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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Those Excessively Handsome Blond Men

I don't like blond men. Let me explain.

My previous post on racially different sets of twins sparked a desire in me, to revisit why I am not attracted to fair-haired examples of our species. I have long thought that it was because I also tend towards fairness (helped along by Miss Clairol), and womanlike, I didn't think dating a blond man would make me look good in contrast.

It could also be because most males in my family are blond, and Mother Nature being sage as ever, puts in us a natural gap stop from being attracted to one's own cousins; thus preventing me from a fate worse than death -- AKA inbreeding.

Then there is this thought I have about blond men.

Have you noticed how they remain excessively fair of cheek for way way too long?

Whatever age they are, they easily appear 10 even 15 years younger than their actual age. That's fine when they are truly young, but the look of extreme youth on a man you know is at least 40 is very disconcerting. Other than paedophiles and Jonas Brothers fans, who wants to be attracted to a boy of 15?

Finally, there is this.

Blond men are often very handsome. Not just boy next door handsome, but chocolate-box pretty handsome. You know?

The kind that makes you think of fairy tale princes in 18th century velveteen hose, sitting on a swing or strumming on a lute in one of those oppressively cute Watteau outdoorsy scenes.

So today, for your viewing pleasure, I have decided to illustrate my points with a sampling of some blond men, perhaps some of whom you may know, but certainly all of whom have blazed across the history pages one light-haired follicle at a time.

(I'll try to make this as un-gay as I can, promise)

KING LEOPOLD III OF THE BELGIANS



If Walt Disney ever had a prototype for his various cartoon princes from Cinderella to Snow White, this chap would be he.

The future King Leopold III is shown on his wedding day, looking like a 12 year-old playing dress-up. His extreme beauty (there is no other word) pierces the monitor even after 80 years, those soft ringlets brushed away from his forehead, and his small Clara Bow bee-stung lips, almost defying the viewer to ogle him.

It's a shame he had a bad end, after he surrendered his country to the Nazis, not to mention having been guilty of manslaughter of his wife Astrid when he careened his car into a tree. He also cheated at golf, according to the Duke of Windsor. And having mentioned the latter, all I can say is, hold that thought.

ANTHONY EDEN



Now largely forgotten, Anthony Eden in his day was the equivalent of a political crown prince. Eden waited in the wings for Winston Churchill to hand over Conservative power to him, going on almost 25 years. During that time, he impressed the various continentals with his good-looks, almost a caricature of the "English gentleman" of aristocratic imaginings. It is even said that Göring kept a sketch on his bathroom wall of Eden sunbathing...heh, okay, that's not true, but you can almost PICTURE it, can't you?

I think Rab Butler, one of his adversaries and a tutor to Prince Charles, said it best about Eden, whose handsomeness was matched by a fiery temper:

"Half mad baronet, half beautiful woman".

CHARLES LINDBERGH



If we had a dollar for every time the word "baby-faced" was used for the famous aviator, I think President Obama would probably not have needed to sign the Stimulus Bill.

I can see why my grandmothers were so in love with this guy, back in their adolescence. He's not just handsome -- there is a purity about his features that looks almost ascetic. Or is that "acidic"...?

For unlike the delicately brought up European males above, there is a touch of farm boy about his prairie looks. It's also a judgemental face. In another time and place, he could have been a Lutheran pastor in Sweden, cane in hand about to administer a whipping, as Bergman always had it.

As it was, he was America's first truly homegrown international hero after Dougie Fairbanks. Not a bad act to follow.

RUPERT BROOKE



The following lines are from his poem, "The Beginning".

