A Tale of Two Men

A Tale of Two Men

What do Kanye West and Dave Portnoy Have in Common?
side by side images of dave portnoy with his dog miss peaches and kanye west with his wife bianca censori, behind them is an image of caution tape

By Megan Collins | Last Updated: May 10 2024 | 4 min read

Last month, I saw a picture of Kanye West with his wife Bianca Censori that I haven’t been able to shake from my mind.

In it, the Australian-born architectural designer is wearing a black lace bra and sheer tights with nothing underneath as they head into a restaurant. She’s covering her nether regions with a small black handbag and looks at the camera with visible discomfort. Her husband, on the other hand, is smiling and conspicuously leering at her chest. Is he mugging it up for the cameras? Is she? Would that kind of meta performance make it better? Worse?

In the rapper’s previous relationship with ex-wife Kim Kardashian, he was known for dressing her. In one particularly memorable scene from Keeping Up With The Kardashians early in their relationship, they go through her closet together as West purges many of its (arguably gaudy) contents. 

West and Kardashian’s style collaborations veered towards high fashion, culminating in Met Gala appearances and even a Vogue cover. Even as she appeared nude or close to nude in fashion shoots (as well as a Playboy cover early in her career), it always seemed that Kardashian was ultimately in control of how she presented herself to the world. Unlike Censori, Kardashian tackled red carpets and pap walks during her time with West looking confident and self-assured. She never appeared visibly uncomfortable the way Censori does, making you want to look away to be polite. 

On episodes of the show when the Wests’ marriage was unraveling, one of their ongoing fights centered around his wanting to control her image — in one episode, she told her sisters that West wanted her to post certain pictures to her Instagram but she’d already planned her grid for the month and the images he wanted to publish didn’t fit the aesthetic. 

I remember thinking how insane it was at the time, and not just because working in media means you understand the importance of adhering to your planned content calendar. I found myself siding with Kim K., and feeling relieved when they announced their split a few months later. 

Maybe because the spat reminded me of a college boyfriend who was adamantly against me getting bangs. And while I eventually cut them anyway — surprise, they looked terrible — I remember it being a red flag that he felt such ownership over my appearance.

And of course, I say all this as a professional who makes a living ~kindly suggesting~ what men wear, should they want to impress a member of the opposite sex with their personal style. 

But here’s the — what hopefully is an obvious — difference. 

The clothes we recommend that men wear — and more broadly, the steps we recommend men take to put forward the best version of themselves — never involve debasement.

Meaning? Our team doesn’t insist you go pantsless to the Cheesecake Factory. 

Unless you want to.

Because what we do isn’t about control, and with West, it sure seems like it is. 

Do I feel a small sense of victory, and even pride, when I hear from a reader or styling client who’s obsessed with his new shacket or shoes? Absolutely. Because what I’m hearing is that he now feels more confident, more empowered, more sure of himself. He loves leaving the house, and isn’t covering up any part he’s embarrassed to be on display. 

I can’t help but compare West’s obsession with parading his wife around in outfits she doesn’t appear comfortable wearing with Dave Portnoy’s obsession with a new partner of his own. 

The Barstool Sports founder has gained a new audience of fans — and probably won back some old ones — after adopting Miss Peaches, a shelter dog whose TikTok account currently boasts over 700,000 followers. 

Portnoy is, to put it lightly, head over heels in love with Miss Peaches.

And yes, I recognize that a wife and a dog are not the same thing, but I can’t shake the feeling that 1) to West and Portnoy, they sort of are? And 2) if they are, then Portnoy is a much better partner to Miss Peaches than West is to Censori. 

In an appearance on the Call Her Daddy podcast this week, Portnoy spoke about being a doting (dog) dad and late-in-life Swiftie, and I can’t help but think how these kinds of headlines have quickly buried older news stories about him joking about rape.

Does West have this kind of redemption arc in him? Who knows? If I were an animal shelter, I wouldn’t let him adopt. As Tom Brady said to Kardashian at his recent roast, “I know Kim was terrified to be here tonight. Not because of this but because her kids are at home with their dad.”

cover image: Instagram/Daily Mail/Style Girlfriend illustration

I started Style Girlfriend to help guys look, feel, and act their best.