This is a slightly different letter than what you’re used to – but felt it was a necessary one.
We’ve all seen the trailer for the new movie Bad Neighbours, right? I know you guys have. You know, the one where the hot young frat guy moves in next door to the married couple with a new baby, and trouble and hilarity ensue. Box office gold. Many of us have probably seen the entire movie.
The hot young frat guy is played by a mostly shirtless Zac Efron, who, just quietly, is doing a stellar job at ditching his Disney image. It appears that of 97 minutes in the film, Efron spends 95 of them half-naked, showcasing just how much free time he has to spend in the gym now that High School Musical isn’t taking up his whole day. No complaints here; good on the guy.
Elsewhere, you may have noticed that the happily married couple with the new bub is played by Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne. Seth Rogan. And Rose Byrne.
Seth Rogan, the pale, overweight, generally dishevelled-looking comedian. And Rose Byrne, the statuesque, gorgeous, stunningly beautiful goddess of a human being.
Of course. Naturally.
Now let’s be clear, we’re not being superficial. We all know very well that looks aren’t everything. Looks fade. Looks don’t keep you warm at night – and various other wise sayings our grandmothers told us. Equally, Rose Byrne probably has a fantastic personality, and is clearly a great actor. But bear with me here.
Seth Rogan is a funny guy. Not that I know him personally, but in every interview and film I’ve seen him in, he’s pretty darn hilarious. Hell, I’d probably marry him given the opportunity. Imagine how entertaining your life would be.
So of course, it’s understandable that even though he isn’t much in the looks department, a guy like Seth Rogan probably could in actual fact nab a mega-babe like Rose Byrne. Because he’s funny.
That’s the way it is. Homer and Marge Simpson. Charlotte York and Harry Goldenblatt. Peter and Lois Griffin. Tony and Carmella Soprano. Fred and Wilma Flintstone. Turtle and virtually every girl he dates for the entire eight seasons of Entourage. Sitcoms According To Jim, Still Standing, Grounded For Life and King of Queens all feature overweight, scruffy protagonists with insanely hot wives.
So it’s OK for men to be pale, overweight, unshaven, have their boxer shorts hanging out of their pants and indeed sometimes look suspiciously like they’ve slept in a dumpster – (a good description of myself in the morning, in fact – Ed.) – as long as they’re funny. Does that mean that women can still be deemed attractive and score a hot guy if their best attribute is their humour, too? If they don’t subscribe to those narrow western beauty ideals so beloved by magazines and movies, yet also possess a huge amount of talent and personal charm?
Oh hell no, you silly girls.
Go get your spray tans. Go eat your #cleaneating diet. Go get your hair extensions. Get your fake nails. Wax your legs. Wax your eyebrows. Wax your bikini line. Plaster on your make-up. Spend an hour every morning with your GHD making sure you have ‘Victoria’s Secret curls’. Make sure you stay a size 6. If you get to a size 8, go buy some Spanx to suck all that fat in and make you look thinner. Get breast implants. If you can’t afford them, buy extreme boost padded bras that make your boobs looks three sizes bigger than they are. Get your teeth whitened. Dry-brush your arse before you go to bed every night to get rid of that cellulite. And for Christ’s sake, make sure you have a thigh gap.
It doesn’t matter if you have an amazing personality, incredible intellect or hilarious quick wit. If you want to be deemed attractive by the opposite sex – if you want to get the job – then it’s what on the outside that counts. Because when was the last time you saw a female comedian cast alongside a Hollywood heartthrob bowled over by her personality? Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Melissa McCarthy… Have you ever seen any of these hilarious, sharp, wildly talented women cast as the object of Bradley Cooper’s affections?
Nope. Can’t say that I have, either.
Of course, this notion that a man can be deemed a ‘catch’ if he’s funny, but a woman cannot, is utterly ridiculous and a huge double standard.
And if the excuse “it’s because men are naturally funnier than women” is used (you’d be surprised how often that little gem pops up out of the usual quagmire of bullshit), I dare anyone who legitimately believes that to go watch 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Veep, Bridesmaids or any episode of Saturday Night Live where the aforementioned female comedians have been the show’s writers. And then come back to me.
It is of course a wonderful sentiment that Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne could be happily married, and that what’s on the outside doesn’t really matter so long as you can put a smile on the face of the person you love. I don’t want to see that disappear for a second.
But Hollywood, you have to knock it off. For whatever rom-com you have coming out next, I want to see Ryan Gosling and Rebel Wilson living happily ever after. Then perhaps I’ll feel better about another cookie-cutter movie following the lines of Bad Neighbours. Deal? Deal.
-KP, who blogs here