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Why Everyone Love's A Schlub
Hairy, out of shape...hotly pursued by the opposite sex – when it comes to desirable dates, the slob look is definitely ‘in’.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 04 Sep 2012
When Jerry went up to the bar to get us drinks, we sighed with longing.
“I really like him,” Maria said wistfully.
“Me too,” agreed Brona. “He’s lovely.”
I nodded. “Totally lovely.”
Now by and large the media will tell you that female solidarity is a lie and the sisterhood a myth, because women will claw each other’s eyes out and happily stand on each others’ toes, stilettos and all, to get to the man they want. But it’s not true – there we were, me and my gal pals, all of us lusting after the same bloke, and being very civilised about it.
You’d think that a man on the receiving end of this much female admiration would be packing the hard flat six pack of a GQ cover model and give Michael Fassbender a run for his money in the trouser snake department. But you’d be wrong. Well, right about the impressive penis it turns out, but none of us knew that at the time.
By any yardstick Jerry was a pretty average looking bloke. He was hairy, beardy, definitely scruffy and a bit on the chubby side.
My sister – another of his fans – called him a “big, hot, sexy teddy bear.” The description was apt – Jerry was a bear.
Somewhere in the dark decade that was the ‘70s, bear culture emerged in the gay scene. Bears were the antithesis to the preened and primped appearance favoured by many gay men. They were hairy, big and unapologetically masculine. Some favoured the muscled look of body builders or blue-collar workers; others were schlubby with more than a few extra pounds around the waistline.
In the last few years however, bears, or men who rock a vaguely bear-like appearance, have gone mainstream. Take, for example, stars like Jason Segal, Seth Rogen and Vince Vaughn – all loveable schlubs with a track record of getting the girl in rom-coms. Even former pretty boy Leonardo DiCaprio has gained weight and, more often than not, sports facial hair.
On the one hand this preponderance of bigger male stars speaks to an acceptance of double standards in Hollywood. In films, the fat or unattractive girl is always the beautiful heroine’s sidekick and never gets the guy, at least not until she has had a makeover. The one exception I can think of is The Truth About Cats & Dogs, but Janeane Garofalo is hardly ugly, although perhaps not as luminous as her co-star Uma Thurman.