Please enjoy this excerpt from my tell-all memoirs, Going Vogue: An American Life, about my recent failed attempt to win a certain prestigious position in the public eye.
I’m a straight shooter from up north. I’d lived a simple life dedicated to faith, family values and eradicatin’ the g’s from verbs. But my world changed forever when I was approached to run for People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.
What followed is a blur. Within days, I found myself caught up in the whirlwind of a national campaign. I was in pursuit of an office that had been held by George Clooney (twice), Jude Law (once) and Nick Nolte (an accounting error). I was standing before thousands of people—and, doggone it, I was wearing short shorts.
But from the start, forces conspired to undermine my candidacy. Some claimed that I wasn’t “qualified” to be Sexiest Man Alive. They pointed to my lack of a cohesive policy agenda and my 30 lb. of belly fat. But these were elites caught up in the conventional idea of what made someone sexy enough to serve. Neither I nor my thick, thick unibrow had any intention of playing by their rules.
Thankfully, I was supported in my candidacy by my spouse and our 17 children, each of them named after a Batman sound effect. I’ll never forget when we took a family vote over whether I should run. “Do it,” Biff said. “Go for it,” agreed the twins, Pow and Oof. (The moment was spoiled when our oldest daughter revealed she was pregnant by the town halfwit. How could you be so careless, Thwack?)
The elites wouldn’t let up. They criticized me for lacking foreign experience despite a) the grainy YouTube video that clearly shows me Frenching that chick, and b) my Brazilian wax. And let’s not forget where I was raised! Growing up, I could walk out my front door, stand on my porch and—off in the distance—see Fabio’s house. (Fabio has been a notorious threat to American sexy ever since he was found to be in the pocket of the powerful spandex lobby.)
When that kerfuffle didn’t sink my candidacy, the elites made a fuss about my wardrobe. They couldn’t get enough of the fact that I spent $150,000 on billowy white shirts that do up only to the navel. But that wasn’t my fault! Those shirts were picked out by someone on the campaign, or possibly a pirate. I can’t be held responsible for things just because they involve me and I have responsibility for them.
Some say the turning point of the race came when I was interviewed by Katie Couric and couldn’t name a single brand of skin bronzer. But that wasn’t my fault! All she did was ask questions! Body scrubs. Tank tops. My college flirtation with the ThighMaster. And to think I only did the interview because I felt sorry for Couric, who was surrounded by such a lack of sexiness, what with her being on the same network as Andy Rooney’s eyebrows.
But when I look back, I don’t blame Katie Couric. I know that the real weight of responsibility must fall on . . . Hugh Jackman, the 2008 Sexiest Man Alive. None of this was my fault! I was burned by my ties to the Jackman administration, which had led America into two costly wars (against mullets and back fat) and a sensuality recession that had dropped the United States to 17th in the world in Gross Domestic Sexiness—making this our least sexy period since 1986’s catastrophic parachute-pants trend. I also blame my strategists for agreeing to a pout-off. My campaign never recovered from that sprained lip.
Eventually, the damage was done. My rival began pulling away in the polls. The media elites had fallen in love with his oratorical skills and taut buttocks. They reported his agenda glowingly, even when the policies were totally unfeasible. I mean—a national moustache amnesty? Sure, in a perfect world I too would love to give every male American $1,000 to trade in his unappealing facial hair. But we’d be bankrupt before we got out of Minnesota.
As I write this, His Sexcellency Johnny Depp has just delivered his inaugural address (to two lingerie models in the back seat of a Hummer). But I have grave doubts he’ll be able to stem the tide of non-sexiness that is spreading across the United States in the form of thunder thighs, camouflage fleece and Jack Black.
The elites can elitify all they wanted. I’m in touch with what real Americans find sexy. And believe me: real Americans don’t want anything to do with a three-day waiting period for a Baconator.
When the time comes to choose the next Sexiest Man Alive, the elites will once again tell you I’m not fit to serve owing to my insular world view, stunted intelligence and copious back hair. But this isn’t about them. It’s about you. It’s about you taking back this important office. Most important, it’s about me finding a way to blame you if I lose again.