Magazine article Out

Trender Bender

Magazine article Out

Trender Bender

Article excerpt

A NEW BOOK CONFIRMS OUR SUSPICIONS-THAT GAYS ACTUALLY ARE THE VANGUARD WE SAY WE ARE.

Recently, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a while. "Oh, my God!" he said urgently. "What are you going to do about your beard now that everyone has one?" If I were one of a handful of important trendsetters in the world, according to sociologist Henrik Vejlgaard's new book, Anatomy of a Trend (McGraw-Hill, $21.95), I would immediately shave.

Positing the theory that trends are a quantifiable sociological phenomenon, the Danish author and lecturer explains that successful ones (the Aeron chair, in-line skates, the faux-hawk) must get to savvy, powerful trendsetters (Hedi Slimane, Madonna, Alexander McQueen) who will serve them to the mainstream and then, when they see everyone else doing it, quickly move on.

But first the trend needs to germinate in important social circles, including-no surprise-in gay circles. Gently veering into stereotype, Vejlgaard explains that gay men are important trend-nurturers because we are "preoccupied with looks and style" and we tend to be "more emotional and empathetic," making us open to new things. …

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