Handsome Men with Unattractive Women (A Combination the Media Will Never Show You)

Why is it funny when a beautiful woman kisses an unattractive man?

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Web domain hucksters GoDaddy.com is undoubtedly more famous for their use of bold-faced sexual titillation during the Super Bowl more than any of their actual internet-related services. They’ve proffered Danica Patrick, Jillian Michaels and several other toned and tanned female bodies in various states of undress as a way of enticing us to go to their site, see “uncensored” continuations of their ads, and maybe, while we are there, buy the domain rights for “IAmALivingStereotype.com” But GoDaddy’s latest Super Bowl Ad  eschews the skin and instead, sets their sights on tapping two separate pleasure centers in the male brain: humor and fantasy.

In short, the company lays claim to having a sexy side and a smart side by having Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Bar Refaeli make out with a bookish Jonah-Hill-pre-slimdown clone, providing us with 11 seconds—an advertising eternity—of close up lip smacking and tongue fencing.

Most will cringe. Many will laugh. And some will simply shake their heads and mutter “lucky bastard … I gotta get me some acting classes.” However, this ad also got me thinking about men, which I’m sure wasn’t their intention.

Can you imagine a consumer brand, or even a major media company, offering us the opposite scenario than the one in this commercial? According to Forbes in 2012, Southwest Airlines  is the most desirable brand for women, yet could you imagine a scenario where they’d be bold enough to show us Channing Tatum mashing lips with Melissa McCarthy’s buck-toothed stunt double? As an advertising professional, I can’t even consider pitching it unless it was the very last idea and I was conceding the fact that the meeting would likely end seconds later, after a brief, palpable silence.

But what happens in movies and TV shows when it’s the mousy girl who’s in love with the stud?

But let’s say they did buy off on it, and three months later, it was on the air. Would our collective brains accept it, even if we understood it was supposed to be a fantasy and a joke? I doubt it. I think our synapses would refuse to fire until balance was restored to The Force.

Obviously, this speaks to the patriarchal hangover we still have in our society, even as progress is made. Male “attractiveness” remains a prismatic quality that can be glimpsed and appreciated through looks, personality, power, humor, intelligence, and confidence (to name a few) while females are generally only deemed “attractive” if they have physical beauty. Thus, we’ve accepted the notion that a stunning model or actress or stewardess or lawyer-ess could easily be attracted to a man lacking washboard abs, a lantern jaw or any other body part equated to something you’d find in a Conestoga wagon.

Then there’s the reinforcement we’ve all been given. We know and accept the “Aphrodite takes a mere mortal as consort” scenario because there are so many notable examples. Marilyn Monroe was married to Arthur Miller, Christie Brinkley had no issues being Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” and Julia Roberts wasn’t too pretty to give Lyle Lovett a chance.  Then you throw the media into the mix and suddenly, this dynamic becomes the rule rather than the exception.

It’s simply accepted that in sit-coms, male leads will almost always outkick their coverage in landing an on-screen girlfriend or wife. See, it’s funny … yet somehow possible, just like the GoDaddy ad. Ditto movies where Billy Crystal, Adam Sandler and Jason Segel can land, respectively, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore and Mila Kunis. Most importantly, none of those very average joes had to be anyone but themselves to get the girl.

But what happens in movies and TV shows when it’s the mousy girl who’s in love with the stud? Invariably, she has to undergo a life change or epiphany, or at least a makeover at the hands of gay man, to reveal the luminous beauty she’d be hiding under glasses, bad hairdo and frumpy wardrobe. Only then will the guy realize he loved her all along. And don’t even get me started on tired trope of the heartless guys who bet each other they can bed the most off-putting gal in town. Apparently, it takes a plotline this reprehensible to accept the notion that a ladies man would waste his time on anything less than arm-candy.

If we remove the bias and the years of reinforcement, we can accept the truth that in reality, there are some men who are considered handsome and choose to pair up with women who don’t share all of their physical gifts. Some of these men are legitimately attracted to what’s inside and unconcerned with what’s on the exterior. Other men have a specific preference for women who are less conventionally attractive, either because of a personal proclivity for a “type” or an insecurity that requires them to feel like the “catch” in the couple.  But how often are these realities portrayed, and when they are, how authentic do they feel?

Unlike many of those who write for this site, I don’t have a fundamental issue with the way men are portrayed by the media. My gut says if you went back to Ancient Greece and watched every play in Athens for a month, you’d wind up with the same mix of bumbling drunks, deep thinkers, dangerous cads and heroic lads that you’ll see on major networks nightly.   But I am disappointed we haven’t progressed to the point where a gender-bending take on the GoDaddy ad would receive the same reaction. Because as long as the “he’s a ten, she’s a five” equation creates impassable amounts of cognitive dissonance while the “Beauty and the Beast” dynamic is utterly plausible in the worlds of media and advertising, it doesn’t paint an attractive portrait of any of us.

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About Shawn Peters

Shawn Peters is a creative director for Viewpoint Creative , as well as a writer whose work has appeared in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and on ESPN.com. His upcoming novel “Plan.Be.” will be published as soon as he sells the damn thing. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnTweeters.

Comments

  1. I really enjoyed this article, though I think that it’s a bit more complicated than simply saying, “We’re hung up on patriarchal ideas as a society.” I think that there is a deeper reason why such things have hung on. To me what we have are not just social constructs that have mysteriously hung on simply because of our patriarchal roots but rather that the patriarchal roots and the social constructs that have hung on have done so because they are based on deeper biological (and spiritual, though I’m not really considering that here) natures.

    There’s a good, biological reason why men might be more focused on physical beauty and women might be more focused on other qualities or a wider range of qualities (while still not discounting physical giftedness, as it is still one indication among many of overall fitness and the ability to protect). That would take a lot longer to get into, but I think it suffices to say that the advertisers here really know their target audience in a deeper way than the author appears to give them credit for. The only reason that this isn’t as blatantly obvious in modern times (in the West, at least) is that people try to blur the lines and throw off any concept of “nature” and “identity” rooted in biology (because a stable, secure society isn’t one in which the biological differences are QUITE as necessary in ensuring the survival of that society), so it can be harder to discern exactly why certain constructs still stand or came into being in the first place.

    This to me is why men might be more inclined to accept an advertisement showing a portly fellow with average looks getting a girl whose looks are far superior to his own as opposed to a dashing, handsome, physically fit man with a woman whose basic physical attractiveness is probably far less than the attractiveness of her other qualities. I would also think that women would be more accepting of an attractive woman with a less attractive man than a man would be with an attractive man with a less attractive woman (speaking purely of base physical beauty here).

  2. Even when the trope is flipped on its head, the ‘ugly’ girl is always a small makeover away from being a supermodel. The fact is that you will never see an example of (societies standard) a truly ‘ugly’ woman with an attractive man because then it will shatter the forced male fantasy that all women are beautiful fair creatures. An overweight, acne ridden woman with no drive to improve herself will never be seen, ever unless it is to be made fun of or scrutinized. Women HAVE to be the beautiful ones, no personality or interests required.

    I am so glad this site exists, it gives me hope for the future.

  3. Justa Soares says:

    I’m 18 years old and boys just don’t like me. The majority of them think I am ugly and stupid and they have ZERO respect for me only because of this. They call me a b-tch and always pick on me. I used to be friends with three boys, and then they turned against me and teamed up with those boys who bully me.

    They always compare me to other girls and I’m fed up. I wish I was as pretty as the other girls to be honest and then I wouldn’t have had to suffer so much hate from the opposite sex. They HATE us only for not looking like someone who they would want to date. Once a guy told that “joke” that he would actually praise a rapist for raping an ugly woman, as that was an act of charity.

    My mom tells me that I will find the perfect guy, but I just don’t believe it because guys don’t like how I look and so they would never want to know my personality. Even the ones who are also “ugly” (by the beauty standards), they still can only see the cheerleaders and perfect girls… and then complain that no girl (that they find attractive, who are like only 10% of them) will want to date them.

    Even though I graduated high school and majoring in pre-law in college and I passed my classes, I still don’t feel good because boys just don’t care about my personality and my intelligence. In fact, they don’t care about any woman’s personality or intelligence, they believe women are in this world to please them visually. That is the only value women have for most men.

    I would have already killed myself if I wasn’t so afraid of dying at a young age and if I didn’t care so much about my family.

    I will never pick on a boy because he is “ugly” because I don’t support shallow people and bullying. Also most guys I don’t find ugly at all, just regular human beings.

  4. By way of a counter, I give you twilight, magic mike, and 50 shades of grey

    • Justa Soares says:

      You give us exceptions? Okay.
      (Kristen Steward is not ugly by the way; that men think she is ugly is another proof you guys are shallow asf who believe women should look like supermodel after the photoshop)

  5. Looks are definitely are a big one when it comes to being attracted to men straight up. I don’t care what anyone says about women being attracted to money or power or confidence. Honestly if I don’t find a guy good looking as well its not happening.

