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

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

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A Gold Ferrari sits outside Chanel on Sloane Street  

Sunday Times Rich List: We are no longer in thrall to very rich people

Terence Blacker
David Cameron was openly emotional at the prospect of Scotland leaving the union before the referendum  

General election 2015: Remember when David Cameron almost cried over Scotland because he loved it so much?

Matthew Norman
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence