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Maxxie’s Dance and Mainstream Acceptance of Queerdom through His Beauty

Lately I have gotten into a British television show called Skins, which is about the life and challenges of a group of teenagers in Bristol, South West England. The approach to the show is fresh, engaging and even shocking. As the viewer, it’s easy to find oneself deeply invested in the drama that unfolds within the coterie of teens.

One of my favorite characters in Skins is Maxxie Oliver (played by Mitchell Hewer), the sweet and sexy queer boy who has aspirations of someday becoming a dancer. He partakes in some very steamy homoerotic scenes that push the envelope, at least in the U.S.

Maxxie is hands-down gorgeous. Yet it is his beauty that precisely leaves me feeling a bit disconcerted. In a culture obsessed with sex and beauty (both here and in England), his comeliness perpetuates a tangible and accepting homoerotic fantasy that only objectifies homosexuality as a lifestyle made up exclusively of attractive people. Furthermore, Maxxie’s beauty permits homosexuality to be viewed as acceptable or even pleasing for the heterosexual viewer who may otherwise feel uncomfortable when viewing such provocative scenes between two people of the same sex (this is nothing new–sex sells the fantasy).

Season Two, Episode One opens up with this little dance number. Maxxie is the blond.

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