Watching football – involuntarily – with the boyfriend, I found myself bombarded by beer commercials. Given that I don’t drink beer (real women drink tequila, straight), I wasn’t interested in actual brands. No, I found myself more transfixed by the appearance of the women. Scratch that, the appearance of couples. Not only were these average guys hanging out with unbelievably attractive supermodel types in the ads, they were married to them.
“Yeah, f**king right,” I thought. What kind of world do these beer companies think we’re living in anyway – one without leagues, as in “she’s so out of his”? Satisfied the advertisements were an exercise in wishful thinking, I put the Disproportionately Attractive Beer Couple out of my mind.
And then I looked around at my real life. Everywhere I went, I saw hot women parading around with less-attractive men. I searched through my mental-Rolodex of celebrity couples. Dammit! If they weren’t both genetically perfect, the guy was always- always less hot than the woman. Heidi Klum and Seal. Britney Spears and all the sketchy guys she’s married. Kid Rock and anybody.
The celebrity world, just like the real world, actually seems to emulate the Beer Commercial, filled with Couples Who Don’t Make Sense.
But isn’t it good that couples don’t always “match”? Maybe they’re looking beyond the faced of superficiality! Maybe… but why is it that so many of these couples let the attractiveness fall to the job of the woman? Is it just my imagination that every guy in a disproportionate relationship is dating two to three points higher than himself?
My friend Sarah, a Harvard law student, thinks women rate their man’s arm-candy quotient lower on their priority list, instead going for charisma, personality and a certain worldliness. But beware, she warns: “The guy who’s a three is obviously with you in part for you looks, and your sway in the relationship is generally about your sex appeal and about the guy’s feelings of inadequacy.” God, that’s depressing.
I wanted to reject Sarah’s pessimism- real men don’t think like that… do they? Oh yes, yes they do. I had no trouble finding Shallow Hal types when I searched amongst the Y-chromosomes.
“Would you ever date a woman less attractive than you”? I asked three USC seniors. “Date? No. F**K? Hells, yeah.” It turns out that they reserve dating down for sex, blow jobs and well, that’s about it. “When you want to get with an ugly chick who has a good body, you just brown bag her,” said one of the USC guys. “You know,” they explained, “pretend in your mind the girl has a brown bag over her head.”
“The problem with ugly girls,” another USC dude added, “is that they fall in love with you.” this from a fellow who hadn’t had a date since high school. Any woman in the same dry spell would assume she needed to do some self-improvement. Instead, this guy seemed content to sit around, smoke pot and make grandiose statements on the flawed human condition.
I couldn’t see any downside for the guy. I called up an ex-boyfriend of mine, a senior at Berkeley. “Are there any disadvantages for a guy bodering on fugly to date an extremely attractive woman?” I asked. “You would know.”
The downside is that you’re constantly trying to convince your significant other to stay with you while battling your inadequacy,” he said. “No matter how great the relationship is, in the back of your mind you’re always wondering.”
In the back of our minds, we’re always wondering, no matter what. Maybe even the Beer Couple guy.
Well, maybe not him. But everyone else.