Some day I shall rise and leave my friends
And seek you again through the world's far ends,
You whom I found so fair
(Touch of your hands and smell of your hair!),
My only god in the days that were.
My eager feet shall find you again,
Though the sullen years and the mark of pain
Have changed you wholly; for I shall know
(How could I forget having loved you so?),
In the sad half-light of evening,
The face that was all my sunrising.
So then at the ends of the earth I'll stand
And hold you fiercely by either hand,
And seeing your age and ashen hair
I'll curse the thing that once you were,
Because it is changed and pale and old
(Lips that were scarlet, hair that was gold!),
And I loved you before you were old and wise,
When the flame of youth was strong in your eyes,
-- And my heart is sick with memories.

Any man who can speak so convincingly about the touching of hands and smelling of hair is NOT to be trusted.

Yes, he's handsome, with his open visage and lazily tied necktie, all very recherché and poetic I'm sure, but he strikes me as not the kind of man who is in it for the bad times, as well as the good. First sign of trouble, whether a relationship or World War I, and he's out of there.

Anyway, his poems from the battlefield allowed a whole generation of men to look on their youth in the trenches as a time to drink away. I'm not exactly sure we have quite overcome that self-pitying destructive malaise yet.

EDWARD VIII (THE DUKE OF WINDSOR)



I literally had my pick of dozens, even hundreds of photographs to show you of the Duke of Windsor. Almost all of them showed his stunted boyish good-looks, that dazzling toothy smile (which later turned yellow and twisted with smoking), and long blond eyelashes, a kind of male Greta Garbo for girls to swoon over.

He was the original "fairy prince", not that I'm implying that he played for the other team, you understand. Mind you, as a notorious womaniser, I have always thought that was product of a guilty conscience somewhere along the line.

Like many handsome men, who furthermore are very aware they are handsome, his looks were a constant source of comfort for him. He was a clotheshorse because of it, slaving away in fittings with tailors and dieting to preserve his figure, something which drove his unprepossessing and jealous father mad.

Even with the distance of 73 years after the fact, I still can't believe this man, who could've had any woman in the world, finally plunked down with that dykish twice-divorced American, Wallis Simpson. Adela Rogers St. John, the now overlooked famed journalist, once observed that Wallis Simpson could play linebacker for the Green Bay Packers. Hut-hut, indeed.

The Duke will feature in a forthcoming blogpost I have about Famous Playboys, so you know, I have to hold something back here. Stay tuned.

JEAN MARAIS



I remember watching Cocteau's "The Beauty and the Beast" and thinking, you know, I think I prefer Jean Marais as the beast. It's because when he was out of costume and makeup (which required a sacrifice of 4 hours), he was almost distractingly handsome. The kind which leaps out from the screen or photograph, and practically invades your space.

And yes, I too think I'm a good candidate for psychoanalysis about this, but you know it's true.

Prettiness is about symmetry, as Aristotle explained. Nature adds a wrinkle to the mix, by making sure there is an element of uniqueness to that of desirability -- in this case, blondness. But plainly God has a sense of humour, because in Marais' case, there was no chance he was going to reproduce, being as he was, gay.

HONOURARY MENTION

CAPTAIN ALFREDO ASTIZ



It's difficult to include this person, who is a modern-day monster, but after the insipid-looking blonds above, who all have a frail femininity about them, I had to include at least one which was handsome, blond, but who was utterly loathesome.

For those of you who have never heard of him, he is an Argentinian naval captain at the heart of that country's "Guerra Sucia" (Dirty War). Argentinian politics is difficult to characterise, because at the time, it was a holdover from the Fascism which looks Rightist, but in many respects is very Left.

This fetching military man had, as a young ensign, a shock of white-blond hair which was the delight of older Argentinian women, leading him to be called "El Angel de la Muerte" (the Angel of Death). Using said blond looks, he infiltrated many of the leftist organisations as a member of the secret service. After denouncing them, he was personally responsible for many atrocious torture acts, such as the famous "death flights -- a prisoner went up in a helicopter, and was pushed out to his or her death. Yep, this man allegedly was one of the pushers.

Ugh, awful. A pox on his house.

...hmm. Maybe, you know, that is the source of my disaffection for blond men. Perhaps I think that sometimes that which glitters is not really gold?

