You guys know that before I loved Tinder, I loved celebrity gossip. This hasn’t really changed. I fill my soul with information about famous people’s lives, and sitcoms, and dogs, and feminist essays about pop culture phenomena, and popcorn.
I have this theory that sits exactly at the intersection of Tinder and celebrity gossip. The basic operating principle is this:
When a male celebrity gets famous, guys who look like him suddenly get more play.
Tenet 2. (this is where it gets interesting)
Including guys who weren’t widely considered attractive before.
Celebrities tend to reach a wider cross-section of people who will consider them “attractive” than, say, people who will always consider you attractive, like your mom and your current girlfriend. I’m going to use all nerdy white dudes for these examples, because, um, Hollywood? Work on your diversity problem.
Let’s talk about Chris Pratt, for example. Sure, he got super fit for Guardians of the Galaxy, but even before that, there were girls cooing, “I love Andy Dwyer!” Including girls who wouldn’t have necessarily gone for a sweet, happy, teddy-bear-ish guy before. Leaving aside everyone’s “special snowflake” status, I know lots of guys who fall vaguely into this category. My theory states that their star has risen with Chris Pratt’s star.
Let’s talk about Benedict Cumberbatch. If you like him, you probably like him because you’ve always like pseudo-intellectual fast-talkers. But did you all of a sudden find yourself a little more attracted to guys with close-set eyes and big noses and curly hair once he started Sherlocking his way across your TV?
Miles Teller. I’m not saying that I never liked oval-faced smart-asses before Miles Teller, but I actually said out loud the other day, “Oh, he looks like Miles Teller!” and then swiped right on a guy on Tinder.
How many of you are attracted to Sam Rockwell? How about guys who look like him? How about now?
Sure, talent makes people attractive. But exposure doesn’t hurt. Neither does the pressure of the prevailing social mindset. (This is why, yes, Hollywood needs to work on its diversity problem—because yes little boys and girls of all races, ethnicities, and sexual orientation need to see people like them cast in romantic roles, in hero roles, in strong roles, in smart, well-written roles. Because yes, we need role models, even fictional ones, who help counter, define, tear down, or recast stereotypes, biases, and prejudices that long ago needed to be thrown out the window of the tallest building available.)
It’s the trickle down theory of celebrity attractiveness! Way more fun than the trickle down theory of economics, which has the greatest impact on and harms the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world, including people of color, women, and children, who, caught in a double or triple bind, have traditionally suffered at the hands of the systematic oppression that we call capitalism, and is nothing but a faulty, specious justification fabricated in order to prop up the existing system of consolidated power perpetuated by—
Have a great Saturday, folks.