    • Justa Soares says:

      That is true. Most women will not get together with a man they find ugly.
      The thing is, we do not judge a man’s value by his looks. He is still a human being who deserves respect and be happy even when we do not want to date them, unlike many or most men who just basically think ugly women are not worth living. Many men have this hate towards women who will not please them… as if we were in this world to please them sexually/visually in every way, even when we do not even know them.
      Also, we are very forgiving and do not hold the male beauty standard that high… a skinny or chubby guy, with no charming hair, who dresss bad, is hairy and has screwed up skin? Just fine, mos of us will still want him and find him beautiful, even more after knowing his personality – something we always take into consideratio, as men are full human beings. Unlike men who, once again, could care less about our personality if we are not that “hot” dream they usually have, even when they are not hot themselves.

  6. There’s always the office romance in Love, Actually. The mousy office assistant gets the supermodel-grade graphic designer. Sure, they never get it on, but only because she chooses her mentally challenged brother over him. Although the ending would have been much better if he’d gone with her.

  7. Some interesting points made here. Very heteronormative though.

  8. kristina says:

    One example comes to mind that contradicts your theory – the wildly popular 50 shades of Gray. The “s the mousy girl” is in fact “in love with the stud”, and he actually loves her back! No make-over or removing of the glasses required.

    • I haven’t read it (and have no intention to do so), but from what I’ve heard, he basically gives her a psychological makeover—reshapes her in his image, so to speak. So 50SoG does not invalidate Shawn’s thesis; on the contrary, it supports it.

  9. Brooke Monfort says:

    There’s a lot of discussion and related segues going on from this article. One interesting and relevant side question to the ugly/attractive coupling as a gender social statement defined in the article was: how do you define “ugly?” As Frank Zappa once sang: “What’s the ugliest part of your body? Some say it’s your nose, and some say it’s your toes, but it’s your mind.” Maybe that’s the point of this article. As social animals, we can be quite superficial in our snap judgements about others, all gender issues and low-ball ad jokes aside. I’ve seen both parts of this equation, the hot one or the not so hot one next to HIM, and the flip Winter/Spring. People judge. We’re hard wired. Part of our awareness is brainwashed by our society to have knee jerk reactions to anything that does not “fit the norm.” While no one can quite define the norm, we all seem to know what it is. This human phenomenon happens in all societies, and BONUS! this article spotlights an area where perhaps our simple awareness can be curative. Bravo.

  10. What about Peggy and Pete Campbell on Mad Men?

  11. You people are only fooling yourselves. Most people would find the male actor in that commercial to be considered UGLY. Grow UP! Do you see guys that look like him on the cover or in GQ magazine or on the cover of fitness magazines, etc..

  12. I’ve experience this. But looks doesn’t matter. If she has a kind heart, that’s enough for me.

  13. emerald says:

    In media we only see gorgeous gal/not-so-gorgeous guy pairings, but in real life it’s different. At least in my experience, I have so many couple friends where the guy is the more attractive one. In this respect, art does not (yet) imitate life. Actually these types of movies aren’t funny in and of themselves to me. I guess I just don’t really care that much about that whole aspect. So, I’m not sure why that’s such a recurring theme in media land. But the list of things I don’t understand in popular media is too long to recite, LOL.

  14. Love the article. I have come to understand that physical beauty is subjective. It’s directly proportional to experience with the person. The most beautiful person in the world will begin to not look so, based on their bad experiences with their mate. A person deemed unattractive by societal standards can be viewed as beautiful based on positive experiences.

    I have encountered some staggeringly beautiful women in my life. And as soon as they opened their mouths, and I heard the uneducated, ghetto, nonsense they spewed, they seemed a lot less attractive, at least for a long term prospect. After some tumultuous times, she seemed not-so-pretty. And not just looks. We can experience so much drama with a person, that after a while, we can barely see any good in them.

    I dated a girl whom some saw as not as good looking as others I’d dated. But she was classy, professional, domesticated and she treated me better than any woman had up to that point in my life. For that reason, she was beautiful to me. More beautiful than any woman I’d ever dated. Every flaw that I initially saw in her physical appearance vanished. Well, she did have an awesome physique. So there’s that.

    • Chris, did you still sleep with the women you felt were ‘uneducated’ and “ghetto”? I’m a little disturbed that this is considered an “evolved man”.

  15. ok so

  16. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I think the author is absolutely right that the unfortunate truth at the moment is that so called “ugly” men can be with pretty women, but handsome men can’t be with “ugly” women. On the other hand, how do you define ugly. I am not sure when it started, but at some point I decided that I would no longer allow myself to mentally call a woman ugly. It did not matter that she, nor anyone else, would know my thoughts about her. That entirely missed the point. The thought itself is damaging, to me, and to her if I interact with her. Your attitude toward someone dictates how you treat them. It also interferes with how you percueve yourself. Do I really need to judge people to make myself feel good? Anyway, I decided that when I looked at a woman and had a negative thought about her I automatically would counter with a positive thought. Sure she does have a hooked nose, but she has very pretty eyes and a cute chin. That is the first step. It is juvenile, because you are still making judgements. The next step is to realize that there is no need to make the judgement in the first place. Who am I to judge her? Am I attracted to her? If yes, it doesn’t matter since I am in a committed relationship, so I continue on my way. If not, it doesn’t matter because someone else will be attracted to her. The world does NOT revolve around me. It does not matter what I think. In fact, I don’t think anythng about her. I just continue on with my day. I am at a point where I don’t even comprehend the questions posed in this essay. Let people be with whomever they want to be. It is their business. Nobody elses.

    • Ladiladidoo says:

      Glad to hear that someone shares the same view as me. People can’t change how they physically look, but they can certainly change their character. I made a ‘pact’ to myself to never judge someone physical because I know we all have flaws and none of us have the right to decide which of us are ‘attractive’ and unattractive. It makes things so much easier when I have a biased-free attitude towards them because then I can interact with them as a person rather than someone who is ‘hot’ or not.

    • Lolabunny says:

      “Who am I to judge her? Am I attracted to her? If yes, it doesn’t matter since I am in a committed relationship, so I continue on my way. If not, it doesn’t matter because someone else will be attracted to her. The world does NOT revolve around me. It does not matter what I think. In fact, I don’t think anything about her. I just continue on with my day.”

      WOAH WOAH. That is an evolved man right now! For a straight guy to ever stop considering a woman’s physical attributes as their principal (and most of the times only) quality and refrain from keeping dissecting her whole outer beauty is such a rarity. As it is your ability to understand women don’t have their beauty (or lack thereof) for your own personal pleasure and/or discontentment. Amazing, congratulations!

  17. Mack Murphy says:

    Blogger: Can you imagine a consumer brand, or even a major media company, offering us the opposite scenario than the one in this commercial?

    Do the names LENA DUNHAM or MINDY KALING ring a bell?

  18. Tom Brechlin says:

    High Definition TV sure as heck hasn’t done these pretty people any favors. Turns out that without professional makeup artists, photo shopping and the other tricks they use, these “stars” aint so hot.

  19. And there’s a TV show that addresses this (among other things) My Mad Fat Diary! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2407574/

  20. science dude says:

    The problem with this, like many attempts at “gender equality” arguments, is that there’s a biological basis for attraction. Men look for physical signs of fertility — youth, a good hip-to-waste ratio, symmetry … while women generally prefer older males and look for signs that a mate can protect and care for their young … so the fat old guy with the great-paying job is just fine for the beautiful young girl. She can always cheat with some attractive guy her own age on the side.

    • Keep fantasizing. So you imagine women are all natural gold diggers? Nice guy here.

      • The thing is, when I actually part ways with a TV set and just people-watch, I see a variety of couples– including couples that are comprised of a jaw dropping gorgeous guy paired with a average looking, or even plain woman. People have their own reasons for being attracted to someone, and they don’t always boil down to physical perfection.

        I am about as average looking as a girl can get at the moment (I am having health issues that don’t help at all, too” and I still occasionally get hit on by guys who (in my opinion) could do a lot better. It could be that they are just keeping the focus on whatever they find pleasant in my appearance– at this point all it could be is my smile– but given my current circumstances, I am forced to believe that it is my personality that is doing the heavy lifting as far as attracting men.
        This is another thing– I have met attractive men who are paired with meh women, and if you so much as hint that that is the case, they look at you like you are nuts. “But’s she beautiful you moron, can’t you see that?”

    • Nonsense – sorry for the lack of a better term. A woman here who by chance dates much younger men, some who are still in school and don’t provide anything financially but are physically, emotionally and intellectually attractive and thus keep a relationship dynamic and interesting. I wouldn’t marry someone I wasn’t sexually attracted to; I wouldn’t choose a junk eating slob with a 50 percent unnecessarily increased risk of type II diabetes and heart attack for a husband if I do my best to care for my health so I can have a better quality life and take better care of a future family. Those studies are totally biased trying to prove a pre-existing theory or the “norm” that Media created which is the point of this article. Take one look into the animal kingdom and which gender is usually more attractive to see that this is a men-made theory. In the end, marriage should be about love. Has the world forgotten that?

