An ideal listicle touches on matters of objective taste in an entertaining but also informative way, using credible evidence to back up an opinion. GQ's newest list of the "40 Worst-Dressed Cities in America" ignores this tenet and eschews photos of normal people dressing poorly for stills from movies, popular culture, and football stadiums.
Boston is #1, but the fun begins at #5, which happens to be Manhattan. To illustrate the "men that are sapping one of fashion's capitals, stride by douchey stride," GQ uses a photo of Ray Liotta from Goodfellas, a movie that was essentially based everywhere in New York but Manhattan. Note to the 18 people on the GQ staff who wrote the list: as in any movie, "All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental." Also, go get your fucking shine box.
Brooklyn makes the list as well at #11, but they pigeonhole the entire borough under the Bedford Ave archetype with "a D.A.R.E. T-shirt, a handlebar 'stache, and disintegrated Chucks." Ouch! Brooklyn is gonna be PISSED when they pick up this issue of GQ in that one dentist's office that their insurance makes them use when they're getting a cavity filled. Here are some other atrocities committed in the listicle:
- #4 Chicago is a screenshot of the "Super Fans" SNL skit, a comedic parody which was filmed in New York City.
- #13 Las Vegas is a still from The Hangover (wasn't that movie the greatest?!).
- #24 Saint Paul is a shot of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Say what you will about the man who left Saint Paul when he was a teenager, wrote the Great American Novel, got drunk with Hemingway, and was a pillar of American Modernism, that jacket (that he wore 80 years ago) is FUGLY.
- San Diego (#27) is Will Ferrel from Anchorman.
- Asbury Park, New Jersey (#33) is a 20 years+ old photo of Bruce Springsteen, because the only people who live in Asbury Park are named Bruce Springsteen.
- #37 Kansas City is…well, it's a picture of a dude's face, who happens to be eating ribs. This confirms what we've known for so long: eating is a fashion "don't."
The magazine also uses 4 photos of football fans as their evidence for poor sartorial judgment (Pittsburg, Philly, New Orleans, and Buffalo) but couldn't you go to any ballpark in America and find some stupid-looking people?
Come to think of it: why didn't they go to any of the cities on this list, instead of cribbing everything from Flickr and a 2002 issue of People? Is it really that difficult to find a photo of a poorly dressed person in Manhattan? We're looking forward to GQ's next listicle: "The 50 Best Bars In The US As Represented By The Movie Coyote Ugly."