February 24, 2010
Handsome men born before 1970 were no different than any other, average-looking, men. I mean, they were the captains of the football team and they felt the breasts of every cute girl in school and they eventually ran huge marketing companies that made thousands of people rich but, on the inside, they were the same as you and me.
Nevertheless, something unprecedented happened with Generation X. Hunks became male bimbos: Himbos. Nobody’s sure what caused it but most experts agree the concept of Male Modeling”as a full time career”is primarily responsible. Somehow being seen as beautiful is apparently not great for your IQ.
As someone who always favors nature over nurture, I find this very hard to digest. What is it about being considered gorgeous that makes people so stupid? Identical twins separated at birth find each other decades later and are stunned to discover they have the same car, same dog, similar careers, same annual income, and even similar looking husbands. I used to think this was the errant thread that unraveled the whole nurture sweater. Whoops.
As a nation that idealizes the Northern European look, we have cursed generations of attractive blonde women with an allergic reaction to books. This curse seems to have run its course, thank god”dumb blonde jokes are starting to sound as ridiculous as dumb Polack jokes. It appears beautiful women have finally gotten over the flattery and caught up to the handsome men of the pre-1970s. After Kathy Ireland was featured in Sports Illustrated 13 years in a row, she used her dwindling fame to start a line of socks that eventually snowballed into Kathy Ireland Worldwide, a $10 million-a-year corporation Forbes credited with starting the “modelpreneur” trend.
Conversely, the most a male model can hope for is not to be lampooned in movies like Zoolander, in which America’s top comedians dance around runways like idiots puckering their lips and saying things like, “I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking and I plan on finding out what that is.” (Unfortunately for the Himbos, a sequel for Zoolander is in the works).
I recently hired a breathtaking hunk intern and, as someone who was born in 1970, was looking forward to hanging out with a young bon vivant that has had as many women as he’s had hot dinners. Unfortunately, this kid was born in the late “80s and has the IQ of a fish. “That’s a trip,” he said while looking at some hanging plants in the office, “How do those stay up there?” I had to answer his question with, “What?” to which he said, “How do you water those?”
I explained what ladders were and he raised the stakes by bringing physics into the equation, “OK, I get that. I just figured they”d get heavier when you water them and that would make them fall.” I couldn”t digest this kind of thinking and eventually erupted with the same question I”ve been asking here. Namely, how did handsome men get so stupid in just one generation. “I know,” he replied smiling, “My friend said she would have killed me by now if I wasn”t so good looking.” Yeuch.
Overcoming nature used to be reserved for extreme cases like being beaten as a child, or growing up on the verge of starvation. Today it seems a new factor has crept into the fold. Being considered beautiful reduces your IQ by at least 35 percent. Judging from dumb blondes, it appears it takes about two generations of making a living as a beautiful person before you get your shit together. This means hunks being born today will be almost as smart as their grandfathers. I can”t wait.