The new METAL issue is out. This time, we kick off this issue by pondering over what pleasures make us feel guilty, and indeed, why we feel guilty for finding pleasure in certain activities that make us feel good. Let's be clear: spending an afternoon in a museum is not the same as watching terrible B-movies, delving into an essay on AI is not equivalent to indulging in celebrity gossip and snacking on popcorn. But who decides this? Artists such as Richard Malone, Aistėė Stancikaitė, and Mark Leckey, fashion designer Robert Wun or model, singer, and actress Esther-Rose McGregor talk about indulgences and why pleasure must not be seen as guilty never more.
We kick off this issue pondering over what pleasures make us feel guilty, and indeed, why we feel guilty for finding pleasure in certain activities that make us feel good. An afternoon of doing absolutely nothing, lounging on the sofa while watching your favorite series, a night of gossiping with friends over a generous supply of fine wine, or simply a day of pure laziness without accomplishing a single thing – why should we not indulge when the rest of our time is a non-stop whirlwind? In our society, unfortunately, our worth is often measured by how much or how little we produce, and dedicating time to what brings us happiness is often frowned upon, especially if what brings us pleasure is considered less valuable or interesting. Let's be clear: spending an afternoon in a museum is not the same as watching terrible B-movies, delving into an essay on AI is not equivalent to indulging in celebrity gossip and snacking on popcorn. Who decides this? What supreme being determines what we can enjoy without feeling ashamed and what should make us blush even when we’re locked away at home, guarding it like our darkest secret? And why should we only allow ourselves to enjoy certain things under specific conditions or associate certain pleasures with negative concepts? I know, it's all about sociocultural constructs, the gazes of others, external judgments overriding our own perception, which prevail.
In these pages, we interview artists such as Richard Malone, Aistėė Stancikaitė, and Mark Leckey, fashion designer Robert Wun or model, singer, and actress Esther-Rose McGregor, and a recurring idea emerges: guilty pleasures no more. AistėėStancikaitė: “Personally, I don't like the concept of guilty pleasures; associating pleasure with guilt seems quite questionable to me, hinting at deeper problems within our society. I think it's fine to enjoy what you want without seeking validation or approval from others.” Richard Malone: “I don't think pleasure should be guilty.” Esther-Rose McGregor: “I think that pleasure shouldn't be associated with guilt in that sense. But I also think that society has taught us that we should feel a little bit more guilty for some things, like eating a good piece of cake. It’s something that doesn't have the most positive connotations behind it, but you enjoy doing it, like sitting and watching TV for an afternoon. But again, I don't believe you should feel guilty for any of that. I think it's important to do what makes you happy.”
There's more in this issue; we also chat with singers Eartheater and METTE, and actress Irene Escolar, who looks fantastic in some Dior outfits. Photographer Angie Couple and stylist Oriol Robert showcase a beautiful editorial featuring Loewe's perfumes for the season, a story filled with sensitivity and sensuality (and zero guilt, of course). We savour delicious ice creams while photographing Louis Vuitton menswear collection and do the same with the women collection, this time without ice cream distractions. We wrap up the issue with our own rage room by Pablo de Pastors because, in some way or another, we need to release all that pent-up stress and scream to the heavens that, no, we will no longer feel guilty for seeking happiness wherever the heck we please. Let's celebrate pleasure in all its forms and variations, for that is what life is all about. Even though we cannot help feeling guilty all too often because while we celebrate life on this side of the planet, in so many other places, they can do is mourn death.