What Robin Thicke learned from his father about women

Thicke's interview in the US version of Elle magazine reveals choice tidbits such as his father's advice: “I know she’s pretty, but you stared at her and followed her across the room. What if there’s a prettier girl sitting two tables away?"

This article originally appeared on the New Republic website

I’ll admit it: I’ve been resisting disliking Robin Thicke. I know a lot of people consider the “I know you want it” chorus of his big hit, “Blurred Lines,” nothing short of a call to rape—and I have to say, the phrase “tried to domesticate you” makes me pretty queasy—but I could never understand what people heard that they thought was so much worse than—nay, even as bad as—the pop music norm. The un-self-serious, frankly goofy music video helped redeem the song for me. Plus, I think it’s fun to dance to—so sue me.

But I’m done. I officially realize that Robin Thicke is just as gross a specimen of American maleness as you’ve all been telling me he is for months. The deciding factor is the interview with him that US Elle published Thursday, and which you should read if you think you ate some bad shellfish and need to throw up.

Here are his five most nauseating answers: 

1. What did [your father, Growing Pains star Alan Thicke] tell you not to do [with women]?

We were on vacation and some pretty girl walked by. I started ogling her like a 12-year-old boy, and he said, “I know she’s pretty, but you stared at her and followed her across the room. What if there’s a prettier girl sitting two tables away? Now she’s not going to feel special. She’ll say, ‘You look at all the girls like that.’ You’ve gotta play it cool so you don’t look like you're desperate.”

2. You told Howard Stern that you lost your virginity at 13. Is there anything you’d do differently?

Make it last longer than 30 seconds.

3. Was she someone you cared about?

Yeah, I can’t comment on who it was. But I got it out of the way, let’s just say.

4. The unrated music video for “Blurred Lines” features balloon letters that spell out Robin Thicke Has a Big Dick. You also give your manhood a shout-out in “Give It 2 U.” I’m sorry, but how big is this thing?

In “Give It 2 U,” it’s more a comment of swagger. Like, I’m big-dick swingin’. … Listen, compared to my son, I’m packing. If I’m next to LeBron James? It’s probably not quite as impressive.

5. Do you listen to your own music in the bedroom?

Yes. In fact, [my wife, Paula Patton] likes to do it more than ever now. Sometimes she’ll even play groupie for me.

This article originally appeared on the New Republic website

Good with the ladies, or a total skeez? You decide. Image: Getty
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Karen Bradley as Culture Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

The most politically charged of the culture minister's responsibilities is overseeing the BBC, and to anyone who works for - or simply loves - the national broadcaster, Karen Bradley has one big point in her favour. She is not John Whittingdale. Her predecessor as culture secretary was notorious for his belief that the BBC was a wasteful, over-mighty organisation which needed to be curbed. And he would have had ample opportunity to do this: the BBC's Charter is due for renewal next year, and the licence fee is only fixed until 2017. 

In her previous job at the Home Office, Karen Bradley gained a reputation as a calm, low-key minister. It now seems likely that the charter renewal will be accomplished with fewer frothing editorials about "BBC bias" and more attention to the challenges facing the organisation as viewing patterns fragment and increasing numbers of viewers move online.

Of the rest of the job, the tourism part just got easier: with the pound so weak, it will be easier to attract visitors to Britain from abroad. And as for press regulation, there is no word strong enough to describe how long the grass is into which it has been kicked.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.