“Wait,” you just might be thinking. “What the heck is going on here? Why is a photo of Josh Holloway greeting me?”
Reasonable question. Mr. Holloway’s photo marks the last time I found a young, Generally-Touted-To-Be-Handsome man attractive. Now we could launch a debate over long hair, blue eyes vs. brown, and Just What Is It About Bad Boys? But leaving the points of different taste aside, we can probably agree that when Lost first aired, Holloway was a) a heartthrob to young women b) 34 years old himself.
I was 47, and I too thought he was cute. That’s what we used to say, in the olden days, cute. To call someone hot would have questioned centuries-old strictures. And High WASPs shouldn’t even be writing a post like this, but never mind.
Don’t tell my dad.
However, now I find myself completely mystified by the heartthrobs du jour. Ryan Gosling?
Puppy dog eyes. Why not just get a puppy?
Adam Driver, in his role as Lena Dunham’s boyfriend in Girls?
Reminds me of a forest creature, or jungle man. His character’s primordial, almost ape. And pretty much non-functional in the modern world.
Both Ryan and Adam are tall and muscular. Is their popularity fueled by the odd fact that America’s height has stagnated? Did you know that the Scandinavians and the Dutch are now significantly taller on average, than we are? And that holds true even when data is controlled for the broader ethnic spectrum of the USA?
Both men also appear to be devoted to their mates. Are young women consciously or unconsciously realizing that when women make up the majority entering medical and law schools, bad boys aren’t terribly fun? That more substantive, less harmful thrills are to be had on the job? Home as comfort?
Hard to say. Amusing to consider.
I don’t think young women are wrong, per se. I just think I’ve crossed over. Society, hand-in-hand with biology, pushes young women to find certain men attractive. Since neither society nor biology need us 50-year olds to find anyone in particular attractive, we’re free to set our own criteria.
To be sure, I am not saying I’m out of the game. I just got married, after all, sighing over my handsome husband like any bride. But I no longer find young men in the cultural group-think cute. Or hot. More than my failing connective tissue, more than anything happening to my hair or skin, this is a felt marker of aging.
A remarkably liberating one, at that.
Have a wonderful weekend.
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