It seems like the switch in gender roles is everywhere. Girls are out-performing boys in school and out-numbering them in college. If you read any of the articles in Cosmo or Glamour (which I stopped doing after one too many articles on how to give a B.J. while doing your nails), you’ll notice the big trend about women making more money than men.
Sugar mama’s are supposedly on the rise.
And while I don’t exactly think it’s the same thing as equality, I do like the impact it seems to be having on entertainment.
I didn’t used to watch much regular TV. I have always been more of a fan of cop shows than sit-coms. I didn’t like how so many of the shows were about beautiful, smart women married to fat guys who were supposed to be funny. I always found them to be mean, not really funny.
I figured that most of those shows were designed for men. Like, Hey look, you can be a fat jerk and still get a hot wife with a good job. Yes, it definitely bothered me.
Well, recently I’ve been watching a few more sitcoms and I have noticed a big change. It could be the networks I’m watching, but it feels like they are making more TV shows for us.
Now there are shows with smart, fully-clothed, stylishly dressed women. And the men in their lives are the eye candy. Instead of women in bikinis for no apparent reason, they have men working out or swimming in the middle of the day. Any excuse for them to be without their shirt.
Maybe it all started with the popularity of vampire movies and shows. Those Hollywood execs realized that it wasn’t just thirteen year old girls watching Damon, Jacob, and whoever that hot guy on True Blood is.
They realized that we want something to look at, too. It isn’t all about the prostitute being rescued by the millionaire or the girl falling in love with the male best friend who’d been right under her nose the whole time.
I’m not saying that men are only to be ogled, but it is very nice to see the change. Because sometimes what we women want is to see the woman in the fabulous outfit and the man come out of the water, shirtless and sparkling.
And it’s about time.
How do you feel about the change in men on TV? Do you like to watch the shows with the hot men? Or does that not make a difference? Be honest, because I hope it isn’t just me.
I have a thing for cop shows. I love them. If I am being totally honest, I can admit that a big part of it is the hot guys who star in most cop shows. LL Cool J, Nathan Fillion, Adam Rodriguez, and whoever that guy is on The Glades are fun to watch while they solve crimes. I used to think I could watch them stand there and say anything.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Southland. But it changed the way I saw someone.
I first saw Ben McKenzie on The OC, the semi-soap opera about the rich family in Southern California who take in a rough street kid from Chico, I think. Somewhere with crime and poverty, anyway. Ben played Ryan Attwood, the troubled kid with a good heart and nice muscles. Which he often showed off in a wife-beater tank top.
In the beginning it was a little embarrassing to admit I had a crush on a high school character. But, once I learned that he was actually 26, it didn’t seem so wrong. Ryan Attwood was smart and funny and was always there for people who needed his help. Especially when that help involved punching someone at a fancy party.
Then The OC ended and Ben McKenzie moved over to Southland. I was so excited to see him be a hot cop. His character, Ben, had Daddy issues like Ryan, but he came from a family with money. His character was probably supposed to be a lawyer or something, not a cop. That made him seem even more sexy. A rebel with a good cause.
But Ben on Southland is no Ryan Attwood. He has serious control issues and takes matters into his own hands way too often. He doesn’t trust his partner not to plant evidence on a suspect, but he thinks it’s ok to go out and beat up a pimp when he’s off duty. And stalk a guy who he thinks hurt him mom in the past. He uses his badge as his personal problem solver and doesn’t seem to think anything of it.
He may be a rebel, but his cause isn’t actually good. It’s just himself.
As I have been watching the show I have been slowly losing my crush on Ben. I saw a picture of the actor recently, and what I saw surprised me. I don’t find him attractive anymore.
Yes, I realize that it’s just a character he plays on TV, but that character’s personality isn’t hot. So now Ben McKenzie isn’t hot either.
Then I thought about all the cute guys I know in real life, and it’s the same with them. If a guy is a jerk, I can’t see him as attractive. Even if he fits the textbook description of beauty and has abs I could do my laundry on. Ugly on the inside equals ugly on the outside.