    • Jessica says:

      There’s probably a little truth in that, but I think the issue is that those biological instincts aren’t nearly as relevant today as they used to be, if at all, but we put more importance on women’s appearances than we did in the past when “good birthing hips” was perhaps something of more importance. It doesn’t explain why it’s become almost unthinkable to pair an unattractive woman with an attractive man on TV or in commercials but we like to see the male underdog paired with a hot woman who likes him for his personality(and not his age or money).

    • Lolabunny says:

      “She can always cheat with some attractive guy her own age on the side.”
      THAT IS THE POINT. So both females and males will want the young attractive partner. Your “science” is really screwed up, bro. That is just your desperate illogical approach to garbage science mixed up with societal concepts, and for what? You feel good believing it? 😀 Why mention (false) biological truths about male humans but at the same time mention cultural concepts about some female humans?
      In fact, females NEED young males, they are more energetic and can protect better, biologically speaking – and they are much more fertile as well. In all nature, it is much more common older females copulating with younger males than vice-versa. Males of most species never search for “fertility clues”, at least not visually so, but females do that all the time. The most fit male, with the best physique or the most colorful gets the more attention. Energy/athletic displays from the males are very usual as well. Hip-to-waist does NOT show fertility, but only that she is an adult female. She can be an adult but still be infertile. You forgot about pubic (and underarm) hair – that also shows a female is adult and ready to breed. But males mostly feel attracted to a female smell and to her attraction to him as well, something male humans still experience today, although in less degrees.

    • Justa Soares says:

      Science dude is like bullshit dude.

      Older males also have trashy sperm, so females should never (and usually don’t) copulate with them. Even in humans, after the 30’s (or 35’s at best) men should never be procreating anymore, they sperm is not valuable anymore, it’s weak and worthless now. Now women can still go for a little while, and nature proves it. In nature, a female will keep being “valued” by males even after getting old and nature wants them to keep procreating until they can’t anymore, or just die. Now males actually stop getting chosen by females even though they are still the same age or even younger… as the youngest are the best. Even monogamous females cheat on their males to get the best sperm from the young, fit and strong males. The male job is to take care of the offspring and that is all, not even his gens aren’t seen as worth anymore by his own female mate after he gets slightly older. We even see human tribes even today that still find it fine that their women will have sex with other men because they are younger men who have stronger “magic” to pass.
      Also, human beings live in groups and they are not monogamous, or at least not for a long time, it seems like humans bond for a short period of time and then part ways. So female humans, in their “natural state”, do not need the protection of an exclusive male.
      That is true, in the whole nature females will get with slightly older males only for the first years of their maturity (as they are still not full adults but already able to get pregnant), and then after they are full adults they only get younger and younger males, as that is the natural curse.

      • And PS, anthropologists now believe we moved around in groups and packs and women moved from on male to another. Men could not know if a baby was theirs that way, if she slept with 20 men she had 20 men who would protect the kid. And that is why women have a clitoris designed solely and only for pleasure, and why they are naturally hard wired to be polygamous.

      • Elizabeth says:

        That is complete nonsense! Lol . A lot of men procreate after thirty and from a grown woman’s perspective, men are actually more attractive after thirty! And not because of money. WE LIKE THE WAY LAUGH LINES LOOK ON THEM, and we like the way that they have matured into calm thoughtful people! And FYI, to all of you saying that men only like the very beautiful Hollywood type women, you obviously haven’t been out of the house much. Over and over,out in the real world we really great looking men with women, that other women, would find basically unattractive. Girls who are curvy(not like Kim kardashian) but real. Without the gold tan, platinum hair, or anything that Hollywood tells us is attractive. Just natural regular females. And something about those couples feels so natural and oddly right. P.S. They know that we don’t naturally come with makeup preprinted on us. And just because it’s trendy right now for women to look a certain way doesn’t mean that is what even the largest type that men find attractive. I’ve always thought it strange that my husband never really cares for the actresses that I would deem beautiful but instead really likes the ones that are more cute!

    • Nope. Absolute bollocks. Read What Women Really Want by Daniel Bergner. 7 years of scientific research flat out proving what we always knew – women LOVE sex and are extremely attracted to hot men. If she says she doesn’t want sex, she means she doesn’t want sex with you. Introduce an attractive guy, particularly after a couple of years of monogamy – which flat out kills a woman’s sex drive – and suddenly she is up for it again.

      Sorry to burst your bubble. There is one reason and one reason alone why you used to see women with unattractive, older men. Society snatched their right to work and earn a living from them. Now that this is no longer the case attractive women with ugly rich men is getting rarer and we are seeing the opposite too, men dating older rich women. Fact is, both sexes have their share of gold diggers. And now that women are gaining equality we get to see that they behave almost exactly the same as men.

  21. Mark Borok says:

    A refreshing exception to the rule was the old show “Bosom Buddies”. Peter Scolari (who was probably more handsome than Tom Hanks, even if he was on the short side) was paired off with Wendy Jo Sperber, a plump woman who was not very pretty by Hollywood standards. As far as I can recall, her looks and weight were never brought up on the show.

    • Anonymous says:

      For the first season, she was painted as a benign stalker that Henry was trying to avoid. He had to have Kip have the “don’t be shallow” talk with him to finally ask her out.

      • I mean it was more than most shows did to address the issue, but still– it had to be framed as a moral victory for Henry for the producers to feel brave enough to trot it out.

  22. Thank you for this article! It was fascinating. Also, wasn’t there a show, Drop Dead Diva, that had a theme along this line? I think I saw just the premiere episode. Usually, it’s framed in terms of the woman’s weight. I thought the actress on that show was very pretty, still.

  23. Pernilla says:

    Hmmm….it says the movie is private so i cant watch it….

  24. Thank you so much for this article. I’m the Plain Jane to and Adonis in my relationship and it comes with it’s share of ups and downs. Early on it used to upset us both that people would see fit to make jokes about me being a sexual tigress in the bedroom or rich, or him being too stupid or nice to go find a ‘better’ woman.

    It’s been a years now and all insults towards us (deliberate AND intentional) no longer hold the same sting they once had. As to why we were initially attracted to each other? He says he was drawn towards my energy and enthusiasm. For me I respected his efforts to be more than just a pretty face and was fascinated by his sense of adventure (so different from my own).

    We’re not a perfect couple, we’re just a regular one like any other. I just hope that if/when the day comes that we have children, that’s the way everyone will see us – normal.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a similar situation with myself. My fiance is an incredibly handsome man, he modeled in his younger years for Joseph A. Bank, (he’s 35 now and personally I think they’d still take him if he’d continued) but anyway, me as the female I’m definitely not as attractive, I’m slightly overweight and I don’t have a gorgeous face, yet he is attracted to me, which at first surprised me, especially since most men like him are usually with cute pretty skinny girls. But anyway, he said he loved my personality bc it was so different from every other girl, he said I seemed more real and more authentic which in turn made me more fun. And he’s not just a pretty face, he’s one of the smartest men I know, he has a masters in psychology and soon to work on his doctorates. I’m proud of him and he’s wonderful. But yea, people do find it odd that we’re a couple and he gets hit on by much more beautiful colleagues than I, yet he doesn’t care about them and he’s happy being with me. So it is possible and I can relate to you. Tho trust me I am trying to lose weight and I’ve actually lost
      50lbs, but I still have more work to do considering I’m still overweight, but losing weight really gave me confidence boost and he loves that 🙂

      • Clara D. says:

        You are more than 50lbs overweight and you somehow got an ex-Model. I call BS. Even chubby guys don’t want to date fat girls.

        • sheepylamb says:

          wow, that’s pretty jerky of you. it’s certainly frustratingly rare, but WTH would she lie about it here? stranger things have happened!

        • Oh lol, you sure? Well sister let me tell you GUYS LOVE CHUBBY WOMEN. Not obese, 50 lbs isn’t that much even unless you are one of those skinny 130 lbs women who you are afraid to even hug lest they get broken.
          Chubby girls are much more fun in bed, are mor ehonest with their feelings and are a lot more stable, showing abs is not healthy for women; and in fact a doubl edigit body fat is preferable since those are more likely to have natural breasts.

          • hmm… just saying @Arthur, but there are a lot of women in this world who are naturally skinny and get a lot of shit for not being curvy or even insinuated to be “anorexic” and isn’t really appreciated to be called weak little non-humans who are afraid to “get broken”. I never understand why overweight women insist on making their point of putting themselves up by putting down women of a different body shape. I understand that you are absolutely beautiful being overweight, but why can’t we all be beautiful?? Why does it have to be one or the other?

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually there are a lot of men that are not assholes who will love a woman for her personality and her inner beauty. We all end up old and wrinkly anyway

        • Kirrivath says:

          Beautiful people can get really tired of shallowness. Authentic caring goes a lot further than many people realize. Your personal taste might put one of the partners at 5/10 or 6/10 where that person’s partner thinks of them as an 11/10.

