Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Why "buckled but hot' may beat "beautiful but cold" when it comes to men

My intellectual boxing partner Lady X has recently been discussing with me the nature of attraction. And the notion of whether an ugly but interesting man is more attractive than - what I want to call - a 'pretty boy' - has come up. Now as a man that can probably make a better claim to being interesting** than pretty this is obviously an argument I like.

** If interesting means – “has an extensive knowledge of cricket and 80s pop music” – if not, I might be struggling.

But I can always get a scar or a face tattoo right? Lord Nelson is ‘interesting’ and he’s missing an arm and an eye. The pirate Long John Silver****** is interesting and his main claim to attractiveness is a gnarly voice, pet parrot and a hook. He’s like a sexy Abu Hamsa.

***** Please note, I rewrote the above and inserted the phrase ‘the pirate’ because the name ‘Long John Silver’ sounds uncomfortably like it might be the name of a popular star of adult movies… Hang on – just wait – i’ll go check… No it’s okay. But it is the name of America’s favourite fried fish restaurant.

Except that doesn’t advance the discussion, other than to prove that I still have some way to go before I can be accepted into the ‘interesting’ category…

So here is Lady X’s formulation on the following equation:

Ugly/sexy versus beautiful/snot

Beautiful but cold:
Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, David Beckham, Jude Law, Hugh Jackman

Buckled but hot:
Tommy Lee Jones, Andrew Marr, Bill Nighy, Benecio Del Toro, Jeremy Paxman
Personally I wonder if this is an argument that applies to women. It’s probably another discussion completely. But even I can think of males that are probably not picture perfect but are, ahem, sexy… James Gandolfini, Ray Winstone – patron saint of beergutted men everywhere. They're often growly grubby types. Punchers or verbal head biters. So why do they often win out over the prettier variety? Is this an argument even worth having? Is it worthy of sub-intellectual debate? Wouldn’t it be easier to just throw them into a cellar and make them fight? Yes, it’ll give us no firm conclusions but let’s have a big fighting tournament:

The Beautiful & the Buckled – fight fight fight fight fight

First round

  1. Pitt vs Lee Jones = Jones slaps Pitt in the hair - in a situation similar to Harvey Keitel & Nicole Kidman (see internet rumours about the making of the last Stanley Kubrick film – G00gle “harvey keitel nicole kidman rumour” but don’t say I didn’t warn you). In the meantime - Jones wins.
  2. Marr vs Depp: Johnny smiles, Marr looks ruefully until Depp emotes. Marr does not emote. Marr wins
  3. Becks vs Nighy (tie of the round). Nighy tries to be funny - Becks doesn't get it. Becks sleeps/Nighy dances around and gets tired,then gets drunk & falls asleep. Becks wakes up and wins.
  4. Del Toro vs Law. Don't be silly.
  5. Paxman vs Hugh Jackman. Paxman preens and acts clever. Jackman thumps him and does a dance. Paxman makes sneery remark. Pretty boy Jackman is hurt by criticism. This is turning into one hell of a battle. "Have you or have you not, Mr Jackman, ever starred in a decent film? Can you actually act?" Jackman punches Paxman slap in the face but refuses to continue. Goes to the gym to work off some excess energy. Leaves it to his agent to sue. An injured Paxman triumphs but that could have gone either way.

So it’s another 'tie of the round!'
  1. Big Tommy Lee vs big balls Beckham: Jones is asleep. Has to be replaced by sub: Paxman. Which is helpful as you can’t have 5 people in a semi-final.Becks shows Paxman his tattoos. It is almost like he can't hear Paxman's stunning volley of critical analysis. Paxman getting hoarse. Beckham does some keepy uppies. Paxman makes cutting remark about Posh Spice. Becks freaks out. Leaves temporarily. Has a word with his corner man Zinadene Zidane. Comes back and butts Paxo in the middle aged gut area. Paxo out for a count of 8. Gets up. But Becks is crying. Even though he appears to have won. He's too nice. It seems like a win to Paxo. Beckham puts out his hand to help Paxo up. Then stamps on Paxo's chest while the ref aint looking. Win to the pretty boy with the voice of a child trapped down a well.
  2. El Toro the bull vs Andrew 'vague accenty burr' Marr. Del Toro smokes a cigar. Marr thinks twice about saying anything. Less a Mexican stand-off than a particularly embarrassing moment in a lift. All sense and reason seems to have gone out of this competition. Time passes. Marr steels himself. Starts opining about modern britain. Del Toro stubs out his cigar. And leaves. The judges confer, was that a win for Del Toro, the act of the ultimate alpha male in ignoring his opponent? No. Tis a win for Marr.

Marr steps up. No fear this time. Stabbing words and jutting jaw, hair flopping majestically over his cranium as he weaves and creates magical tales of social and economic decline. Becks smiles and is photographed. Judges confer once more and suggest battle should commence or we should all go home. The latter option is favourite. Hands up who likes Becks? Becks wins. Marr speaks to the judges appeals. Becks smiles. Marr discovers technical problem with judges scoring process. Also the use of Zidane in the semi-final is questioned as Zidane is a man of charisma and weird ugliness. Whole competition pronounced a bogus sham. Paxman returns to take trophy but is punched in the face by Del Toro who wants trophy as ashtray for cigar smoke.


Pretty chaps aren't alpha male enough. In the jungle they would win the ladies but then grubby types would swing out of the trees and scare em off. Preferring the alpha grubbers suggests a return to jungle values & female grownupness. Note: teen girls have not discovered this set of values yet. And values can be upset by extreme beauty. Hence Becks win on this occasion (despite subsequent chaos). So there is the answer. Next time: the world economy – should be buy more gas fires to help the economy or wear an extra jumper to help the environment? The arguments will be decided by a series of bloody nosed fights between eminent economists and enviromental activists.

1 comment:

  1. Have never been a fan of Brad Pitt, and I don't like his acting style either - too wooden. I think he is more of a screen icon than anything else. Eye Candy.

    Give me Al Pacino any day. You would just know where you were when it came to bedtime wouldn't you?

    Tom Cruise doesnt do it for me either, but I think he beats the likes of Pitt when it comes to the acting bit.

    ASs for the fights... I'l wager you had those litle cowboys and Indians when you were a kid - and a fort.