For all my talk about hot guys on TV and in movies, I’m not so shallow after all. A big part of the reason I find them attractive in the first place comes from what’s inside.
It really is personality that counts.
Have you ever lost a crush once you got to know a guy’s personality? Can you find someone attractive if they’re a jerk?
I love fairy tales. I always have. I am a bit of a romantic and I love seeing the girl get swept off her feet. And ride off in a horse drawn carriage by horses that never poop. Yes, I know it’s not realistic. But the prince should try.
This TV season has been good to me with two fairy tale-ish shows on, Once Upon A Time and Grimm. I love both of them for different reasons.
If you haven’t ever seen Once Upon A Time, you really should. It is basically about what happens to all the fairy tale characters when the Evil Queen from Snow White puts a spell on all of them to bring them into the real world. No one remembers who they really are and they just live ordinary lives in a small town called Story Brook.
A lot has been going through the season, but two main characters are at the heart of it all: Snow White and Prince Charming. The show goes back and forth between present day time in the real world and the past in the fairy tales. In the fairy tale flashes Snow White is strong, brave, and loyal. She fights for herself and the people (including dwarves) that she loves. She doesn’t whine about much of anything. Instead, she takes action.
Prince Charming is the same. He fights monsters, rescues damsels, and saves kingdoms, all while being a partner to Snow White. They actually fight together and they have a great chemistry that shows they are both smart and strong in their own right.
But then it gets to the real world. Snow White is lonely and kind of pathetic, living for her job as a teacher. She falls in love with Prince Charming, who is married to a woman he doesn’t remember loving. But he can’t make up his mind and refuses to make a decision.
In real life Prince Charming is indecisive, weak, and pretty pathetic. And when Snow White needs him the most, he doesn’t believe her or stand by her side. He says he loves her, but he doesn’t have the balls to leave his wife.
It made me think about the romantic ideals we have about men and how they play out in real life.
In fairy tales the prince is rich, brave, and handsome. His job is to run the kingdom and fight the dragon. And of course to rescue the princess. But how do those qualities transfer to real life?
Prince Charming lives in a world with dragons and rival kingdoms. He can save the princess and still respect her. He knows that she’ll save his life the next time.
Sometimes we think we want the White Knight to ride into our lives and save us. Sure it is nice to have someone pay for dinner and pull out the chair. But do we really need to be saved?
The monsters in real life aren’t dragons to be slain. They are struggles that we have to go through to learn the lessons that make us stronger. We don’t have to go through them alone, but no one can do it for us.
I used to think I couldn’t buy a home on my own. And then I did. The feelings of pride, strength, and capability are something I would never trade away. Those are the feelings we earn when we do things ourselves rather than having someone hand it to us.
In real life the man who thinks he has to save us doesn’t think we can do it ourselves.
In real life, Prince Charming is a jerk.
What do you think about being saved by someone else? How does it feel to save yourself? Have you watched Once Upon A Time?
I write about women. My characters are strong women, I hope, who grow and change when faced with challenges. It’s all about the journey, right?
But I also know that reading is entertainment. That’s why I read. To get lost in another place or time and get to know some new people. I love the adventure, the fun, the relationships. The same things I love about writing.
There are men in my stories because there are men in our lives. We have fathers, brothers, lovers, friends, and husbands. They are not the central characters in my writing, but they are important.
I’ve talked a lot about men in movies and how we should have something nice to look at. I mean, what is the point of having Josh Duhmel or Daniel Sunjata in a movie if they leave their shirts on the whole time? The women almost never stay fully clothed.
That made me realize that I need to follow my own advice and make sure there are good looking men in my novels. There is no reason a man can’t be smart, rich, fit, and drop dead gorgeous. It is fiction, after all. Kidding! Sort of. There are good looking men in real life, so why shouldn’t there be in fiction, too?
My real life friends are all beautiful women, and I expect no less from my characters. And just like we should have something to look at in the movies, so should they in their story world. Even the walk-through characters can be handsome. The waiter, the security guard, the bank teller, and the valet parking the car can all be nice to look at.