MODERN EXCESSIVELY HANDSOME BLOND MEN

By now, you might be wondering why I haven't chosen any photos in colour. Well, apart from that being too easy, I also think the men above are often not spoken of these days. There's always a historical angle with my posts, as you know.

But just so that you ladies (and some gentlemen) out there may have colourful eye-candy, these are my selections of blond guys who are just too cute for my taste.







That's from top to bottom, two actors, Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks, Cold Comfort Farm) and Ryan Phillippe (Flags of My Fathers, Gosford Park) as well as footballer and general poster-child of metrosexuality, David Beckham.

Incredibly, given the fact that most women drool over them, these men do nothing for me.

Mind you, neither does this guy.



All I do when I look at this photo of Reggie Bush's rippling physique is think, "Jesus, can you just inflate that bloody thing already?".

I'm a complicated blonde.

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25 Comments:

  • I don't like blond men.

    Well praise the Lord I'm not blond (it's recessive :)

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Wed Feb 18, 03:42:00 am GMT-5  

  • Hey, I got you beat, CL: I'm neither blonde nor pretty.

    And I'm the opposite of "baby-faced". I look about 60 years older than I am.

    I'm going back into my cave now with the other trogs.

    By Blogger blake, at Wed Feb 18, 04:29:00 am GMT-5  

  • You forgot to add this guy.

    For us common folk, in my experience, if you look younger than your years, you have the disadvantage of being taken less seriously. Although I'm assured, chastised really, that its a blessing. I'm not so sure.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Wed Feb 18, 08:18:00 am GMT-5  

  • Margaret Mitchell might agree with you in the Ashley Wilkes/Rhett Butler match-up. And Leslie Howard pales in comparison to Clark Gable.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Wed Feb 18, 01:50:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Hey! Daniel Craig is blond and there's nary a femme bone in his body!

    Otherwise, though, I agree with you. I'm not one for fair-haired guys. Or pretty boys either. I'm the only person I know who doesn't think Brad Pitt is to-die-for. My hubby has black hair and is ruggedly handsome (and he's been getting the salt-and-pepper thing going the last few years... even better!)

    By Blogger knox, at Wed Feb 18, 03:28:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Ruth Anne, I totally agree.

    By Blogger knox, at Wed Feb 18, 03:29:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Hey! Daniel Craig is blond and there's nary a femme bone in his body!

    And Lindbergh had gigantic brass ones. Flying across the Atlantic on one tank of gas with no forward-looking windows and a bag of sandwiches. I don't think he even had a parachute with him.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Wed Feb 18, 04:41:00 pm GMT-5  

  • You didn't post Brad Pitt, which I thought would be there for sure. He still looks about 16 to me. One of the only blonds that aged, but aged well, was Robert Redford. I think it is all that sun damage!

    By Blogger Caroline, at Wed Feb 18, 09:22:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Well, for once I have to disagree with Vicky - and not just because I'm blond.

    Nietzsche spoke of the Blond Beast, and the Nazis thought the blond male naturally superior: the noble predator. I'm sure it has come to your attention that the Nazis were not known for their effeminate politics.

    Maybe Vicky being half German has some Freudian meaning in this respect. Who knows.

    At any rate, it is of course just as easy to find dark haired men who look somewhat girlish.

    As for incest as an explanation for her not liking blonds: I've dated several women (blonde and non-blonde) who preferred blonds, and who had blond fathers. I don't think they wanted to have sex with their dads.

    Also, your theorizing doesn't account for people -like my father- who change hair colour. My dad was very blond, almost whitish, until into his teens, and then his hair turned deep brown, almost black. My grandmother kept telling me that this would happen to me, but it hasn't happened (yet).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Feb 19, 09:20:00 am GMT-5  

  • Anon, I think the point is that blondness (or "fairness" in a cross-cultural sense--see: all of Asia) is associated with prettiness which is in turn associated with femininity.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Thu Feb 19, 09:48:00 am GMT-5  

  • Starless,

    Associated by whom? That's the point, isn't it. Not by Nietzsche, not by the Nazis, not by the men who built the British Empire.

