Tom Ford has encountered yet another speed bump in his lifelong quest to make the world okay with male nudity. For the spring/summer issue of Britain’s GQ Style, he wrote an impassioned essay questioning why exposed penises seem to be the last taboo. “As much as I’ve tried, it has been consistently harder to get images of nude men onto magazine pages and billboards than it has nude women,” he wrote. “There’s a double standard at play here: magazines that are happy to fund ads featuring an artfully-lit female nude will balk at an image of her male counterpart.” So imagine Ford’s surprise when he picked up a copy of his essay and the photo spread he’d directed in GQ Style to discover artfully placed blocks of text on every photo. “They censored all the penises!” he told us at the CFDA awards on Monday. “I was really pissed off about that. That wasn’t why I got [involved]. It was supposed to be full-frontal male nudity, which was the way we shot it, and then the magazine censored all that!” If it were up to Ford, no body part would be off-limits in an ad campaign or editorial. “Not if I can get away with it,” he said. “Because I find the human body beautiful. I don’t find sex objectionable. Violence is objectionable.” And in the meantime, he’ll have to stick to designing clothes for the one man he knows who is truly comfortable in his own skin. “Me! Me. I am my own muse.” —Jada Yuan
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