I say, why not?
I can think of all the beautiful men I know, in real life and on the screen, when I’m writing and let them inspire me. Like a hot, male muse. Shirtless, of course.
What do you think makes a man hot? Do you prefer good looking characters, or average looking characters in the books you read?
One of my favorite people is newly single and has been wondering how to meet guys. Sometimes when we come out of relationships we forget what it was like to be single. We get scared that all the good ones are taken. We forget how to flirt.
I thought it would be a good time for a lesson. Flirting with men one-oh-one. It is a two part process.
Step 1: Smile.
Step 2: Say “Hi.”
End of lesson.
Really, that’s all there is to it. There is no need to worry about what to say or how to stand or should you flip your hair. You don’t need to think of discussion topics before a night out or read the section of the paper you find boring. Smile and say Hi. That’s all you need to remember.
Yes, there are variations depending on what image you want to project.
If you want to play hard to get, smile from across the room and wait to say Hi until he comes over to you. To be confident, you can walk up to him and smile. Be the first one to say Hi.
The rest will take care of itself. It will happen naturally if you hit it off or it will become obvious that he is not someone you want to get to know. Then you can walk away and get back to your friends, drink, or basketball game.
And the next time a cute guy walks up to you, smile and say, “Hi” and remember to enjoy the conversation. Focus on whether or not you like him, not the other way around. He’s just lucky you smiled at him.
Have you ever worried about going back into the dating scene? Any horror stories or words of advice?
There is always something that is the newest, the hottest, the latest. Sometimes I can close my eyes and pretend it’s not happening, like the comeback of the mullet a few years ago. And other times I get caught up trying to make it work for me. Like with skinny jeans. At least my friend got a good laugh out of that when I tried a pair on at the mall. So not for me.
Many of the bad trends that start in Hollywood stop when us regular folks notice them, like American celebrities with fake European accents. Madonna is from Chicago, right?
But I’ve noticed something scary that started in the movies and has now gone into the real world: the love of the douche bag.
I define the term douche bag in the same way I think of the original. Totally stupid. Like using Easy-Off on your self cleaning oven. Not necessary. Also, doesn’t really have a job or a purpose and tries way too hard. Have you seen some of those commercials? Fields of flowers and tropical breezes. All to sell you some water that you don’t need in the first place. Something useless trying way too hard to be cool. And it turns out in the end it’s actually bad for you.
You probably know a few guys like that. We’ve all dated at least one.
But if your friends are anything like my friends, they saw it right away. They kept to the girl code and told you to dump him. Yeah, one of my friends literally dragged me to the car and drove me away from the party when I wouldn’t listen. Thank god for friends. That guy could have caused an infection.
Then Hollywood got a hold of the trend. Douchy guys were called “slackers” and rubbed their joblessness in our faces. These aren’t the smart guys who may not have the best bodies, or the guys who make good friends. Douche bags are not smart or nice and they think they are too cool for everything. Too cool to sell out and get a job. Too cool to take you out on a date when they could just sext you. Too cool to shower and shave.
Now they are sitting at every coffee shop, hotel bar, and Denny’s across the country. Acting like they are better than us and we should be so lucky to buy their Grand Slam breakfast. Monogamy is not for them, at least not for more than a week. And don’t even think about staying over. He still lives with his mom.
Then we start to feel like there is a shortage of good men. We feel desperate and think we have to take what the douche bags offer, which is really nothing. And we don’t have to take it. Once we all stand up and tell the truth, the lie will lose its power. The truth is douche bags are not hot, there are still plenty of good guys out there, and no one is too cool to respect us.
You hear that, Hollywood?
Have you ever dated a douche bag? Or watched a friend make that mistake?
A friend and I went to see a movie a week ago. It was a Charlize Theron movie, Young Adult. I thought it would be fun because it was about a writer and the ads looked funny. It was the middle of the day on a weekday, so the theater was pretty empty. Or maybe the movie wasn’t that big of a hit.
