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The GQ&A: Brooklyn Decker Says “No” to Facial Hair, Meggings, and Sweet-Smelling Air Fresheners
BY STELIOS PHILI
Back in February, I interviewed actress and supermodel Brooklyn Decker for GQ’s April issue about…home scents. Yes: Home scents. When I told her we needed to talk about “smell,” she got kind of nervous—like I was going to say she smelled bad or something. The first mention of home scents, however, disarmed her immediately, and she revealed her disdain for lemon bar-scented man-homes as well as foot odor. And then, perhaps as a preemptive measure, she added, “I mean, I probably smell half the time, which is too much information.” She smelt like model, which is to say, very good.
At the time, Decker was promoting Gillette’s Fusion Pro Glide razor and had just announced the results of the brand’s survey on facial hair: 85 percent of women like kissing clean-shaven guys instead of bearded ones. She agreed. (MEN, FYI: BEARDS GIVE BROOKLYN DECKER PIMPLES.) But there is one exception: “The Brawny man is a prime example of a guy with a cool-looking mustache.” After hearing her candid thoughts on facial fair, I moved on to the topic of meggings, or man leggings. Having never heard of them, she was shocked and extremely curious at the mere suggestion (“What do they do about their junk?”). Below, a delightfully random conversation with Brooklyn Decker.
GQ: You were a part of Gillette’s “Kiss & Tell” campaign, which found that women prefer to kiss a clean-shaven dude over a bearded man. Where do you stand?
Brooklyn Decker: A little scruff looks nice, but it feels so uncomfortable. Think about how a guy wants a girl to have smooth legs: It’s expected. Shouldn’t a guy be expected to do the same on his face? I think that’s only fair. I thought women would be like, “Yeah, it’s uncomfortable, but I like the way it looks,” similar to a pair of shoes. The results go to show you that women are passionate about a smooth face—they don’t care what it looks like, they just want it to be soft against their skin. Also, women can get beard burn, have you seen that?
GQ: Woah, really?
Brooklyn Decker: Yeah, girls can start breaking out on their face…not fun.
GQ: Even you?
Brooklyn Decker: Yes. I hate the scratching and the red mustache I get afterwards. And you can get pimples on your chin because of the oils from the facial hair and the stabbing. It’s not a cute look.
GQ: But aren’t there certain beard legends that get a free pass?
Brooklyn Decker: I mean, the Brawny man is a prime example of a guy with a cool-looking mustache. Does he still have it?
Brooklyn Decker: He shaved it off? That’s unfortunate. A cartoon on paper towel-packaging is the only one I can think of, so I guess that shows you what I think about beards. Lumberjacks in general can get away with a beard. Or if you live in Alaska.
GQ: Next topic: Scent. What’s your criteria for how a guy’s place should smell?
Brooklyn Decker: Guys, your home should never smell like artificial food: candy canes, gum drops, lemon bars. I mean, I will consume lemon bars in mass quantities, but I don’t want my house to smell like one. Something more organic—say, a clean, woodsy scent—is always nice.
GQ: It’s like, “Are you making me lemon bars or not? What’s with this deception?”
Brooklyn Decker: Exactly! He should be making real freakin’ lemon bars. And then his place can smell like a lemon bar. I should have brought some. [Looks around the press conference room table] There’s like a whole platter of room temperature croissants if you would like one.
GQ: Nah, I’m good.
Brooklyn Decker: Do you smell the artichoke by the way? It sort of smells like vomit. Too much information. [To her publicists] Do you guys smell that? No? It’s good now. I’ve gotten used to it. As you do.
GQ: Is there anything else beyond an artificial scent that bothers you?
Brooklyn Decker: A lot of guys do smell like feet. I mean, I probably smell half the time, which is too much information, but you never want to leave sweaty gym clothes in the hamper for a week or two—it just gets worse over time.
GQ: What’s the scent of choice in your own home?
Brooklyn Decker: You know what I love the smell of? Christmas trees and pine. I always have a pine candle even if it’s not Christmas. Or fir. Frasier fir is a nice smell in the house. I live in Texas and my yard has deer and fox and raccoons, so it kind of smells woodsy anyways.
GQ: What’s the most PC way to have a scent intervention with a smelly friend?
Brooklyn Decker: Tell somebody that they stink. Because people have told me that in the past and I have to just swallow the truth. What do you think the PC way is?
GQ: I’d use “reek.”
Brooklyn Decker: Yeah, “reek” is good. Any sort of adjective to describe “stinky.”