Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

It Would Be Curious If Sales of Black Dolls Enjoyed a Boom This Christmas

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

It Would Be Curious If Sales of Black Dolls Enjoyed a Boom This Christmas

Article excerpt

Being gay isn't all snorting crystal meth and dancing to Kylie, you know. If only it was. Some of us are heartless, fickle and shallow, and that isn't the half of it. Our culture demands that we assess the desirability of every man we encounter and dismiss him the moment he fails to tally with our chosen fantasy. Those are the rules.


During the mid-Eighties I met a man at the Vauxhall Tavern in London whom I rather liked the look of. The shaved head and heavy eyelids spoke of rough sex and deep emotions, a heady mix if ever there was one. Weeks into our relationship, he told me he had leukaemia; the hairless head and haunted eyes were a result of chemotherapy he was undergoing. I couldn't help feeling duped. I'm afraid when the new baby hair began to sprout I called it off.

I rather indulged a gay friend's bad taste this week. For his 30th birthday, he said (being a Madonna devotee) he wanted a black baby, so I bought him a suitably dusky doll. He christened it "Baby David" and the spare room of his minimalist flat in Balham has been turned into "The Nursery".

It would be curious if sales of black dolls enjoyed a boom this Christmas. It's almost enough to make me wish I were heterosexual. Then I could stay at home eating food covered in breadcrumbs and wear cheap clothes bought from supermarkets. Bliss, if you can stand it.

Celebrities with distinctive voices can clean up at this time of the year doing voice-over work for TV ads. Obviously you have to enthuse about the product. I did one this week, although the script was originally written with another household name in mind. "We didn't use him in the end," explained one of the creatives, "because he smells."

I won't name and shame this person. After all, one celeb's personal problem is another celeb's gain. Then I realised there are several weeks left to Christmas, and they might be tempted to reconsider the competition. …

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