        • Elizabeth says:

          You’re crazy! A. Not all people think a size two is attractive. B. A persons personality can make a huge difference in how “cute” they are.C. Sometimes really pretty people are so lacking in any depth that their obvious physical attributes become so less desirable as you get to know them. Omg how many of us “average” looking girls have actually dated Adonis only to find we didn’t really care for them. If I were to call BS on anything it would be that her ex-model had a brain and that she actually found him likable!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Thumbs up!

  25. It’s a huge difference between Melissa and the disgustingly ugly man in that commercial. I mean google her pictures and watch her film, at least she tries to do her hair, wear maleup and nice clothes. She looks cute and I am sure that many men wants to date her. You have to pic another girl to compare that commercial-man with. In fact, I think it would be difficult to find women that doesn’t fix themselves. It’s more accepted among men to not do anything about their looks. For example have you seem top model? How many men are there? Hah! Not very common with such on TV. An other example is the fashion for men. Not very variated compared to female fashion. It’s in our culture to not look good as a man, he just needs to be a manly man and that’s enough. But not for me. He

    • Yeah that’s probably why he made the distinction that it is an ugly version of Melissa. But hey, thanks for defeating that straw man you built; really impressive.

      • @Dan : I agree.
        @Maria : This “disgusting and ugly” guy is a person, and it is disturbing that you can judge him so easily without knowing anything about him. Do you really think that he would have been hired as an actor for a Superbowl commercial if he didn’t fix himself? I don’t claim to know anything about him, other then the fact that he appeared in commercials and tv shows like Chuck. Men may sometimes wear less eyeliner and blush but if you think that they aren’t as affected by the way that they look, then you are very insensitive towards men. Some people(of all genders) can roll out of bed and be ready for work in seconds. The rest of us fix ourselves. Men are just as likely to suffer from low body image as women, and your comments only make us feel worse. Poor guy is getting compared to a super model….

    • Mark Borok says:

      The guy in the commercial is perfectly presentable. He’s well-dressed and groomed.

    • Why is he ugly and disgusting? because he is a big guy? I wonder about adults that really pay attention to things like and label folks as such. Those “ugly and disgusting” people are real people, not made up fictional characters. I wasn’t raised to see this first, while most people are calling folks ugly, I’m over there making a new friend regardless of what they look like. Yeah I know what society deems “unattractive” but it’s a bit of stretch to literally call folks ugly for looking a certain way.

    • Mytwocents says:

      Melissa McCarthy is actually married… Just sayin’… There are guys for whom “conventional good looks” are unimportant…

  26. Any time I am with a man older, less attractive and less fit than I am, I get extreme reactions especially from guys who think they should be my date instead. It’s very rude and intrusive. Also, I see women giving such guys terrible looks… like “What are you doing, you slime… dating such a young/pretty woman?” What bothers me most about all of this, is that I do what I want and it is no one’s business who I want to spend time with! It’s like… like they think a woman can’t make up her own mind? Like she needs to be ‘saved’ or told what to do? Like I should be doing what some stranger thinks I should be doing? Ridiculous. I am not here for anybody but myself.

    • Anonymous says:

      touché, Ophilia. I’m out of a May December arrangement; the younger woman and I “hid” our relationship from everyone, for the exact reasons you listed. I am impatient by nature, and things turned sour after I was tired of not doing things socially without caution or blinders. Society bites.

      • what a shame,you actually care more about what a bunch of stranger thinks than the younger/ pretty girl who had truly fallen in love with you?

  27. If it was a hot guy kissing an ugly girl, we’d be too sorry to bitch, because we’d say the guy is giving out charity!

  28. I think Jason Segel is MUCH more attractive than Channing Tatum.

  29. Hank Vandenburgh says:

    Happens all the time– wealthy guy, younger knockout girl. Ev psych predicts this, and also that she may secretly stray with studly guys.

  30. I think the one exception recently in pop culture was on Girls, when Lena Dunham’s character had a fling with an older, wealthy, very attractive man played by Patrick Wilson. And lo, the vitriol of the internet commentariat did fly!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lena-dunham-explains-girls-romance-with-patrick-wilson/

  31. Eduardo García says:

    The first time I saw a K-Drama (Korean Drama Series) with my wife, the one thing that caught my attention was the fact that the main female lead was a very plain looking girl while the male lead was a Model. At first I found it odd. The female villain was this classy well dress lady, so it’s not for lacking beautiful women in Korea. Then it hit me. They are pandering their target audience, the plain looking woman. That means setting them up with handsome men and vilifying the attractive woman.

  32. totally offensive ad. It’s always the “beautiful” but stupid woman and the “smart” guy.
    What about showcasing women’s intelligence for once?
    maybe even beautiful AND smart.
    what a shocker.
    I can guarantee there are a few women creating brilliant websites these days.

    • I think you overlook something.
      Have a close look at ads. A lot of them show stupid men, especially supid husbands or fathers. It is a very well known joke that a husband or father screws something up.
      To say it’s always the stupid women and the smart guy is completely wrong!

  33. Thank you, thank you. I don’t have anything clever to say or anything wise to add to the conversation; I’m just thankful that someone is talking about this. As a comedy lover, it is something I think about time and time again. Seeing these types of relationships displayed in the media perpetuates unfortunate stereotypes of both men and women (e.g. men are vain, women have to be beautiful, women don’t care about anything other than a rich man, etc).

  34. Thank you for pointing this out. I’ve often lamented the fact that men are rarely expected to “doll up.” These tropes just reinforce the expectation that a man can reel in any woman of his liking with nothing but his personality. I personally think this contributes to the “nice guy” syndrome, because some men think this is real life! “Why doesn’t she like me? I’m smart and very nice to her!” Well, may be she doesn’t find you attractive. “But…but… what about the nerd on the GoDaddy commercial?? Women like brains and money more than looks!” Yeah right!! Attractiveness counts, too! And who knows, this might be some poor dude’s thinking process, and it’s really unfair. Last example—OkCupid. I once ventured to look at the women advertising themselves, and boy, what a shock!!! So many gorgeous girls who bothered to put on makeup, post the most flattering pics of themselves, etc! Judging from what I had seen from the guys’ pictures, I thought the majority of the girls would look homely, too! But no, every one of the ladies put their best foot forward, looks-wise. Why don’t men bother to do the same??

  35. All I have to say is: Buffy.. it’s not the exact scenario, but it does challenge the current model.

  36. “Can you imagine a consumer brand, or even a major media company, offering us the opposite scenario than the one in this commercial?”

    Interesting that you mentioned that. When I first saw that GoDaddy commercial, I remember thinking “how would people react if it was an attractive man making out with an ugly girl?” I think people would’ve reacted with a bit of anger and called the commercial “cruel.” But when it’s a hot chick and an ugly dude, it’s all in good fun.

    “It’s simply accepted that in sit-coms, male leads will almost always outkick their coverage in landing an on-screen girlfriend or wife.”

    Kevin James and Leah Remini from The King of Queens
    Philip and Hillary Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
    Homer and Marge Simpson
    Peter and Lois Griffin
    This list could go on forever

  37. I dont need to see handsome men – unattractive women combination in the media.
    In reality its much more common to see mediocre looking overweight women having hooking up and having casual sex with decent looking fit guys.

    • Yes but it is unlikely those guys will actually date those women, they are just taking an opportunity for casual sex.

      • We’ve recently had media blow-ups about hateful comments directed towards fat lady newscasters, actresses, and singers. It’s one of those prejudices that you can get away with, apparently, as long as you couch your words in concern-trollisms about health etc.

        I think we see ordinary couples in real life where the guy is say, a “6” and the gal is a “4” because regular people are not as hung up on having a visually perfect mate as our media/fashion/entertainment complex is.

      • “Yes but it is unlikely those guys will actually date those women, they are just taking an opportunity for casual sex.”
        How often do fitter women have casual sex with mediocre looking overweight men? Pretty damn rare, far far more rare than the opposite. How often do those fitter women date mediocre looking overweight men? Pretty damn rare I find too, people tend to want someone on “their level or better”.

  38. poo flinging monkey numer five says:

    Ugly Betty is a sitcom of the ugly girl against the world … but alas she doesn’t have a steady hot guy.
    Roseanne was a sitcom of an ugly girl against the world. But alas her husband was also the ugly type.

    The default for men apparently asensual, asexual and ugly. We’re not supposed to revel in pretty, feel good things. We’re not supposes to cuddle and chat together like little girls or widowed old ladies

    Whereas the default for women is the antithesis. They are expected to forever indulge in the dainty things. They are expected to forever be in love with prettiness in a non-objectifying manner by default. And the woman who.is not sensual (which is surprisingly common) is shunned–but never as harshly as her inverese dainty male… in the USA at least.

  39. “The Woman(!) Behind GoDaddy’s Effective Super Bowl Ads (Forbes / Mixed Media)
    The person behind all these testosterone-laced campaigns is a woman: Barb Rechterman, GoDaddy’s longtime senior executive vice president and chief marketing officer. She took a few minutes to chat with Galley Cat about why GoDaddy spends so much to make a splash at the Super Bowl, the accusations that its marketing is sexist, and why that gross makeout session was actually pretty good advertising. NYT / Media Decoder Given that Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day of the year for advertising as well as for football, Madison Avenue waits each year after the game with bated breath for the results of the myriad analyses, polls and surveys of consumer responses to the commercials. What follows is a roundup of some of the information and data released on Monday and Tuesday, after the conclusion of Super Bowl XLVII.”

