Ten Annoying Things About “Esquire”

Ten Annoying Things About “Esquire”

1. The guys on Esquire‘s cover always seem to be actors. I have nothing against actors, but my level of interest in a detailed report on what Liam Neeson is doing and thinking these days is, and will always be, quite low.

2. Esquire tries to make me feel bad for not dressing fancy. I’m well aware that I could look so sharp if I just blah blah blah. Maybe someday I’ll dress fancy, but in the meantime, I don’t need a magazine to slap me across the face every page and tell me I’m a schlumpy schmo. And I’m never wearing goddamn wingtips.

3. Esquire‘s design and layout try too hard. Maybe KT Meaney is right that a redesign would make The New Yorker more functional and readable, but you know why The New Yorker doesn’t need a redesign? Because it doesn’t need a redesign. It’s confident that you’ve come for the content, and will stay for the content. Esquire is a magazine trying to look like a website for people who think they’re smart.

4. Esquire‘s attitude towards women is stupid. The ideal Esquire woman—of whom they have no problem digging up, or convincing us they’ve dug up, multiple specimens each issue—is both sexy and smart. Why can’t smart just be sexy? Why do Esquire men only want to hear your thoughts on contemporary fiction if you have a C-cup and a nice ass?

5. Esquire‘s ads are ridiculous. I don’t want to be a fighter pilot, nor do I want a watch like fighter pilots supposedly wear. I certainly do not want—this is an actual ad in the September 2011 issue—Ugg boots for men. I could not keep a straight face if I was wearing a fragrance called “Code.”

6. Esquire‘s handy-guide format is insufficiently ironic. If the Esquire editors don’t think I’m genuinely curious about how long I should wait to fall asleep after having sex, or about what phrases a man should never say, they’re not showing it.

7. Esquire just published photos of Ryan Gosling getting intimate with a woman body-painted as a skeleton. Isn’t there some kind of rule for men against being photographed wearing a tailored suit next to a naked woman who’s body-painted, lest you look like a skeeze? And if it’s an art-photography dramatization of one of your recent dreams, doesn’t that make you look like a pretentious skeeze?

8. Esquire covers cars. Meh.

9. Esquire says it’s optional, but acceptable, to put a penny in your penny loafer. I mean, I’m no fancy dresser, but…really?

10. Where the gays at? I’ve subscribed to Esquire for several months now, and I can’t recall seeing a single acknowledgement that gay exists. Ryan Gosling digitally replicated and leaning his head on his own shoulder doesn’t count.

Jay Gabler