We showed up on time because my friend loves the previews. They’re actually her favorite part. I know this because she tells me every time.
There were a few previews for cheesy movies we’d rather skip and a scary one they shouldn’t preview until late at night. Then came an ad for a movie based on a book by Nicholas Sparks. My friend looked at me and put her finger in her mouth. Gag me. Nicholas Sparks.
A familiar face came on the screen, covered in dirt and a little bit of facial hair. It couldn’t be the kid from High School Musical, he was like seventeen.
It was him. Zac Efron. My friend knew his name. Turns out the kid is now 24.
Most of the scenes in the preview had him without his shirt on. And one in only underwear. Boxer briefs, to be exact. He was completely ripped. Muscular arms, six pack abs. Then he turned around. “He even has a great butt,” my friend said out loud. Except she didn’t say butt. She said a**.
We decided it was definitely worth seeing, whatever it’s about.
Then came our movie. Charlize Theron is beautiful and played a woman with many issues, especially when it came to men. And there were no hot guys in the movie. Not one. Kind of a huge letdown after Zan Efron in underwear.
That got us talking about movies and hot guys in general. There seems to be something off in Hollywood. A woman has to be gorgeous to make it. I don’t think they even let mediocre looking women into the city limits, let alone cast them in movies. So why are there so many not-hot guys in those movies with them?
No Strings Attached was hilarious, but I would have paid extra for Ashton to keep all his clothes on. TV shows like Modern Family and the one where Jim Belushi was married to Courtni Thorne Smith. I mean, really? Josh Duhmel hasn’t been in anything in over a year, yet Seth Rogan is cast in everything. Where is the equality in that?
Men get to look at beautiful women everywhere. Even the woman selling kitty litter is a knock out. And we get the Oxyclean guy. I think it’s time for Hollywood to give us more to look at. There should be at least one hot guy in every movie and TV show. And he should take his shirt off. Regularly.
Who’s with me? Anyone else think it’s unfair?
There’s always been a good reason to go to the
movies: the hot guys. I’m ok with Hollywood being full of beautiful people. It gives us something nice to look at, even if a movie is bad. Starring Josh Duhmel? Enough said. I don’t need to know the plot, it’s worth seeing.
Josh Duhmel and Tyrese Gibson in the same movie?
Yeah, I saw Transformers. All three of them. It wasn’t because I like robots.
But something strange has been happening lately. The hot guy role has been shifting. To the dad.
When I took my adolescent mentee to see the last Twilight movie, she asked me if I would pick Edward or Jacob. And I had to be honest. So I picked the dad. The vampire dad, not the guy with the mustache.
Sure, in the movie he’s kind of pasty and blond, but he was a vampire. He was still hot. See him in real life, and you’ll agree with me.
I thought it was just one case, and he’s probably a lot younger than he’s supposed to be. I mean, they weren’t really his kids.
But then the new fall TV season started.
One word: Suburgatory. A sitcom about a single dad and his teenage daughter who move from New York City to the suburbs in New Jersey. Sounded good to me. Did I mention that it’s about a TEENAGER and her DAD? Nothing about the premise says hot guy. I watch Modern Family, I know what TV dads look like.
I turned on the TV prepared to laugh. Instead, I almost choked on my ice cream. The dad was tall, dark, and hot. Like, used-to-be-on-Law-and-Order-there’s-no-way-he’s-the-dad hot! I kept waiting for it to be a mistake, for the teenager to refer to him as the hot uncle. But it never happened. The hot guy really is the dad.
It turns out it’s not just a one-time thing. The dads are becoming hot.
Now that I’m over the shock I can see it as a good thing. We have had hot moms on TV forever. And I used to complain about the beautiful, slim women with the fat, obnoxious husbands on sitcoms. It was unfair to viewers and sent the wrong message to young girls. But Hollywood has never listened to the advice I scream at the TV. So, what happened?
Does this mean I’m getting old? Or is the world really about to end? Does it even matter, as long as there’s a hot guy on TV?