Jan 3, 2009

The Power of Bad News

In the drama-filled world of high fashion and pixelated beauty, few things are juicier than "When Models Go Bad." A press release from Maggie Mahoney hit my in-box yesterday regarding the tragic tale of Jonny Tobias. Apparently I have been living under a rock because I did not know that Mr. Tobias had been named Male Model of the Year, an appellation that presumably rocked the worlds of at least seven people and a dog called Skippy.

But - shock horror - it seems that although Mr. Tobias has the body of a god and the looks of an Adonis, he is no gentleman. According to Runway, Jonny made some "inflammatory and tasteless comments" on Flikr, the nature of which I have been unable to find out just yet. i did hop on to Jonny's vapid Flikr site to find nothing that filled me with revulsion - except for the overdone beefcake and cheesecake pics that prove Mr. Tobias takes himself his job very seriously.

However, what I really found interesting was to take a look at his hit statistics. Following the press release yesterday, January 2nd 2009, he went from an average of maybe 3 or 4 per day to a whopping 250 on January 3rd 2009! Most folks would die for that sort of PR - hell, I'm thinking of becoming a male model just so I can get drummed out of the cheer squad to increase my hit rate.

Jonny has some 657 more contacts on Flikr than I do - I have two. So for a guy who has now been stripped of his title, methinks he's not too shabby at self-promotion. Of course, in the world of celebrity - even SLelebrity[1] - there is no such think as bad publicity. It's all about awareness and "being there." I doubt Jonny will be condemned to the heap of has-beens and will continue on his merry way to do whatever it is that male avatar models do so well.

[1] I like this word and I'm going to do my best to promote its use in 2009. See my next post for a discussion of its origins and provenance,

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