Over the weekend, Jared Leto—frontman of the unfathomably popular American rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars and intolerable yet highly hireable actor (Requiem for a Dream, Suicide Squad)—exited LAX wearing a bright pink hoodie printed with the names and salaries of America’s highest-paid models, organized by wealth, on the back: Kendall Jenner ($22 million), Gisele Bündchen ($17.5 million), Chrissy Teigen ($13.5 million), Adriana Lima ($10.5 million) and Gigi Hadid ($9.5 million). In comparison, Leto’s net worth is reportedly $40 million.
That image is enough to warrant a few hundred questions, such as “Why?”; “Do Thirty Seconds to Mars and their fans really think the wealth gap is caused by models?”; and “Leto, honey, your m*s*gyny is showing?” But it somehow gets even more embarrassing. The hoodie is just one example of Thirty Seconds to Mars’ latest run of merchandise, the America collection, which is a real who’s who of corny ideas and unfortunate attempts at relentless rip-offs. I think it’s rare that an article of clothing could foster such a substantial feeling of humiliation, but here we have seven shining examples:
First of all, the official sweatshirt description credits Time for the list of richest models and their annual take-home, when the list is actually aggregated from Forbes, as my colleague Rick Juzwiak pointed out in Slack. If anything, that’s an interesting detail because it is lazy-ass reporting and is a rough estimation at best. I do imagine, however, if you’re the kind of person who would even think to purchase something like this, you wouldn’t really give a shit if the list was supposed to mean anything or the numbers were correct. And even if they were accurate, is this supposed to shock all those who come across it? Is anyone that unaware that supermodels are wealthy? Or are is it supposed to imply that they’re all talentless hacks, so we will become outraged by their moola? Because Leto* also makes bank by writing intellectually lazy arena rock songs like “Walk On Water” while feigning... meaning.
*For additional and potentially unnecessary context: Leto “hitchhiked” across America earlier this year to find “the real America,” which, to my understanding, meant he went from New York to LA in six days to launch a pop-up shop full of candy and a Trump dunk tank. The brilliance, it escapes me.
Mortification Level: Irreparable.
Here’s a wonderful list of only men, and with the exception of Jean-Michel Basquiat, only white men, at that. This shirt is described on the Thirty Seconds to Mars website as, simply, a “black short sleeve shirt with list of seven famous artists in America on the front and oversized cross triad in back.” The fact that it ends with Weird Al leads me to believe that Leto and crew struggled to name seven visual artists.
Mortification Level: Hiding a boner in public.
According to Page Six, this shirt lists the “the six most popular sex positions (as reported by AskMen).” Might as well be pulled from Virgins-R-Us, amiright?
Mortification Level: Skid marks?
These, once again, according to the Thirsty Seconds to Mars site, refer to “American” names, which almost made sense until we got to “Jesus.” This makes me think wearers of this shirt are in a camp that believes tacos are an American delicacy.
Mortification Level: Getting a years-long cruel nickname like “Butters.”
This bad boy blatantly rips off Kanye’s Life of Pablo merch (the artist responsible for the iconic font, Cali Thornhill DeWitt, would never work with the guy—nor would any of the Chicanx artists DeWitt pulled from) because this shit is wack.
Mortification Level: Being a poser forever.
This shirt’s straight outta Journeys, 2004.
Mortification Level: Tripping on the shoelace of your brand new Etnies skate shoes (you don’t skate) while trying to impress your crush.
This shirt is not from the America collection, it’s from 2017, but I think it’s worth discussing: One of the most infuriating elements of rockism, if it still exists, is an intangible conservatism which often manifests in, like, “good ‘ol days” language and a desire for a retro rock ’n’ roll aesthetic. I personally believe old shit can be good, but new shit meant to look old is more often than not, incredibly stupid. Let this be a lesson for all.
Mortification Level: Your dad rags on you every holiday for the rest of time.