Ever wonder which celebrities are wearing which man purses? Ever wonder what random internet poll-clickers think of them?
AOL’s Entertainment News (“from People magazine”) is happy to help, by featuring a virtual man-purse fashion show: five photos of male celebrities and their bags. And readers get to vote: are the man bags hot or not?
And then there’s the curious spectacle of Robert Downey Jr., whose man purse seems less calculated to gather attention than the rest of his odd outfit, which includes a plaid hat and a striped sportcoat. Doesn’t he know stripes like that cause moire patterns in digital photos?
Yes, most of the votes are against the man purses. But there’s also a strange effect at work here. Those sly editors at People stacked the deck by arranging their purse pix from the absurd to the not-so-absurd. So that (as of this writing) fewer than a quarter of voters think Howard’s and Downey’s bags look good, and maybe only a few more like Kanye West’s dangling Louis Vuitton coin purse — but the numbers keep rising for each successive celebrity.
There are a few more votes for Seal (maybe because he’s glaring at the camera, daring you to say something bad about it), and then — what?
Hugh Jackman’s floppy shoulder bag gets a whopping 66 percent vote of approval. There’s nothing extraordinary about it, except maybe its placement after a series of slightly less conservative bags. The photo even shows he’s got what looks like a cell-phone holder awkwardly attached to the bag strap (maybe it’s clipped to his pants right above his groin, we can’t tell).
By the time they’ve seen photo after photo of man purses, most AOL voters, it seems, are convinced that . . . well, at least one is acceptable. Familiarity breeds some sort of public acceptance — at last.
It’s the story of the rise of the man purse, in microcosm: see enough of them and they stop seeming so strange. Eventually, you’ll say, “Okay, enough. This one looks fine. Now let’s get on with . . . the hat?”
Photo credits: Vince Bucci/Getty (Terrence Howard), Finalpixx (Robert Downey Jr.), O’Neill/White/INF (Kanye West), Ben Dome/Pacific Coast News (Seal), Humberto Carreno/Startraks (Hugh Jackman)
- Man Purses: Hot or Not? [AOL Entertainment News]
- The $15,000 man purse [The Satchel Pages]
- Hustle & Flow, clutch & go [The Satchel Pages]