    Also, from my perspective fair and Asian are two entirely different things. Apples and oranges.

    So my question stands.

    As far as it concerns effeminacy in men: Mediterraneans (including their hispanic cousins) have that reputation where I come from.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Feb 19, 10:02:00 am GMT-5  

  • Anon, take your pick in Western literature/poetry. The Greeks, for example, "Verily wise Zeus carried off golden-haired Ganymedes because of his beauty". Or do you consider the influence of the Greeks on Western culture to be insignificant?

    Also, from my perspective fair and Asian are two entirely different things. Apples and oranges.

    Uh...no. In Asia, the lighter a woman's skin, the prettier she's considered. There was also a bit of a fad post-WWII where some Asian women would wear blonde wigs. But Asia is just one example. It runs through Latin culture also. The fairer you are, the more upper class you are considered. The same applies in modern African-American culture.

    There's a common thread there.

    Not by Nietzsche, not by the Nazis, not by the men who built the British Empire.

    For one thing, using the twisted racial ideology of the likes of Nietzsche and the Nazis as normative is a weak argument. They did, after all, develop their ideology from their own interpretation of Nordic myth where, guess what? Everybody's blonde anyway. And they were just friggin' twisted.

    I'll let Victoria address the British Empire bit if she chooses.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Thu Feb 19, 11:35:00 am GMT-5  

  • Associated by whom? That's the point, isn't it. Not by Nietzsche, not by the Nazis, not by the men who built the British Empire.

    Associated by we women.

    And you really need to up your sense of whimsy when reading my blog, Anon.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Feb 19, 02:22:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Starless,

    Anon, take your pick in Western literature/poetry. The Greeks, for example, "Verily wise Zeus carried off golden-haired Ganymedes because of his beauty".

    Beauty is not the same as prettiness. And the issue of homosexuality in ancient Greece is highly controversial. Entire libraries have been written about it.

    Or do you consider the influence of the Greeks on Western culture to be insignificant?

    How is the influence of Greeks on Western culture, or my opinion of it, relevant here? Answer: it isn't. If x is true, it is true irrelevant of what y or myself think of it.

    In Asia, the lighter a woman's skin, the prettier she's considered. There was also a bit of a fad post-WWII where some Asian women would wear blonde wigs. But Asia is just one example. It runs through Latin culture also. The fairer you are, the more upper class you are considered. The same applies in modern African-American culture.

    I thought we were talking about blond(e)s? Suddenly we're also talking about light-skinned blacks? Sure, all blond(e)s are fair skinned. But that does not mean that all fair skinned people are blond(e)s. Ergo, it does not mean that what applies to some fair skinned people (some Asians, some blacks), is in any way relevant to blond(e)s.

    For one thing, using the twisted racial ideology of the likes of Nietzsche and the Nazis as normative is a weak argument. They did, after all, develop their ideology from their own interpretation of Nordic myth where, guess what? Everybody's blonde anyway. And they were just friggin' twisted.

    Nietzsche was not a racist. The point of bringing up both him and the Nazis (who were of course racists) was to show that the impression Vicky gives of blond(e)s is not natural.

    Vicky,

    Associated by we women.

    Ahum. By you, you mean.

    And you really need to up your sense of whimsy when reading my blog, Anon.

    Lame.

    You're generally very observant, which makes your blog interesting. You should be flattered by challenges to what you have to say, and not pretend any weaknesses in your argument were meant tongue-in-cheek.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Feb 19, 04:25:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Beauty is not the same as prettiness.

    In this context, yeah, it is.

    And the issue of homosexuality in ancient Greece is highly controversial. Entire libraries have been written about it.

    Ganymede was Zeus's male lover. End of story.

