Of course I immediately suspected the involvement of a new designer drug that renders gay, post-adolescent, gorgeous boys unable to realize that, at some point, a girl has crashed their little party and, after stripping down to nothing but her denim shorts and puka shell anklet, managed to tangle her body within the trio of stunning young men, each of whom resembles Freddy Prince Jr., only better looking. I mean, this girl is actually lying directly on top of one of the boys while another appears to be in the process of kissing her! I say "appears to be" since their lips aren't actually touching. So, they're either in the pre-kiss development stage, or the male model is trying to scream, in which case the scenario makes far more sense.
Most disturbing in the advertisement, though, is the third boy, lying by himself on the floor with his zipper halfway down, and being completely ignored. Allow me to say that again: the photograph clearly shows an angelic male model lying on the floor all by himself with his pants partially open. What has happened to common decency these days? Now, if I had been at that little party, you can bet I'd never have allowed such a flawless male specimen to just lay there half naked. No, I would have had the compassion to cover the poor guy even if it meant using my own body to do so. I'm a giver that way, always sacrificing for others. It's very rewarding.
Then it hit me. Since Out Magazine does not cater exclusively to gay men, it's only natural that a female would also be featured in the advertisement. Duh!
Out Magazine liberally focuses on the GLBT community, that being, as I understand it, the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered community. Therefore, I can only assume that the female model's presence is a possible attempt to avoid alienating lesbian or bisexual members of the GLBT population.
However, judging from their flawlessly vacuous expressions, the male models do not seem to be in any way enthusiastic about the potential bisexual component of their foursome. In fact, their collective body language suggests they've recently indulged in some bizarre recreational fad that likely involves inhaling diesel fumes while smoking asbestos. Quite an extreme method for getting through the day, I might note, but as we all know, modeling designer casual wear is a demanding occupation that could fatally tax the physical and emotional endurance of even the most intensely prepared professionals, including astronauts.
Still, glancing again at the advertisement, the boys' attitudes could be interpreted as totally indifferent to the advertiser's honorable intentions of incorporating a bisexual perspective. For all the male models appear to know, it could have been a hungry warthog that snuggled onto the sofa with them—which is an admittedly rare occurrence at most high-fashion photo sessions since the phacochoerus africanus require union tutors when they're on the set and are therefore not considered cost effective.
Additionally, I cannot ignore the fact that, even if the female had not been present, it's obvious the three male models were either too stoned or too stupid to grasp the concept that they would be enjoying each other's company far more efficiently—and I know this from personal experience—had they also, oh... removed their pants. Yes, the photograph is, after all, an advertisement for designer jeans, but the product could have just as easily been displayed in a number of other flattering positions, such as thrown artistically over an arm of the sofa or in an abstract jumble on the carpet—the labels being prominently displayed, of course.
To be completely fair, though, perhaps there's yet another way to view this photographic composition. For example, it could be that the female element was purposely included in the layout not as a bisexual feature, but simply in order to supply some generous plausible deniability to men and boys who may not yet be completely comfortable with their sexuality. In this sense, the design of the advertisement could simply be providing a face-saving component should a not-so-out-of-the-closet individual be unexpectedly observed viewing the image.
"Dude! Are you checking out that magazine ad, which clearly depicts a homoerotic composition of pretty young men in the throes of a sexually charged asbestos-smoking binge?"
"Uh... you've got it all wrong, man! I was only examining the topless chick with the strategically obscured bosoms."
"Oh, right! I can see that now. Look, she's wearing a puka shell anklet!"
"Golly. It sure is."
"Hey! Wanna wrestle?"
As I'm sure most people in the business of corporate advertising would assert, there are undoubtedly a lot of challenges innate to the promotion of products that might be equally desirable to homosexual as well as heterosexual consumers, and I have not even addressed the blatant lack of aspects that might encompass the sensibilities of lesbian and transgendered individuals—another hot-button issue, to be sure. The marketing professionals at Abercrombie & Fitch would, I'd imagine, be well aware of such conflicts of perception and, dare I suggest, might have been called upon to supply the designers of the Calvin Klein Jeans campaign with a few pointers. For instance, an assortment of brilliantly devised photographs produced by Abercrombie & Fitch manage to evoke an irrefutably sexual tone without even revealing whether the model is indeed a male or a female. The photographs depict shirtless models, true, but they're cropped from just above the stomach down to just above the knees. The models, judging from what is actually visible, are completely hairless thereby adequately providing plausible deniability only through the most subtle and respectable of measures.
"Dude, is that a dude?"
"Well... all I see is a tone and hairless midriff, which could be considered uncommon for a dude."
"Then it might not be a dude?"
"Awesome. Hey, wanna do some shopping?"
"Totally! I've been dying for a nice puka shell anklet."