  40. People seem to think the point of a SuperBowl ad is to get consumers to buy something. That’s one goal, but not the whole picture: they want you to TALK about it. They want to see how many times they can get you to reference their commercial or say GoDaddy.com in the days, weeks, months after the ad airs. That’s why I have to laugh at articles like this that criticize an ad while linking to the video, giving that advertiser one more “impression” to count towards the campaigns’ overall success. Criticize all you want, but as long as you’re mentioning them by name and linking to their content, they’ve still won.

    • Shawn Peters says:

      No doubt. It was a very effective ad for them in terms of new business. They claimed Monday was their biggest sales day ever.

      That said, a Twitter search shows that there were a notable percentage of people who called the spot a reminder to switch their domain to another service. They aren’t crowing about that.

      But you’re right. If all you want for your 3.8 million bucks during SB time is to be discussed, a bad ad, an offensive ad, a brilliant ad and polarizing ad all have similar value.

      My question is whether they would’ve gotten the same response with genders swapped.

      • My answer is, probably not. The choice to feature Bar Rafaeli and Stereotypical Nerdy Guy is deliberate. It plays on cultural tropes that we may dislike and wish didn’t exist, but that’s precisely why it works – because these tropes *are* cultural, and are recognized by a large enough consumer base to have a business impact. It can be easy to forget when speaking in echo chambers of gender-minded people, but we’re still the minority, not the mainstream. GoDaddy doesn’t care as much about the customers they potentially lost as long as they experience a net gain.

        • I also think it’s rather likely that everyone who Tweeted a negative reaction to the ad and made some claim about switching their service, probably didn’t. Consumers make empty threats like that all the time without significant follow-through.

  41. I don’t know if you guys had Beauty and the Geek where you are (I’m in the UK). It was basically ten geeky guys sent away to a country house with ten ‘hot’ girls and put through various tasks and trials in an effort to try and win a) the competition and b) one of the girls. Whenever I watched I couldn’t help wondering whether it would ever be possible to do it the other way around and put ten geeky girls with ten ‘hot’ guys. I suspect not.

    The thing is, while the male ‘geeks’ were content to (and indeed applauded for) have a partner whose only apparent asset was her looks, I couldn’t see a situation where female ‘geeks’ would be satisfied with only good looks and where it would be acceptable viewing to see a gorgeous guy go out with a girl ‘for her personality’.

    (Also, I found it hard to think of any woman who would willingly put herself forward as ‘geeky but unattractive’ whereas the men in the show seemed unconcerned about that label.)

    All the time these ‘norms’ are being presented in the media, it is subtly reinforcing ideas about gender roles and fostering insecurities in both men and women. Women are told their greatest asset is their beauty (and ideally the admiration from third parties that goes with it), brains are just a bonus. Men are told their greatest asset is their brain (and ideally the wealth and success that comes from using it). For them beauty is unnecessary and again, only a bonus.

    So nobody comes out of this well. But the real question for me is, why when we know that real life bears little to no resemblance to this trope, is it still the norm in media?


    • So nobody comes out of this well. But the real question for me is, why when we know that real life bears little to no resemblance to this trope, is it still the norm in media?

      Because it reenforces those comfortable little illusions.

      You know the whole bit about how guys only want beauty in a woman (which is quite untrue if you talk to real guys) and women only want money in a man (which is quite untrue if you talk to real women)? Well those little tropes are a bit of comfort to people who are unable to find a partner of their own.

      Also even in the event of people who do find a partner I think its a matter of not bothering to challenge the stereotypes because they don’t care. They already have someone so why bother trying to argue against those illusions.

    • because it s what most men and women want to believe. Like you said, you wouldn’t believe the idea that women could be shallow and liking guys just because hes hot. While in the real world, it happen often. But most women don’t want to believe that women could be just shallow for looks ( not wealth and personality ) because it makes them manly, and not womanly. And ewwww, gross, behaving like a men? Hell I’m a women I wouldn’t do that, men behavior is disgusting while ours are not!!!

      Believing gender stereotypes, for most women and men, are comforting. It makes you feel like your’e better than your opposite sex.

    • The later seasons had a female geek with a hot guy. Thing is even female geeks probably have an easier time getting laid, the stereotypical traits of shyness harm men mostly as women can be more passive n just wait for men to hit on them in many cases.

      “(Also, I found it hard to think of any woman who would willingly put herself forward as ‘geeky but unattractive’ whereas the men in the show seemed unconcerned about that label.)”
      You get a makeover on the show, I kinda wish I went on it just for the makeover and tips on how to better talk to people.

      “So nobody comes out of this well. But the real question for me is, why when we know that real life bears little to no resemblance to this trope, is it still the norm in media?”
      Normal is boring, people probably want to see fantasy more than reality. Hell most stuff I watch is fantasy, sci fi, etc, Watching someone goto work n having typical life problems gets a lil boring. Seeing the same kinda people over n over probably gets boring, but seeing a super duper smart or hot person is rare, it’s new, it’s fresh I guess?

  42. Years ago, while in college I worked with a women who was a riot, her personality was addicting. She was by far not what you would consider a “knock out.” She was overweight and I guess what some would call mousy. She had a boyfriend that was very average. Years later after losing touch with her, I ran into her. She’d lost a ton of weight and had become the proverbial “knock out.” My wife asked her about her boyfriend and she said she was still with him and that they’d got married. She said something to the affect that he loved her when she was fat and sure as hell wouldn’t walk away from him now. They’re still together. If you were to see them together, someone may wonder how this guy could snag a women like her. Ya never know what love can do.

  43. In reality its more common to see the mousy nerdy girls having casual sex with the studs than the sexes reversed

    • AnonymousDog says:

      An unattractive guy getting continually rejected by attractive women can be a source of comedy, but I have to doubt that an unattractive woman being continually rejected by attractive men would be seen as equally funny.

  44. Shawn Peter you really missed the boat on this one. Your right, there IS a double standard. But it doesn’t favor the side you think it does.

    As you point out, the point of the ad is that it is “funny.” What is funny about it is “why would someone hot like her get with a fast disqusting slob like him.” It is a joke at HIS expense. And it is almost ALWAYS at “HIS” expense.

    If the roles were reversed, what was a “Funny” commercial when the guy was the butt of the joke would be a “mean spirited” commercial when the girl was the butt of the joke. Few would laugh. Most would be uncomfortable.

    The same dyhamic is at work in virtually every sitcom in which a husband-wife relationship is the focal point–it is the husband who is the bumbling idiot and can’t put his pants on straight. And there, it usually has little to do with “looks” and everything to do with intelligence, common sense, emotional iq. etc.
    The bottom line is our culture is very uncomfortable with laughing AT women, and very comfortable with putting down men.

    • Shawn Peters says:

      Cynic,

      Agree with some of the points you make at the end. Whether it’s because (as I’d guess you believe) we can’t laugh at women because they’re sacred, or if laughing at them feels like picking on the “weaker” sex in a patriarchal society (as others would claim), I don’t deny that men are the butt of the jokes more often in media. I think the question of why we’re uncomfortable laughing “at” women is a good discussion to have, but it wasn’t the point of this piece. I wanted to look at what it is in us that makes the “nerd kissing the model” situation in the commercial palatable and funny to some, while reversing the genders would make it inconceivable and unfunny to almost all.

      As for your larger gripe with men’s portrayals in media, while we both see the prevailing dynamic in, say, sit-coms, you seem focused only on the raw deal male comic protagonists receive while I see it as two sided. They are the butt of the joke, but they are also the hero. They make the unforgivable mistakes, and then they are redeemed. They are comic protagonists… and they’ve been around since the first societies decided to put on plays that weren’t about religious parables. They are scolded by their far-too-attractive wives, but then they are loved and cherished by them too. It’s all exaggerated because it creates conflict, and conflict is what drama and comedy are both based on.

      If we’re limiting ourselves to “accurate” portrayals of men, then we’re not only losing the buffoonish Kevin James and Ray Romanos, but also the ultra-confident James Bonds and Danny Oceans and the deliciously complicated Archie Bunkers and Vick Mackeys. I think it’s the media’s duty to reflect the full breadth of what men and women can be (from the realistic to the ridiculous) and then for audiences to decide which ones are done with enough craft, honesty, art and ingenuity to hold their attention. My issue is when we, in the media, fail to do that, and only go for the obvious answers, the low-hanging fruit, and most readily available stereotype without trying to innovate.

      That’s just my take.


      • As for your larger gripe with men’s portrayals in media, while we both see the prevailing dynamic in, say, sit-coms, you seem focused only on the raw deal male comic protagonists receive while I see it as two sided.

        I think that only appears so because often times people are quick to say that men flat out are not getting a raw deal in tv portrayals.

