GQ’s Man of the Year Isn’t Who You Think
They’d say I hustled, put in the work
They wouldn't shake their heads and question how much of this I deserve
What I was wearing, if I was rude
Could all be separated from my good ideas and power moves
Taylor Swift, “The Man”
When Barbie premiered in July, women felt seen in the cinema — perhaps for the first time in forever. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie was more than a beginner’s feminist manifesto, but also a meditation on what it means to be both a woman and mother in today’s world. It was a gentle reminder that maybe we’re all simply trying our best — and that our best is enough.
It also encourages women to celebrate each other more. The Barbie effect had us all wearing pink, emulating Margot Robbie’s cowboy-chic style, and referring to men as our “Kens.” And with help from Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, her friendship bracelets, and her sense of community, women were winning. It’s the first year in history that women dominated the Billboard Hot 100 — twice (thanks to Swift and her Midnights and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) album). Like I said, it’s a good year to be a woman.
This celebration of women and our successes is long overdue, but the promising news is that it isn’t slowing down. Barbie’s feminist wave has shifted how we accept ourselves (and others) as women.
So it’s no surprise that women are raking in awards this year too, dominating the Grammy nominations and more. We hail celebrities for all sorts of achievements: Patrick Dempsey is People’s Sexiest Man Alive (deserved), Taylor Swift is the world leader (they literally projected her welcome onto Christ the Redeemer), and Austin Butler is Best Elvis (because somehow we have multiple).
And one of the buzziest celeb awards is run by GQ (short for Gentlemen’s Quarterly), whose “Men Of The Year” award is a highlight of every fall/winter. Similar to TIME’s 100 list, GQ likes to celebrate those who have taken the world by storm annually.
This year, the recipient of the Man of the Year award is none other than Kim Kardashian…and they’re not wrong.
Kim has been taking her empire to new heights in 2023: building on the 2022 launch of her SKKN-care line, breaking ground with Skims’ Men’s campaign, the Nipple Bra, and becoming the official partner of the NBA/WNBA, working on prison reform, filming The Kardashians on Hulu, starring alongside Emma Roberts in Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story as Siobhan Corbyn, I could go on.
Calling someone “the man” has now become synonymous with “a winner.” Saying “you’re the man” is a sign of their success. And though this might have problematic roots, women are reclaiming the term — like the Taylor Swift song. And in the grand scheme of things: Kim Kardashian is the man.
Some hard-working men get the title alongside Kim in the GQ issue. The other MOTY honorees include Jacob Elordi (AKA Elvis #2, who’s starring in blockbusters like Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla and Saltburn alongside Barry Keoghan), Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin, designer-turned-filmmaker Tom Ford, and Travis Scott. But you have to admit that Kim hasn’t come up for air this year.
It’s right there for us to see in episodes of The Kardashians: Kim flying from country to country for another event on her booked and busy schedule. She’s literally everywhere at once, officiating recently divorced Chris Appleton and Lukas Gage’s wedding, shooting countless magazine covers and promo shoots for her growing enterprise, opening a Skims pop up here, and shooting an episode of AHS there.
Is there anything she can’t do?
Meet The Previous Recipients Of GQ’s Men of the Year
Kim Kardashian is one of the few women to grace the cover of GQ’s Man of the Year edition. Technically dubbed “Tycoon of the Year”, acknowledging her business successes over the past few years (and for the gender neutrality of it all)- Kardashian joins a host of some of the most famous men in the world. Let’s take a look at the past five years:
2022: Brendan Fraser, Andrew Garfield
2021: Lil Nas X, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Tom Holland
2020: Megan Thee Stallion, George Clooney, Trevor Noah
2019: Jennifer Lopez, Tyler, The Creator, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino
2018: Michael B. Jordan, Henry Golding, Jonah Hill
Women are normally recognized during the Men of the Year ceremonies, as it is a celebration of all people who emulated pop culture that year…however, no year has celebrated women quite like 2023.
The Men of the Year Awards 2023 were held on November 15 at London’s Royal Opera House where cover stars like Jeremy Allen White, boygenius, and Kardashian were in attendance.
Other female recipients included Megan Thee Stallion and Rihanna, who have paved their own paths in both the music and fashion industry. Rihanna with her Savage x Fenty inclusive lingerie line and Fenty Beauty has been changing the makeup and underwear game for a while now. Megan Thee Stallion is coming off a high-profile trial that she won against Tory Lanez, under immense public scrutiny, has become a figure for mental health and domestic violence while still creating hit records.
It’s one of the most female-dominated GQ events we’ve seen, which is a pattern. The GRAMMY Award nominations just rolled out with so many female artists nominated, you’d think it’s a record. In the top three categories, female acts make up seven out of eight nominees.
This year, women are the man. It’s an exciting, uplifting time when we get to celebrate with each other instead of tearing one another down. Kim K is just one more example of the Barbie effect.