I embarked on this post intending to make fun of that men’s magazine tic where superfluous naked ladies are tossed into photo shoots at random, like the female serving as decorative pillow in this GQ interior-design story. The light fixtures and textiles have proper names (“Kaiser Idell,” “Tolomeo,” “Coco Drum”), but who is this nameless woman in her underwear? Can she be purchased at ABC Carpet & Home? If the bedroom’s climate calls for a $6,860 blanket, should it not call for pants? “Your bed is not ‘where the magic happens,’” GQ writer Jon Wilde explains. “It is the visual centerpiece of the bedroom.” So what is this unexplained naked lady doing? Visual counterpoint? Nude landlord? Imprisoned for all eternity, like the woman in the moon?
But the more I stared at the unnamed naked lady in GQ’s bedroom, the more I came to like her. She is unapologetic, simply present. She is a little rude. “Hey, you oafs,” she says to GQ readers. “I’m here because you can’t be trusted to pay attention to anything if your penis is not engaged.” Just like how the readers of women’s magazines can’t be trusted to pay attention if our insecurities (Have you ever wondered if you’re “normal” about your pubic hair grooming habits?) are not engaged.