Today I am so pleased to welcome Dal Maclean to Joyfully Jay. Dal Maclean has come to talk to us about her latest release, Object of Desire. She has also brought along copies to give away. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Remember that old adage- Don’t put your daughter on the stage? For my new book ‘Object of Desire’ I dug into the world of male modeling and at the end of it, I think I’d probably be advising “don’t put your son into modeling’. I had no idea just how much men are second-class citizens in the modeling world and the psychology behind that.
Female modeling can become a superstar occupation. The first wave of supermodels like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Cindy Crawford are still big names, and newer models are building their own empires and worldwide celebrity —Giselle Bundchen, Ariana Lima, Karlie Kloss, Cara Delivigne. Plus there are the celebrities who model like Kendall Jenner and the Hadids.
But male models? Male supermodels do exist but it’s like a different plane. Modeling is one of the only occupations where men and women can do basically the same job, but men are paid vastly less than women. The top ten best-paid models in the world are all women. This year the top female model, Giselle Bundchen earned over $30 million. The top male model, Sean O Pry, got around $1.5 million.
It’s true that there are many fewer jobs for male models than female. Women have more fashion and beauty magazines to fill, more fashion weeks to walk, lingerie, makeup, more interest still, in appearance in general.
But its more than that. Giselle has 14.5 million Instagram followers; David Gandy has one of the biggest Instagram followings of any (non-readymade-celebrity) male model at 859K. Those stats as much as earnings tell the story of the differing attitude of the public to male and female models. Of how men as an audience, have a different relationship with models to women do.
Lots of women like to follow female models lives on SM and celebrity sites they way they might do singers or female actors – as something aspirational. They’re interested in their lives, their fashion, their beauty tips.
Men, it seems, look at male models as animated hangers for the clothes they’re advertising. They don’t want to emulate them; they don’t admire them for what they’re doing; they’re not interested in who male models are as people. There’s something in the attitude of men – and some women — to the exploitation of beauty to make a living. It seems as fine for women, but for other men? Men may look up to sports stars, singers, sometimes actors. But not models. And it seems women must have similar ambivalent attitudes to male models.
As a society, we admire men who DO things. And increasingly fame matters. Which means companies more and more hire sportsmen, singers, actors, SM stars for top campaigns that once might have gone to male models.
That attitude can also impact the psyche of male models themselves. It seems a number of them can begin to struggle in the job after a while…. It’s definitely work for any model, male or female- to keep in shape, to fight the rest of the pack, to endure multiple rejections and an unforgiving industry. But, it’s also a passive occupation. Models are set dressing a lot of their time and their opinions are generally not required. That takes a particular kind of personality to endure. And male models must be aware of the lack respect they get in general from other men (and some women)
In Object of Desire, I’ve actually given Tom Gray a much easier ride in his career than most male models get. He gets huge success pretty much instantaneously. Most male models start in debt to their agencies and are paid so little for establishing jobs, even ones that look big, that the debt grows rather than clears. And remember the growing competition from male celebrities who use modeling campaigns as a lucrative sideline. And their kids.
All this sounds universally grim, but there will always be boys trying to get into an occupation that looks glamorous, a route to beautiful girls or men, and easy money. But its really not easy money.
Tom Gray is one of the world’s top models–an effortless object of desire. Self-contained, elusive and always in control, he’s accustomed to living life entirely on his own terms. But when Tom comes under suspicion in the gory death of his employer, his world spirals into chaos.
Someone’s framing him. Someone’s stalking him. And as old secrets come to light, Tom finds his adversary always one step ahead.
Will Foster is the only man Tom trusts to help. But Tom brutally burned all bridges between them two years before, and Will paid a bitter price. If he wants to survive, Tom must prove his innocence to Will–and to the world.
Dal Maclean comes from Scotland. Her background is in journalism, and she has an undying passion for history, the more gossipy and scandalous the better. Dal has lived in Asia and worked all over the world, but home is now the UK. She dislikes the Tragic Gay trope, but loves imperfect characters and genuine emotional conflict in romantic fiction. As an author, and a reader, she believes it’s worth a bit of work to reach a happy ending. Agatha Christie, English gardens and ill-advised cocktails are three fatal weaknesses, though not usually at the same time.
Her first book, “Bitter Legacy”, was a 2017 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for best Gay Mystery and was chosen by the American Libraries Association for their 2018 Over The Rainbow Recommended Books List.
- Personal Website: www.dalmaclean.com
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15408926.Dal_Maclean
- Twitter: @MacleanDal
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Dal-Maclean/100010371585020
- Instagram: dalmaclean
Dal has brought three copies of Object of Desire to give away to three lucky readers. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Saturday, May 26th at 11:59 pm ET.
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