It’s time to throw some punches
Would you rather be hot or cool? And I’m not referring to temperature. I’m talking aesthetics. Demeanour. Vibes. Would you rather be smoking hot or devastatingly cool? I mean, obviously, you want to be both (duh). But if you had to choose? Which one would you pick?
On the one hand, who doesn’t want to be hot? Pietro Boselli and Emily Ratajkowski have launched careers by virtue of being born with great genes. They both look ridiculously good naked and incite a complicated concoction of envy, admiration and lust from both sexes alike. But the problem with ‘hot’ is that it’s temporary—how ‘hot’ can you be at 80?
Which is why, I always choose ‘cool’. Just take a look at Iris Apfel. She’s not the most beautiful person on the planet, but armed with good taste, impeccable style, and acerbic wit to boot, she’s still killing it at 96.
‘Cool’ is an attitude, not just a physical attribute. ‘Cool’ is like a government bond that keeps paying dividends long after you’ve retired and seen two kids through university. ‘Hot’ is a tech stock that delivers sharp returns upon listing, but you have to cash out before the discovery of the next new invention, rendering your asset irrelevant—kind of like Megan Fox. Clearly, as you can tell, I’ve really thought about this. But let me throw a spanner in the works. What if there was a third option? What if you could be ‘too hot to handle’?
Surely this is better than ‘hot’ or ‘cool’? You’re so freaking hot that you’re virtually supernova. In fact, you’re Natalia Vodianova— the Russian model who not only landed a seven-figure contract with Calvin Klein, but also landed Antoine Arnault, the chief executive of Berluti, chairman of Loro Piana and, as the son of Bernard Arnault (that’s right, French business magnate and chief executive of the LVMH Group), also an heir to the world’s largest fashion empire. That’s like buying a chunk of Apple stock from Steve Jobs back
Esquire Singapore in the 1980s for less than a dollar a share, and then selling it for a sizzling USD705 per share in 2012 before the company’s 7-for-1 split. You’re a freaking unicorn.
This is what we’re unpacking in this issue of Esquire Singapore. What is ‘too hot to handle’ today? Who are the unicorns? Who is going, or about to go, supernova? Enter: Chinese rapper VaVa. Our cover star was propelled into the limelight by last year’s smash reality TV show, The Rap of China, and is not only easy on the eye, but comes pre-loaded with a no-guts-no-glory ‘tude; spitting sharp lyrics about her tough childhood. Naturally, she’s already huge on social media. (See our exclusive shoot with her on the streets of Shanghai, decked out in Balenciaga on page 76.)
But ‘too hot to handle’ is also a consideration of what is taboo. And this being Singapore, well, let’s just say that it doesn’t take much to get people a little hot under the collar. We take a deeper look at human trafficking in our city-state (it’s happening right under our noses—check out ‘Recognising Human Trafficking’ on page 88); speak to Prince Mavendra Singh Gohil about being the first openly gay royal in India (read our exclusive interview ‘The People’s Prince’ on page 104); explore the merits of torture (yup, merits—see what we mean in ‘The Case for Torture’ on page 122); discuss the issue of freedom of speech in our country (page 110); and find out what it’s like to be a male stripper (a rather candid discourse in ‘What it feels like...’ on page 131).
As mentioned in my first editor’s letter for Esquire Singapore last month, we’re all about telling thought-provoking stories to spark conversation. To get that grey matter kicking into gear. To challenge pre-conceived ideas and assumptions. Heck, we might even get your feathers a little ruffled. But stop puffing up that chest as if you’re all that and a cube of cheese. Nobody ever made a difference by keeping their hands clean. Get in there and get dirty. It’s time to throw some punches—join the cultural mêlée.