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

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Assistant

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Maintenance Assistant is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Newspaper stands have been criticised by the Child Eyes campaign  

There were more reader complaints this year – but, then again, there were more readers

Will Gore
 

People drink to shut out pain and stress. Arresting them won’t help

Deborah Coughlin
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?