As someone who is not only the world's biggest fan of Arrested Development (seriously, try me) but who has also dreamed of going on a date with Jason Schwartzman since his Rushmore and Phantom Planet days, I am struggling with this photo:
The male leads in the upcoming Scott Pilgrim vs. the World—Jason Schwartzman, Michael Cera, and Chris Evans—appear pantless in a fashion spread in this month's GQ. While the concept behind the shoot (that it's hot in the summer and therefore we should go without pants on Saturdays) could be clever, the above photo is clear and present street harassment. Also, why are the women wearing pants if it's Pantless Saturday? I guess that particular choice is reserved only for the "gentlemen" of Gentleman's Quarterly?
To be fair, a few of the other photos in the spread are pretty funny (because, hey, doing everyday stuff that does not involve harassing women without pants on is kinda funny). In the photo to the right, Schwartzman and Cera are shopping at Prada and Ralph Lauren whilst "Porky-Pigging it" (a new verb I just learned that means letting your junk hang out—gross, yes, but oh-so-fitting). That's clever, because those stores are known for being "classy" and going pantless is known for being "not classy." Irreverence. Wackiness. Check and check.
The remaining photos in the spread depict similar quotidian activities made funny by the absence of pants/underwear. (BTW, why is no underwear allowed on Pantless Saturdays? so many questions...) Chris Evans rides the subway, Michael Cera does tricks on a bicycle, and Jason Schwartzman does a little Tai Chi. Not sure these nudie shots are effectively selling clothes, per se, but they are getting the humor of Pantless Saturdays across.
The first pic, however, is not funny for the same reason. Street harassment is a real problem, and street harassment that involves flashing is a real problem as well. Turning it into a joke-y fashion spread (and make no mistake that this is a fashion spread—Schwartzman's jacket in that photo retails for $1,972) just encourages readers to laugh at a serious issue. Would we be expected to crack up similarly if the men in the shot weren't such safe-seeming, "aw shucks" white guys? Probably not, because if the models shown more closely matched our idea of what a "dangerous" guy looks like (older, scruffier, darker, uglier) the skeeviness of the scene would become that much more apparent and that much less hilarious.
So, even though there's a part of me that still wants to go on a date with Jason Schwartzman (the Max Fischer version, not this pantless one) I'd say that this photo belongs in a Hollaback photo spread, not in one for GQ. Your thoughts?