        I don’t think Cynic is actively trying to avoid the fact that women get a raw deal in media portrayals. I think it seems that way because the James Bonds and the Danny Oceans are used as proof that either the Kevin James/Ray Romanao types don’t exist (or at least they are not an insult to men) or that they somehow balance out those baffoon types. And then turn around and criticize how unrealistice the James Bonds and Danny Oceans are.

        In short its a case of taking something that portrays men in a horrible light and then rather than acknowledge that an analysis of women is offered up as “But at least men….”.

  45. Michael Rowe says:

    Why is it that when ordinary nerdy men date attractive women, they’re “objectifying” them, but when women date rich and/or powerful nerdy men, there’s never any discussion of the possibility that those men are being objectified for their wealth or power?

    • Probably because such talk has already been preemptively headed off by saying that those rich/powerful men (not just nerds) are objectifying/using/abusing/misleading those women.

      Basically either way you look at it men are mistreating women no matter how you spin it.

      • Because not many people seem to understand how heavily men are objectified in media. Hell the 80’s Action movies was very bad for it, men were basically walking steroid steak bullet shields killing everything in sight for many movies. I actually enjoy the recent stuff like Taken though where seemingly not so strong men can do some major damage when they need to without needing balloon muscles.

        I don’t think people realize how much it sucks being a poor male though when most media portrays men earning more than women and women wanting guys with a decent amount of cash, do they realize how invisible men like us feel? Add in being overweight n shy and you feel like you don’t exist at times. Hollywood has some terrible stereotypes.

  46. Shawn, THANK YOU for being a man who sees this in our culture. I am always very grateful for men like yourself that look at things not only about how they affect men (such as it would only be a *joke* for some average guy to be with a hot woman), but how they affect women….us everyday average non-model, non-cheerleader women that are surrounded with messages about our lacking beauty on a daily basis.

    I also noticed that in a lot of movies, that there are still huge disaparties between actresses and actors ages. There are so many movies that pair older male actors with younger female actresses. Especially in romantic or sexy roles. It’s so common place that I don’t think most people notice it. However, if you run through the most current movies every few months, there are way more movies with older male leads with younger leads instead of movies with older male actors with their contemporaries.

    • I saw one recently like this, guy was 40+ and she was 20, action movie. I don’t think the older man is shown as sexy at all though, sexy is usually reserved for her and he has to be a badass, or rich, or have some personality or lifestyle trait that most men do not have. The message I get is if you want the hottie you need to go kill a bunch of people who wronged her, protect her from an army, or be rich as hell. The only time I’ve seen non-rich, non-sexy men with the hottie is in the current stonercomedy movies and it’s usually something like Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl, or Elizabeth Banks, and the guy is pretty much always an idiot. Stupid stereotypes! In the 80’s I think they had the comedy crowd with the beautiful wife, but he had to be a very funny person. I can’t think of any movie where a non-funny but smart geeky poor guy has the hot partner.

      I get the feeling they’re portraying older men as more attractive, and usually the men are above middle class income, the women are usually 10 years younger. The grandparents I’ve noticed usually has a man with grey hair, wrinkled skin, but his wife is 10 years younger and looks like she’s in her 40’s at most, still has original hair colour and smoother skin.

      Thing is people still buy into these stereotypes so they will continue.

      • Of course the older man isn’t shown as sexy. He isn’t the sex object. She is.

        Archy: “The message I get is if you want the *hottie* you need to go kill a bunch of people who wronged her, protect her from an army, or be rich as hell. The only time I’ve seen non-rich, non-sexy men with the *hottie* is in the current stonercomedy movies and it’s usually something like Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl, or Elizabeth Banks, and the guy is pretty much always an idiot.”

        Which is exactly the point Shawn was making. How a woman’s’ looks are always highlighted over anything else. How the only women worth having are the *hotties*. You threw that word so easily around you didn’t even think about it. This is the problem. It shouldn’t just be about all the average, older, plainer, younger, hot men that all what “hotties”. This is a crappy way to represent women both for those that are very attractive and those that aren’t.

  47. Actually, this makes me think of the adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have sometimes heard guy friends describing their newly acquired girlfriends as amazingly beautiful, but when I meet them in person, I may think they’re pretty, but only insofar the looks of the guy.

  48. I imagine that it sucks to be women these days. The expectation is that because she’s gorgeous, she’s not allowed to care for or fall for a great guy that doesn’t have equal looks. Lot of women are missing out on a lot of great guys.

    BTW, anyone see a lot of these women without the make up? Give me a women that cares more about me then herself, and you have a deal. Oh wait, I have that!

    • And how about all the average women or below average women that believe they don’t deserve someone much better looking then themselves?

      Tom B. , I’m sure it is hard for women when the are already beautiful but feel like they can’ be with teh great guy who deson’t have equal looks. But you didn’t even say or htink about all the women that aren’t gorgeous. And that’s part of the problem.

      I hope that you care more about your woman then you care about yourself just like your woman cares more about you then herself. If not, then it would seem that your getting a lot of caring in the relatoinship and your partner might not be.

      • Erin, I’ve known my wife since I was 11 years old. She’s the only women I’ve ever been with and we’ve been married for 38 years. I would think that she wouldn’t have stuck around this long if the caring wasn’t mutual. Other then God, there is no one I care for and love more. In part, that’s why we’ve been together so long, we always put the others needs before our own.

      • Erin, yeah, it sucks in reverse as well. But if people are out to snag a mate based on looks, then I guess all of them are missing out. Society places way too much emphasis on ”looks.” People who date go through their rituals but that’s not what or who people are. IMO, if someone is out for looks and use looks as a starting point in a relationship, then it’s their loss in that they have eliminated a large population of people.

        • That’s incredibly awesome Tom B that you have know your wife since you were 11 years old and you have mutual love and care. I hope you didn’t take my question personally. It wasn’t. We are strangers and I was just asking since you didn’t offer that side of the information.

          My problem though that your immediate thoughts went to the pressures on *hot women*. I don’t think you did this on purpose or to be derogatory to women that aren’t hot. But I just point it because often men do only think about the *hot women* because those of the women who have value to them. Your first thought was to talk about all the hot women that probably don’t feel like they have the freedom to be with men they may like that are less attractive. You didn’t even intially think about women that aren’t hot. Or the hot men that may want to go for less hot women either. I just want to point that out because I think it’s important and something I see commonly with men. This is in NO WAY an attack on you. But it’s a problem I run into regularly that I wanted to highlight.

          Although I will say that I think women in general express more diversity for what they are attracted to then men. Which is why it’s more common to see a less attractive man with a beautiful woman than it is to see a less attractive woman with a beautiful man.

          • Erin, no, I didn’t take your comment personally.

            In so far as “hot women” … ya have to wonder what it’s like in so far as societal expectations on them. You’re “hot” so you have to hang with hot looking people. I would imagine that some of these women would like to be open to dating anyone, no matter what they look like. Same would apply to guys that are great looking … pressure to date the “babes” so to speak.

            I think average people like myself have a much bigger playing field (if I was on the playing field). Average people should have the benefit of not having to deal with looks alone.

            All I do know is that there is no way I could be single these days. Erin … how old are you? Do you live in the Chicago area? My son is 27 … I’ve decided to start setting him up. He does have dreadlocks though.

            • I’m flattered Tom but I do not live in the Chicago area. NJ born and raised but currently living in FL. I hope your son finds an amazing woman that not takes good care of his heart but gets along well and can have a good relationship with you and your wife.

            • Lolabunny says:

              In fact, “hot guys” are the ones who feel ost pressured to date someone only on their league or up. So why not feel sorry for them, but once again only mention the “hot women”?

          • Lolabunny says:

            “But I just point it because often men do only think about the *hot women* because those of the women who have value to them.”

            Yes. Men do that all the fucking time. That is not even funny anymore. I guess we should start doing the same. Never mention “men” but “hot men”, just like they do all the time with women. Hope that will be fun for them. 🙂

  49. Shawn Peters wrote:
    ——–
    “However, I think there’s no question that movies/TV/commercials do send a meta-message to men that no matter how flawed, flabby, immature, or (gasp) average they may be, there will be a good woman who will love them, warts and all.

    No such luck if you’re a women with those traits though. Pop culture’s got nothing for you in that situation”.
    ——–

    There are the two Bridget Jones movies, which are very popular with women precisely because it shows a very ordinary woman being fought over by two highly successful attractive men.

    Presumably there must be other movies, given the amount of content out there. If not, then I am surprised because I would think movie executives would be looking to exploit new lucrative opportunities.

    • Shawn Peters says:

      Bridget Jones is a good call… with small caveats.

      Rene Z. (see how I avoid having to check spelling?) was frumped up for that role. Not to the Charlize Theron in “Monster” level, but still… she’s an attractive starlet who was made less attractive.

      But still, the POINT of the movie was that she was a very average, very flawed woman who had desireable men fighting over, and so in that regard, it’s pretty unique and does a great job of trying to turn the status quo on its ear.

      • I can’t remember the name, but there was a “black movie” (as in nearly every cast member in the movie was black) which had 3 women and 3 men dating, one woman was quite overweight and was married to what I’d say was a male model. I think it was a romantic comedy having something to do with guys having to rewin back their wife’s love.

