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Is Todrick Hall’s New Spoof “Mean Boyz” Offensive To Feminine Gays?

Out YouTube sensation Todrick Hall is known for his creative and clever viral video parodies, and his newest one may just be the gayest yet.

In Mean Boyz based on, duh, the 2004 Lindsay Lohan classic Mean Girls (yes, it’s a classic), the gender roles are flipped, with the “plastics” becoming the bitchy, swishy “Ken dolls.”

And, yes, we also know that this was previously covered here at Queerty.

However, Slate magazine writer J. Bryan Lowder finds Mean Boyz well, a little bit mean to our less traditionally masculine gays, and his thoughts are intriguing. On the parody, he writes:

“Mean Boyz” feels cold. As far as I can tell, all of the humor in the video is predicated on how queeny the popular gay trio is, as compared to the corn-fed, relatively butch stand-in for Lindsay Lohan. Add that to the fact that the only real changes to the Mean Girls script are the substitution of a “Shade Book” for that film’s “Burn Book” and the introduction of “bottom,” and it seems like this “parody” hardly qualifies for that title. “Subversive” is out of the question.

Indeed, what’s accomplished, comically or otherwise, by replacing prissy straight girls with prissy gay dudes? The former are perhaps annoying but generally tolerated, while the latter are consistently maligned and attacked, often as much within the LGBTQ community as outside it.

We were fully prepared to hate it before watching (and loving) it, but it’s definitely fair to say that a lot of the humor does derive from feminine gay stereotypes.

But, seriously, who hasn’t met a Ken doll?

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19 Comments

  • zaneymcbanes

    It uses stereotypes, yes, but so does Mean Girls. The whole point of that movie is looking at and subverting stereotypes. I thought a great deal of the humor in the video derived from the idea of what high school stereotypes would look like in a gay majority environment.

    A quick read through on Mr. Lowder’s piece, I thought the video had that “loving nuance” quality that he found in the Beauty and the Beat video, and I agree with him on that. I thought Mean Boyz didn’t settle for easy stereotypes and went for (intentionally and lovingly hyperbolized) specifics.

  • Sobretodo

    Wait, we can’t laugh at Chris Crocker’s intentional bufoonery anymore? That’s not even the gayest he’s ever looked. Broad comedy is crude and goes for the easy jokes, but that doesn’t mean it’s mean-spirited or offensive. I personally didn’t care for the video, but I definitely sent it to younger gays who give a damn about Mean Girls and they found it hilarious. if people like it and it doesn’t hurt anybody, can’t we just let sissies sachay around for their and others’ enjoyment?

  • Trent T

    I think it is hilarious. They don’t turn a butch boy into a queen girl. In the movie, they get a girl who dresses like a tomboy in the beginning and turn her into a prissy girl. In this case, they get an average guy and put him in prissy clothing. Yes, I believe our community is way to hard on queenie gays, but this is not one of those. This is someone who can’t take a joke.

  • litper

    As a gay man who likes men I find feminine “men” repulsive.

  • Scribe38

    @litper: I use to think like you and then I grew the f*ck up. I realized that I was the issue. I didn’t want to hang with fem gays because it outed me. I got over my sh*t and I suggest you get over yours. Every one has a type. Personally you repulse me, but I am kind enough to shut up about it. ;)

  • litper

    @Scribe38: I find women repulsive too, sexually; it doesn’t mean I think of them as of lesser people. Or you suggest people should “give up” their sexual preferences?

  • Scribe38

    @litper: you don’t use the word “repulsive” to any group of people without meaning to offend that group. You could have had your preference without typing a word, but instead chose to bring a little ugliness into the world.

  • Charlie in Charge

    It’s hard to have fun with feminine guys in a sketch and not have it read as hateful but this one does it just about right. Usually in anti-fem humor you have masculine guys astonished or freaked out by queeny behavior. Here a somewhat swishy guy is put off by how superficial the guys seem to be. The goth friend isn’t macho and neither is the jock. It’s fun, we can, I hope we can still laugh at ourselves.

  • J4M1E_M

    If these actors themselves were “corn-fed” and “relatively butch” I might agree that this video could come from a place of mockery and may therefore be harmful or offensive. But Todrick hall is a performer and a personality who never shies away from his inherent masculinity OR femininity. He and Chris Crocker as well are modern and genuine enough to understand that playing up one doesn’t invalidate the other or lock them into one mode of behavior. Feminine or masculine are just expressions. Actors tap into feelings and aspects of themselves in order to inform their portrayals. I see these unapologetic performances as acknowledgment of facets of their own personalities, and none of the MEN in this video seem to have any shame for having them. I think thats pretty great. I think the only way one can really find such overt femininity offensive is if they themselves have a negative view of male femininity. And if anything is “repulsive” here it is that kind of bigotry.

  • Ottoman

    To me, the performances are sufficiently over the top and well crafted that the audience should generally be laughing with them and not at them. I liked it, but Hall’s Mean Gurlz is still way, way better.

  • AuntieChrist

    @Scribe38: Back in the day we called the butch boys clones, need I say more..? I have never belonged to the gay (He man woman haters club.)As a boy growing up I was called a sissy and that was the least of many slurs that I had to endure…Some feminine gays adopt an affectation as a sort of defense I think..The problem with getting in touch with your feminine nature is knowing when to stop touching it..LOL..I do envy the more masculine gays a little because they can hide from the bullies.

  • Spike

    I suppose it could be, in which case, Queerty is equally offensive in having previously posted the video. Own it.

  • Scribe38

    @AuntieChrist: my dad was a little bit of a nut. He forced me to take boxing and martial arts when he figured out I was queer to “make me a man”. I was still queer obviously and fem guys saw that in High School and crushed on me and I was a d*ck about it. I pulled away from people because them hanging over me outed me. It took me a long time to just take people how they are. It was most likely the moment I accepted myself.

  • Niall

    Feminine gays are more likely to be the sassy, bitchy, “mean girl” like ones. That might be stereotypical, but it’s true. There’s really nothing wrong here

  • mpwaite

    Wny would it be offensive when he absolutely NAILED IT.. How many fem gays are EXACTLY LIKE THESE ACTORS???!! OMG… I was laughing my @ off!! I think any “Lady Boy” watching this would be snapping his fingers and yelling, “YOU GO GIRLZ.. SOOOOOOOOOO FETCH!!”

  • asby

    some gays just need to pull the stick outta their ass and have a good laugh…..

  • Kangol

    It’s sufficiently hyper-sarcastic and spoof-tastic to blunt the criticism about femme guys. One could make the same case about Toddrick Hall’s portrayal of African Americans in the prior version. But in both cases he comes from the groups (Black, gay, etc.) he’s sending up, and the goal is to play with the formulaic ridiculousness of the original film. I didn’t have a problem with it. I think he could have gone even farther.

  • bottom72

    As a very feminine gay man I see this as more of poking fun at gay stereotypes than coming across as mean spirited. I love it. Keep it up men.

  • Tommy

    At first I was very against this, in my head I was like “wow he has gotten really gay” and then after some introspection I realized that insulting him (whether he was just acting or not) was not right. I also realized that this is why horizontal oppression is so prevalent in the gay community. I was so quick to put him down for being feminine that I did not realize that instead of leaning toward the side of tolerance and acceptance like a good community member, I bashed him, So, long story short — I learned from the error of my ways pretty quickly.

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