Billy Eichner
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The Heteros Have Discovered Platinum Blonde

Zac Efron Chris Messina

A lot of straight men have recently discovered that blondes have more fun.

Zac Efron grabbed a lot of attention this week when he became the latest hetero star to make the brave decision to dye his hair platinum blonde. He debuted the look while promoting his new Ted Bundy film at the Sundance Film Festival and when asked if it was for a role, he responded heterosexually: “It’s just for life, bro.”

Deep.

But Efron’s not the only bleach blonde bro among us, either. As Page Six pointed out, more heteros have opted for the flaxen fantasy of late. There’s actual best “Hollywood Chris” Chris Messina, (my husband) Riz Ahmed, some guy named Jonah Hill, and rapper G-Eazy. And especially in the case of Efron and Messina, the blonde look has inspired a ton of online thirst.

On the other hand, people online have raised a very good point, which I will raise again: haven’t gays already been doing this? And more importantly, haven’t we been doing this and been made fun of it for it because it’s usually a bad choice?

Blonde hair in mainstream culture usually represents a kind of softness or innocence — think maidens, princesses. But “going blonde” for gays has a lot of cultural meaning around our own feelings regarding masculinity, femininity, age, attractiveness, etc. When Queer as Folk chose Justin as its twink-in-residence, it wasn’t just because he was young and small in stature. Justin is also the epitome of a "twink:" blonde, innocent, soft — (and white).

It’s almost the hair equivalent to the now-infamous (among the gays, at least) T Magazine piece, “Age of the Twink,” in which author Nick Haramis argues that the stereotypical twink body type of the gay world — slender and unassuming — is en vogue in mainstream culture because of its “anti-alpha softness,” as a sort of response to toxic masculinity. Now, Haramis is talking only about body here, but it’s same pattern isn’t it? Something with a lot of gay cultural meaning goes mainstream and is then kinda … not as meaningful. Or in this case, gets co-opted by straight men to make them look less awful.

Anyway, all this is just to say that, as usual gays did something first and the straights had to have their way with it. We had Drag Race. Y’all wanted Lip Sync Battle. We had harnesses, y'all wanted a red carpet accessory. We had RENT. Y’all wanted RENT live.

Get your own thing! And if you’re going to go blonde, do it after a breakup like the rest of us.

Related | The Harness Has Become the Hottest New Red Carpet Accessory

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