laws date from 1984], making sure that living standards are addressed [has anyone checked their renewables-laden electricity bill lately?] including lifting wages, and having a national anti-corruption commission [which should start with a hard look at predecessor Bob Hawke].” Onselen wheels out the tired old politicians’ meme:
Albanese is “determined to put the adversarial politics of recent years behind us. He senses that Australians are sick and tired of the constant fighting in Canberra, instead wanting to see a more collaborative form of decision-making that avoids all the shouting…If our new PM truly can change the adversarial political culture, expect to read about him again on these pages in the years ahead.”
Biden began his presidency saying much the same and now calls anyone opposing his agenda a traitor. My own wish is for more, not less, adversarial politics. Could we please have an Opposition willing to oppose Albanese and his state allies taking away our petrol cars; taking our gas-fired heating off us; taking our red meat off us; taking our cheap electricity off us; and taking our total fossil-fuel-powered prosperity off us.
Ah well, if Albanese is going to put the boots in, at least they’re $649 black leather Comfort Craftsmen’s. No metrosexual is all bad.
Tony Thomas’s latest book from Connor Court is now available: Anthem of the Unwoke – Yep! The other lot’s gone bonkers. For a copy ($A35 including postage), email email@example.com.
 GQ editors in 2018 ran a list of what they called 21 over-rated books by white male authors including the Bible, which was “repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned…. some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced.”
 Only leftist tribesmen get to be GQ men of the year, for example Gough Whitlam, Turnbull, Waleed Aly and Stan Grant.
 I don’t want to steal Albo’s thunder, but I grew up in a Fremantle converted air force fibro shacktown called Mulberry Farm, and we finally got a new but badly-built government house in Willagee. Willagee is notorious for the David and Catherine Birnie couple who killed four women in Moorhouse St., a few blocks from my childhood home in Garling Street. Like Albo, I deserve a sympathy card.