Tuesday, December 09, 2003


I'm having a really bad hair day.

Not the kind of thing I like to admit out loud because of the repercussions involved in doing so. People will think that I am either vain, gay or a metrosexual. And truthfully, I am none of the three...although, I have to admit that I have been attracted to large metropolitan cities.

It's a shame about the hair. It's unfortunate that it had to happen on a day like today considering the outcome of the Average Joe show. [Warning: if you have taped the show and have not seen it yet, then I should warn you that in this posting I will reveal that the average guy lost] While I was not a devoted watcher of the show--I merely dabbled in the "Average"--I was hopeful that finally we would see on television before millions and millions of people that personality is more important than looks. Finally, the average lot of us (aren't we the majority?) will feel vindicated at last for all the times we have been told "look, Arye, I really want to be friends." As the season progressed, watchers were getting bored. I mean, if you wanted to see a bunch of regular-looking guys courting an extremely hot girl beyond their range, then you could just head to a bar. Any bar, really. Just pick one. [For the record, I did not think that Melena was so drop dead gorgeous. In fact, in many ways she was pretty boring and cliché]

So the execs at NBC introduced the "hot guys," who were pretty cheesy looking (Muensterish) and used more hair gel than Richard Greico ever did. The show and its premise were downhill from there and also all too predictable. I knew, without the assistance of a time machine or Miss Cleo, that one of the "hot guys" would win. And then, paradoxically, my biggest fear would be confirmed--the one that was in complete contrast to the high hopes this show had initially given me. Despite Adam's wealth (the penultimate contestant and the last average guy) his sense of humor, his genuine personality, he still lost. What we've learned is that Adam could afford to buy himself a girlfriend but he still couldn't win one. Jason, "the hot guy" and winner, on the other hand, seems more at place in the window of an Express store, lives at home with his parents, waits on tables and is going back to college to earn a degree. Moreover, Jason is a dork. I know a million guys like Jason and they all commute into NYC from Long Island in wife-beaters. Melena, who had the powerful potential of changing a rampant trend right before a mass audience, failed us miserably. She could have served as an incredible example to shallow people everywhere. Gosh, she could have made history. Instead she made her face with make-up.

Interestingly enough, one of Melena's final comments truly disturbed and was uncannily telling. "He's not only gorgeous, he's also sincere." That statement implies an element of surprise, as if Melena had gotten more than she expected and a bonus by choosing a Sincere Jason (hey kids, there's also a Ballroom Jason and a Rollerblading Jason and there's Beach Jason...). In other words, Melena had chosen a cute guy that was super nice on the eyes. When she found a minor redeeming quality like his sincere sincerity (an act?), she convinced herself that this was a relationship worth investing in. But wait a second; wasn't Adam sincere, as well? Or better yet, did that matter?

Culturally, I think this decision and insight into the decision-making process is huge. As a man, I have always known that my fellow primates expect less from a "hot" girl. We don't expect her to intellectualize, pontificate, or even read. Thanks to the "Average Joe" and Melena, we now know that it works both ways. That looking for a potential mate is actually a two way street called Superficial Drive.

As harsh as it seems, we need to admit this: No, it's not the sense of humor. No, it's not the warm sincerity. No, it's not the honesty and integrity. And it sure as hell isn't the close relationship you have with your mother, either. It's looks. It's all looks. We've been had. Women everywhere have lied.

And to be honest, I'm not even going to bother fixing my hair today.


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