    • There’s always Twilight

      • THANK YOU! I was waiting for someone to say this. No one qualifies as “mousy” quite like Kristen Stewart. A LOT of female-oriented media pairs the average Jane with the hunk. I don’t see men lining up to bow at the feet of Sarah Jessica Parker, but Carrie got Big and we all envied her for it. So yeah, maybe it’s not in advertising, but it’s not “a combination the media will never show you.”

      • Supra deluca says:

        … I find Kristen Stewart so sexy. Her face, her petit body and most importantly her personality (other than the cheating habit), just gorgeous! I love that she is real and more edgy.

  50. I find this commercial insulting because it plays with the fantasy that a man, any man, attractive or not, should always aspire to (and see as a successful person) get a beautiful woman by his side. The other women who aren’t supermodels or cheerleaders aren’t even worth knowing by this standard. And then, as you say, if this causes laughs on some people it’s because it’s so “cringe inducing”, therefore, in some part of their brains they are thinking “Oh, yeah, sure. He would never get a girl like this”, even if they say it’s funny because it’s unusual, but it can happen. Yes, it can happen, but deep inside they think it can’t. And that’s what makes this commercial (and many people) so superficial.

  51. Interestingly, there’s an ad with Will Ferrell kissing an older woman on a bus that plays for the same sort of laughs.

  52. So what’s your point?

  53. Haven’t you ever come across couples where the guy is handsome and the woman is at best “not conventionally pretty” and yet he obviously loves her?

    In real life, where it’s okay to be a low-profile “chubby chaser” or other such connoisseur, I see this fairly often. Also, while I have serious doubts about the truism that men age better than men, I see older long-established couples where the man is looking good and is still clearly attached to his wife who is really showing her age.

    • Whoops, should have said “the truism that men age better than women”

    • Hugh Jackman got criticized for this apparently. I regularly see men of all shapes n sizes with women of all shapes n sizes, as an overweight man it was great to see an overweight man with all shapes n sizes because it proved to me that I don’t have to date just one type of person and settle. I was brought up hearing fat men needed to date fat women only and thought it was incredibly shallow, I later heard from some small women that they love larger guys as it makes them feel safer. I find attraction to be fairly random these days.

  54. Hal Randy says:

    I’d like to introduce you to the Italian movie “Passione d’Amore” and the Sondheim musical based off it, “Passion,” because they present the exact scenario you suggest, where a handsome, intelligent military officer in 19th-century Italy is pursued by and eventually falls in love with a strident, aggravating and unattractive woman. They eventually accept the love they feel for each other as being pure and unsullied, but everyone around them accuses the man of taking advantage of her and castigates him. In the movie, even, the man is mocked by a short person because, as the latter says, an beautiful woman could fall in love with him but it was impossible a beautiful man could fall in love with an ugly woman. At least *some* artists are trying to shed light on this two-faced trope.

  55. Honestly, my experience at the Superbowl party where I was watching this was anything but this sentiment: “Thus, we’ve accepted the notion that a stunning model or actress or stewardess or lawyer-ess could easily be attracted to a man lacking washboard abs, a lantern jaw or any other body part equated to something you’d find in a Conestoga wagon.”

    The reactions in the room from women ranged from, “Yuck” and “Ew” to “Oh my god, I’m going to vomit”. Which I think is actually also sad (the notion that it’s somehow incredibly repulsive that a smart geeky but unattractive guy might be kissing a model).

    • I too got the feeling that the reactions from women that I saw on Twitter regarding that commercial were more because of how the guy looked than the actual content.

      • Shawn Peters says:

        Interesting take, and I can’t discount it. Most of the disgust I felt (and experienced talking to others) had to do with the camera being too close and the audio being too graphic. A few friends even said they felt uncomfortable because it was so clear that Bar was doing it for a paycheck, which made it feel even more prostitutionalized than most advertising does anyway.

        But there’s no question that GoDaddy (and their agency) thought people would find it funny and memorable. Do you think it ever came up that they could do it with a male model and… say… Mayim Bialik?

        • I’d like to see that. Exact same setup, same sounds, same camera closeness with the male model from the Calvin Klein commercial and Kathy Bates or Melissa McCarthy (Mayim Bialik is too attractive outside of being Amy Farrah Fowler for this scenario).

          • I find it interesting and unfortunately unsurprising that your examples of “Unattractive” women are merely overweight actresses. I doubt their actual facial appearance has anything to do with this.

        • Yeah, the audio definitely provoked a reaction in me too.

          Yeah, would be interesting to see the reverse. Suspect they’d be unable to avoid geek-chic’ing up the girl (think pony tails, ridiculous horn rimmed glass on an otherwise attractive woman).

        • “A few friends even said they felt uncomfortable because it was so clear that Bar was doing it for a paycheck, which made it feel even more prostitutionalized than most advertising does anyway.”
          Are you implying he would have done it for free? He did the same thing, which means he was prostitutionalized as well yet did anyone mention that? Or do they just see him as a pityful loser who should feel lucky to kiss such a beautiful woman?

          • I don’t know what the original poster meant by that.

            But my read of the “clear doing it for a paycheck” was that Bar (who’s the woman here, not the man) gave off a couple of micro-messages that looked to me like she wasn’t really enjoying it. Tho honestly I chalk that up more to her being a model instead of a stellar actress. I can’t imagine that in 60 takes of a kiss that anyone who isn’t an actor/actress would look perfectly into it every single moment of every take.

  56. This used to bother me, but I started noticing that in real life I see mostly the same couplings. Lots of couples with fat guys, old guys, or not great looking guys with fit, attractive to very attractive women. Amazingly enough this is something I see across all races. My wife and I see it and comment on it all the time. My guess is these guys have high income jobs so their physical shortcomings are overlooked.

    My wife and I see this and comment on it daily. I’ve not changed my opinion on this and believe it is more true in life than even on TV.

    • The difference between fiction and real life is that the average or ugly man with a hot girlfriend in fiction often lacks any positive qualities. They really are very immature, not so good-looking loosers. In real life, the average and ugly men with hot girlfriends tend to have other factors in their favor like money, power, or artistic ability. That is something else that makes them attractive.

  57. This latest ad from GoDaddy seems to be not much more than an evolution of their previous ads (as I think you’re trying to say). By adding an actual guy to the ad they are putting a face to the horny dude (that needs some domain space) they’ve been marketing their ads to for the last several years.


    It’s simply accepted that in sit-coms, male leads will almost always outkick their coverage in landing an on-screen girlfriend or wife. See, it’s funny … yet somehow possible, just like the GoDaddy ad. Ditto movies where Billy Crystal, Adam Sandler and Jason Segel can land, respectively, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore and Mila Kunis. Most importantly, none of those very average joes had to be anyone but themselves to get the girl.

    I think the thing to bear in mind is that this often does not translate into real life. I see this “in movies men can be themselves and get the hot girl but women have to change in order to get the hot guy” complaint. The first part of that sentence doesn’t necessarily happen that easily.

    • Shawn Peters says:

      Thanks for the comment, Danny. You’re right… in real life, men are rarely encouraged to “just be themselves.” There are expectations… rules… ideals to live up to.

      However, I think there’s no question that movies/TV/commercials do send a meta-message to men that no matter how flawed, flabby, immature, or (gasp) average they may be, there will be a good woman who will love them, warts and all.

      No such luck if you’re a women with those traits though. Pop culture’s got nothing for you in that situation.

      • FlyingKal says:

        However, I think there’s no question that movies/TV/commercials do send a meta-message to men that no matter how flawed, flabby, immature, or (gasp) average they may be, there will be a good woman who will love them, warts and all.
        The message that is sent is that a man might be be flawed, flabby or immature.
        However, I see nothing “average” or “just be myself” in the messages about how I’m supposed to be to earn the love of a good woman.

      • Danny and Shawn, I disagree. When you see a piece of entertainment where a nerdy but sweet or kind teenage boy ends up with the hot girlfriend, the message is “be yourself.” Its telling the nerdy but sweet and kind boys that by being themselves, they will end up with the cheerleader/supermodel to be rather than the captain of the football team because earnest geekiness makes for better future mating material. Plus, you’ll be a rich or at least upper middle-class and that money will make for your lack of looks.


        • Its telling the nerdy but sweet and kind boys that by being themselves, they will end up with the cheerleader/supermodel to be rather than the captain of the football team because earnest geekiness makes for better future mating material.

          Which as I said does not match up with real life.

          When guys are being themselves at best only a precious few of them actually do end up with the cheerleader/supermodel and even when the girl he is asking out is not the queen bee the odds don’t get much better. Those forms of nerd entertainment serve to create the illusion that if you just be yourself you will have the cheerleaders all over you and you will become Bill Gates.

          Seriously how many geeky type guys reach the level of becoming a mega giant or legend in the tech industry a la WOZ or Gates?

          Usually what happens is that when guys are themselves and it doesn’t work they are bombarded with advice that ranges from being told to change for women to how they weren’t really mistreated at all.

