Ryan Gosling worship is leading to the rise of the 'blandsome'. Let's give men a (Diet Coke) break

If you're a man, and you don't have a six pack you may recently have been forced to question your own sexiness by Ryan Gosling and the new Diet Coke ads. Don't.

Share
Related Topics

This column goes out to all the sexy people. You know who you are. Although, if you’re a man and you don’t have a six pack you may have been forced to question your own sexiness by the news that the Diet Coke hunk is making a comeback to mark the soft drink’s 30th anniversary. This time around, British model Andrew Cooper will be betraying his countrymen by going shirtless to play the perved-on manual worker, enlivening break time for a gaggle of googly-eyed female office workers.

Then there’s Ryan Gosling, an actor who, it seems increasingly likely, is not an actual living, breathing human male but in fact an elaborate satire on the laughably predictable sexuality of straight women. If he was papped tomorrow doing the washing up in a Mr Darcy costume while talking about how much he loves his cat, we’d have no reason to be surprised.

The blandsome man is on the rise. Are they handsome? Sure. But in such a symmetrical, samey way that your visual cortex will often shut down from boredom before your brain has time to distinguish between them (see the picture of Ben Affleck and Hugh Jackman standing side-by-side at this year’s SAG Awards. Spot the difference.). Not only does can this make it difficult to follow the plots of films and TV shows, it also puts pressure on ordinary, everyday sort of men, by bombarding them with images of unobtainable masculine perfection.

I sympathise, I do. But not that much. Firstly because I’m a member of the traditionally bombarded gender and secondly because this is a situation that also insults straight women, by assuming we all have the same, rather obvious tastes.

So I won’t relate a reassuring anecdote about my friend who prefers shorter men because “they are more portable and take up less room in bed”, although I could. Nor will I be listing stats on women who associate baldness with virility, though I have them by the bucket-load. Like the women’s mag features “celebrating” curves or the ads featuring “real women” (the same models, but chubbier) this would probably just come off as patronising.

The media that targets teenagers (ahem, Nuts magazine) should take responsibility for the messages they plant in impressionable minds. If you’re a fully-matured adult, however, the glaring mis-match between what the media deems sexy (tragically limited) and what real people find sexy (infinitely varied) will have long ago become obvious . In short, it takes all sorts. This is a theory I’d love to expand on, but unfortunately it’s coming up to 11.30 and I’ve got a got a sudden craving for Diet Coke…

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, VBA)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

SQL Developer (TSQL, SSRS, SSAS) Fund Manager - London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...

Software Developer (JavaScript, TDD, Jasmine, Angular.JS)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Software Developer (JavaScript, TDD, Jasmine, An...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letters: The West flounders in the Middle East morass

Independent Voices
David Tennant as Hamlet  

To vote no or not to vote no, that is the question... Although do celebrities really have the answer?

David Lister
All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition