NPR interviewed Pete Wentz about the way he challenges traditional notions of gender and he’s made more noteworthy comments about his own personal proximity to homosexuality.
The thing is, when you look at what he’s talking about in addressing the issue, everything just comes right on back to marketability.
The film he made a while back for People Magazine about how he wears eyeliner but he calls it “guyliner” because guys have to smudge their makeup rather than have it look perfect (so, what – he’d wear badly blended foundation?) is completely about re-naming eyeliner so it’s not culturally threatening to men who might be drawn to him as fans. “Hey guys, eyeliner is for girls and I wear eyeliner but if we call it “guyliner” it means I’m still in charge because I’m a guy.”
This rhetoric and speculation about his sexuality is no different. While it’s intriguing and essentially admirable that he’s talking openly about something at all, the whole sexually ambivalent/vagueness thing is entirely about cornering a certain market in the industry of desire.
Sure he’s covered in tattoos and considers himself a trainwreck of sorts. He’s a crafted emo character. It doesn’t change the fact that he’s dating Ashlee Simpson, one of the most culturally generic LA produced Barbie doll closet Republicans in recent history. It’s only been since she started dating him that she began regularly visiting the East Village for street cred.
Pete Wentz is totally successful at being what he needs to be for commercial reasons but it doesn’t mean that character goes any deeper than some mid-range moisturizer would permeate his epidermis.
Speaking of Pete Wentz, here’s his recent sex based music video or whatever it is. I half expected the scene to break to an CGI island landscape with floating ribbon and a slim, urn like bottle floating above the moonlit water it looks so much like an ad for a fragrance.