    How is the influence of Greeks on Western culture, or my opinion of it, relevant here? Answer: it isn't. If x is true, it is true irrelevant of what y or myself think of it.

    This non-answer makes no sense whatsoever. And the question was rhetorical.

    Ergo, it does not mean that what applies to some fair skinned people (some Asians, some blacks), is in any way relevant to blond(e)s.

    Instead of "effeminate", I'll say "fey" or "effete" if that'll make you happy. Light skin, or "fairness", can confer social class, make a person seem "effete". Thus the equivalence with blondness.

    Nietzsche was not a racist.

    Whatever you say, Anonymous.

    You're generally very observant, which makes your blog interesting. You should be flattered by challenges to what you have to say, and not pretend any weaknesses in your argument were meant tongue-in-cheek.

    Nice going with the backhanded compliment. That's great.

    Try to grow a sense of humor.

    By Anonymous Starless, at Thu Feb 19, 05:11:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Greetings,

    I was scouring the Web looking for examples of gorgeous blond guys and came across your post. Kudos to you for reaching back into history and giving us Lindbergh et al. My blog is nowhere near as erudite as yours, but I too have a post on hot blonds: http://shutyoureverlovingpiehole.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/updating-the-meme-or-in-praise-of-blond-guys/
    I like blond guys so much I married one. He looks like Aikman, only shorter.
    Cheers, Robin

    By OpenID shutyoureverlovingpiehole, at Fri Aug 28, 06:22:00 pm GMT-4  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger OLDROSHI, at Tue Nov 03, 09:33:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I am a blond man.. I really fell kinda depressed right now :(

    By Blogger crizon, at Tue Dec 08, 09:22:00 am GMT-5  

  • No mention of Lindbergh being a huge Nazi sympathizer?

    By Blogger Joseph, at Mon Dec 14, 12:48:00 pm GMT-5  

  • What, i love blond guys. Well im dirty blond but this guy who i totally fell in love with is a blond, more specifically a blond with beautiful golden hair. Thats my favorite (:

    By Blogger jforce, at Mon Jan 18, 04:11:00 pm GMT-5  

  • What, i love blond guys (Im a GUY in case you were wondering. (: ) Well im dirty blond but this guy who i totally fell in love with is a blond, more specifically a blond with beautiful golden hair. Thats my favorite (:

    By Blogger jforce, at Mon Jan 18, 04:12:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Leopold III of Belgium was tossed under the bus by that lying sack of @#$@# Winston Churchill.

    Records show that Churchill was a liar, and used Belgium like he used many countries.
    Quite like the Churchills to be slimy, amoral, lying opportunists. They even turned on their own.

    By OpenID kotty123, at Sat Jun 19, 11:38:00 pm GMT-4  

  • I'm a blond guys, 52 year old, 186cm 82kg and blue eyes kind of a gentlemen handsome. When I was in Highschool and later in College, I didn't have much of a success with girls, I probably looked to childish as your blog suggest and frankly I dammed my hair color. I was soo happy to find a good looking Italian girl that I married her on the spot fearing that could be my unique opportunity.
    By growing older and particularly nowadays, I noticed that many end-twenty, early thirty girls are attracted to me. Despite my age, most of them when asked, guess my age to be 35-40. Late revenge!
    Concerning those nice darker haired boys who got all the girls
    when I was young. Well, today most of them are in a sorry state. I'm finally happy with my hair color.

    By Blogger pierre, at Fri Jul 30, 04:04:00 am GMT-4  

  • I'm a brunette (very chocolate colored dark brown hair), and I think blond guys are hot!

    By Blogger Dee, at Thu Feb 23, 10:42:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I'm coal-black and at 58,regarded
    boyishly handsome-said to look no older than 40.Of course,I don't know what you'd think of us black lads,but I'm said to resemble a handsome black cowboy.

    By Blogger RideHandsomeBlackCowboyStudBrett1953, at Wed Mar 21, 06:09:00 pm GMT-4  

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