Dylan Jones: Will there ever be a male supermodel?

Click to follow
The Independent Online

To the Oxford Union then, for a fairly preposterous televised debate: "This house believes there will never be a male supermodel." I had been asked to speak against the motion, with Rachel Hunter speaking for it. The Hunter (as she's affectionately known in the magazine industry) is one of those rare creatures, a genuine supermodel who has remained relatively unaffected by the business; she's smart, funny and doesn't lord it over the help.

But seeing that the Union was full, and that I knew the reason it was full was because a small army of overawed adolescent boys had come along simply to gawp at my opponent, I had to treat her like any other foe. "People make cruel jokes about models," I began. "And that's right, I'm one of them.

"Question: What do you call a model with two brain cells? Answer: Pregnant.

"Question: What do you call it when a model dyes her hair brunette? Answer: Artificial intelligence.

"Question: Why do models have TGIF on their shoes? Answer: Toes Go In First."

Considering how fetching the Hunter looked (and given the looks on the boys' faces, she could have made them fetch anything from anywhere), I'm surprised my gags went down so well, but perhaps the throng wanted some hints on to how to successfully engage a woman most of them will only ever embrace in their dreams (and then possibly not in the most respectful of ways). Surprisingly, only one student had the gumption to ask her if she wanted to come back to his digs ("You know, you could, er, look at the clothes in my wardrobe or something. It's not far"). And, while the Hunter didn't exactly leap at the chance to wade gingerly through a bedroom no doubt full of unread text books, heavily scrutinised copies of "lads' mags" and unironed T-shirts, the way she dealt with the request (a polite smile rather than the expected guffaw) must have given the rest of the boys some faint glimmer of hope.

Having (rather pathetically) actually prepared for the debate, I set about trying to win. I bombarded the room with stats, giving percentages and retail sales with the sort of gusto and fulsome praise usually reserved for best man speeches (the UK ad-spend on male grooming has risen 130 per cent in five years; men's spending on fashion now stands at £7.33bn etc... Hey, wake up at the front!).

And, perhaps surprisingly, our team won the debate, although I like to think the outcome was sealed by my clincher: "If you think that people are cruel about models, they're even crueller about their male counterparts...

"Question: Why do male models wash their hair in the sink? Answer: That's where you're supposed to wash the vegetables."

Dylan Jones is the editor of GQ