          • “When guys are being themselves at best only a precious few of them actually do end up with the cheerleader/supermodel and even when the girl he is asking out is not the queen bee the odds don’t get much better. Those forms of nerd entertainment serve to create the illusion that if you just be yourself you will have the cheerleaders all over you and you will become Bill Gates.”

            “a precious few of them actualy do end up with the cheerleaders/supermodels…” Is there something wrong with ending up with us average girls that were never cheerleaders or supermodels? What about all the men that ended up with average girls? Are they less somehow because their partner wasn’t the icons of sexy as defined by men through cheerleaders and supermodels?

            I actually get what your saying about men in your argument Danny. However, you are still objectfying women the same way the industry does when you put women on pedestals just for being cheerleaders or supermodels.

            Maybe supermodel Bar R. isn’t a nice woman. Maybe she is. But why do her looks alone become such a point of pride for the man that may kiss her?

            Maybe the cheerleaders that certain men end up with after college aren’t nice people either. But if they are hot, that seems to be all that men care about. After all, women aren’t being put on pedestals for their other qualties. Their intelligence, their big hearts, the way they may donate to charity or things like that. You have to be hot as a woman to have any worth in this world. And that apparently stands for other hot guys and not so hot guys. And the man that ends up with this hypothetical cheerleader is apparently more of a man because of her hotteness and not because any of her other qualties.

            • Is there something wrong with ending up with us average girls that were never cheerleaders or supermodels? What about all the men that ended up with average girls? Are they less somehow because their partner wasn’t the icons of sexy as defined by men through cheerleaders and supermodels?
              That comment was a comparison of the fantasy (what you see on tv) of going after the popular girl versus the reality of going for the popular girl. There’s nothing wrong with guys the end up with girls that are considered average or less than the popular ones.

              However, you are still objectfying women the same way the industry does when you put women on pedestals just for being cheerleaders or supermodels.
              Nope. Only comparing the fantasy to the reality. And also just because someone tries to date the popular girl it doesn’t inherently mean that he is after her for her popularity or physical attractiveness.

              Maybe supermodel Bar R. isn’t a nice woman. Maybe she is. But why do her looks alone become such a point of pride for the man that may kiss her?
              For the same reason that the guy in that ad has his smarts alone as his point of pride (also what’s that guys’ name?).

              Maybe the cheerleaders that certain men end up with after college aren’t nice people either. But if they are hot, that seems to be all that men care about. After all, women aren’t being put on pedestals for their other qualties. Their intelligence, their big hearts, the way they may donate to charity or things like that. You have to be hot as a woman to have any worth in this world. And that apparently stands for other hot guys and not so hot guys. And the man that ends up with this hypothetical cheerleader is apparently more of a man because of her hotteness and not because any of her other qualties.
              While oddly true that doesn’t relate to what I was saying about how the fantasy of the geeky lonely slob gets the great girl in the end doesn’t match the reality of the geeky guy that never dates any girl he tries to date regardless of her looks.

              (Which is another thing I think some of the folks that are quick to point out how guys only go for the pretty ones are doing a bit of a disservice in ignoring the guys that go for all sorts of girls. Probably as much of a disservice as the guys that actually do just for the pretty ones. I can count on one hand the number of women I’ve actually tried to talk to in my day and I can honestly say that not a single one, including the woman I’m dating now, is nowhere near conventionally attractive. But since I’m a guy that doesn’t matter and I must be only going for the pretty ones.)

              • Danny said: “That comment was a comparison of the fantasy (what you see on tv) of going after the popular girl versus the reality of going for the popular girl. There’s nothing wrong with guys the end up with girls that are considered average or less than the popular ones.”

                But that’s the exact problem we are talking about. What we see on TV or the media in general. Why would you work your language around what we wee on TV when that’s exactly what is wrong with the situation?

                There is something wrong with guys that end up with girls that are considered average or less than the popular ones. At least through the media. And that’s what is being discussed here. There are very, very rare forms of media that show a man getting the “average” or “plain” woman that may be incredibly sweet or funny or smart, and him being the champion for it. There are MANY, many forms of media that highlight how the man is the *winner*, if he *scores* the cheerleader, the model and other icons we hold up to stereotypical ideals of beauty. Think back to a few weeks ago when all that media blitzed out about the QB’s hot Miss something or other winner in the stands and the much older sport newscaster that went on and on about how beautiful she was (and she was!) and how much that QB was a *winner* for that.

                I don’t hear men say, “Wow, what a lucky guy, she is incredibly sweet and kind.” I do hear men say all the time, “Wow, that lucky guy, what a hot babe!” Women feel this pressure all the time. I am not making this up and I am not saying that men don’t feel their own pressures. Why is so hard for you to acknowledge that there are very real pressures put on women?

                Danny said: “Nope. Only comparing the fantasy to the reality. And also just because someone tries to date the popular girl it doesn’t inherently mean that he is after her for her popularity or physical attractiveness.”

                I’m sorry but I don’t really understand what you mean that you are “*only* comparing the fantasy to the reality. “ The fantasy that the media perpetuates about the worth of a woman and the value men gain through a woman is the exact issue that is being contended in the article.

                When it’s her popularity or physical attractiveness that is highlighted over everything else, that’s the problem. No one said that someone was only dating an attractive woman for her attractiveness. Maybe Bar R. if incredibly smart! My guess she is to be as successful as she is. No one gets there simply because of what her managers do. But the implication is that it’s her beauty that’s only of worth, not her intelligence. The implication is that *he* is the smart one.

                Danny said: “Which is another thing I think some of the folks that are quick to point out how guys only go for the pretty ones are doing a bit of a disservice in ignoring the guys that go for all sorts of girls. Probably as much of a disservice as the guys that actually do just for the pretty ones. I can count on one hand the number of women I’ve actually tried to talk to in my day and I can honestly say that not a single one, including the woman I’m dating now, is nowhere near conventionally attractive. But since I’m a guy that doesn’t matter and I must be only going for the pretty ones.)”

                No one is talking about what real men actually go for. The issue is how women and men are represented in media. And how those messages are projected onto us. Such as the message that a woman only has to be hot to be of value or that her attractiveness makes him more of a man or more valuable. Or the message that it’s funny that an average guy could be with a very attractive woman.

                I think you are doing a disservice to the discussion by wanting to ignore the messages the media is giving for BOTH sides by saying that because you as a man don’t go for conventionally beautiful women all the time, that means that the message that media gives about women’s worth in society is mote. It’s not.


                • Why is so hard for you to acknowledge that there are very real pressures put on women?

                  Erin in all the times we’ve crossed paths when have I denied that women have very real pressures when it comes to attraction?

                  ….by saying that because you as a man don’t go for conventionally beautiful women all the time, that means that the message that media gives about women’s worth in society is mote.
                  No. I didn’t say that the messages are mote (moot?). Now if you want to say that I’m concentrating too much on saying that the fantasy and the reality don’t match then that would be a fair point. But I am not trying to say that fantasy doesn’t matter or that it isn’t doing any damage.

                • “I don’t hear men say, “Wow, what a lucky guy, she is incredibly sweet and kind.” I do hear men say all the time, “Wow, that lucky guy, what a hot babe!” Women feel this pressure all the time.”

                  Is this for movies or real world? I hear men say a guy is lucky for what his partner does alone, hell I’ve thought people I’ve known were lucky for having wives that were kind gentle souls that cared so much for them, allowed them freedom (big problem here at times with partners who restrict the other’s movements/hobbies).

                  “I think you are doing a disservice to the discussion by wanting to ignore the messages the media is giving for BOTH sides by saying that because you as a man don’t go for conventionally beautiful women all the time, that means that the message that media gives about women’s worth in society is mote. It’s not.”

                  Maybe men aren’t as affected by media messages as much? I think everyone needs to pay less attention to media, I certainly don’t pay much attention to it these days as representative of relationships. Why would I? They’re paid actors who go through a vetting process and are picked for above normal acting abilities, charisma, voice, presence, etc. They aren’t a realistic spread of people and anyone with an iq north of 80 should understand that. Why are people assuming it’s reality? I see women in survival scenes with perfect curls in their hair when they haven’t had a shower onscreen for weeks, very rarely do you see people say “BRB I gotta go to the toilet”, about the only form of hygiene reality is brushing teeth onscreen sometimes.

                  Some movies portray a more realistic setting but not all do, the message doesn’t reflect what most men n women want in REALITY, but maybe just want they want to see on the TV. How about we teach our kids to say TV isn’t reality, pay more attention to real life vs what is on a screen.


      • However, I think there’s no question that movies/TV/commercials do send a meta-message to men that no matter how flawed, flabby, immature, or (gasp) average they may be, there will be a good woman who will love them, warts and all.

        And there is also no question that when that meta message crashes with the harsh reality that that message is largely not true, bad things happen.


        No such luck if you’re a women with those traits though. Pop culture’s got nothing for you in that situation.

        Good so they don’t have to worry about being told one thing while living another and then being told that their reality doesn’t happen?

  58. Thank you, Lynley. I completely agree.

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