It turns out you’re not a famous guy until you own a book and a movie camera

If you were to make a list of the 10 essential items you would want to have on your person at all times, what would you choose? Mine would probably contain a bottle of Kiehl’s Musk and one of those light blue perfectly sized Ikea FRAKTA shopping bags.

But if you are one of the famous guys that show up he GQs “My Essentials” video seriesmight there be a statistically, or at least anecdotally, greater chance that two of your ten items include: some sort of analog film camera and a nice, old-fashioned Order.

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It began, as it always seems, with a post: “industrialists find out they’re doing a GQ 10 things I can’t live without interview and buy a book and film camera,” Wengel Gemu, student and photographer /designer living in LA, tweeted recently. The answers are filled with evidence, with screenshots of past guests including, but not limited to, Jacob Elordi, Austin Butler, Paul Mescal, Diego Luna, Joe Alwyn, Manu Rios, Héctor Bellerín and Bridgerton‘s Jonathan Bailey, all of whom hold worn (or possibly uncracked) paperbacks and film cameras of any vintage. The underlying suggestion was that by demonstrating how they like to read and take pictures, these guys are also conveying that they’re hot in a sensitive way, which, especially by the Internet’s standards, is the superlative form of hot.

That said, reading and taking pictures are fairly common hobbies, and including a book or a film camera among a limited list of things that matter to you is a relatively straightforward (and probably genuine!) way to indicate that that you are a creative person. But as these things go, there is the case to be made that these very normal things are also two more examples of “the coolest thing a man can do”: a past Twitter summit to call out the innocent (but possibly self-aware) things guys do that others, namely women, find hot, like wearing a thin gold chain or to have a cat. Although “book and a film camera” is admittedly not exclusively a gender phenomenon; in the latest episode of “My Essentials”, actress Sydney Sweeney procured a disposable camera and a copy of Molly Shannon’s latest memoir.

“To some, it might just be a hack, but I feel like it seems really endearing to imagine [these celebrities] to spend their free time learning and documenting,” Gemu, who made the original observation, told me via DM. “When it comes to doing the 10 things, you want a few that are on the stupid side and a few things that do [you] look sophisticated lolll.” And well, what does that say about throwing rocks (or paperbacks or Contax T4s) at glass houses?

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