You know who I find attractive?

This guy.

I was just thinking of him the other day. Never mind why. I didn’t know his name. I’ve always just thought of him as “the guy who plays the cheerleader’s dad on Heroes.” I was never super-into Heroes. I don’t think I finished watching the second season. I dunno. I might have. It wasn’t very good. But anyway, I was thinking of him and didn’t know his name, so I Googled him–because I’ve been known to do that with the handsome men. I probably don’t have to tell you that. So I found out his name is Jack Coleman, and then I Googled the Google images of Jack Coleman, and what appears before my eyes?

This guy.

Yikes. That is to say, wow, that was not what I was expecting. Yes, that is Jack Coleman as he appeared on Dynasty twenty-something years ago. I never watched Dynasty. And yes, I understand that I missed out. What was I watching instead of Dynasty? Probably some great show that went off the air because it got killed in the ratings by Dynasty. That’s neither here nor there. I never watched Dynasty, so I never knew Jack Coleman as this hunky, eighty-licious doofus. I do not find this version of Jack Coleman attractive. It might be the haircut. The haircut is really bad. I mean, it’s almost emasculating. But I actually think it’s his youth that’s the real problem. The intervening years have made his face much more interesting. Without the crinkles around his eyes and the other tell-signs of aging, he’s just another thin-lipped punk in a polo shirt. A turquoise polo shirt. Yegh.

I think that men, generally, tend to get handsomer as they get older. Their faces have more character. Of course, there is a point at which the law of diminishing returns kicks in. Paul Newman was always handsome–he stayed handsome for a disgustingly long time–but was he more handsome at 80 or at 60? I’d say 60, no contest. (No offense, Paul Newman. I hope that in the afterlife, you are perpetually 45-50.) And there are exceptions. Robert Redford is always the first one that springs to my mind, but now that I look at pictures of him, I think I may be holding him to an impossibly high standard. (The Paul Newman standard.)

I think women also get better-looking as they get older, but the age at which they stop looking great and start looking great-for-their-age is much lower than for men. This is probably some kind of sexist crap that I’ve internalized and have no control over. It does pretty much suck. I have to say, though, that I feel more attractive at 40 than I felt at 20 (or 30), but I don’t know if that translates to actually being more attractive. I have to think it does, to some extent. I’m more comfortable in my skin metaphorically, even if the skin itself has seen better days. That has to have some positive effect, or at least a compensating effect.

On the other hand, I’m finally getting my teeth fixed and my jaw properly aligned, so maybe I really will be more attractive in my middle age than I was in my youth. Maybe skin tone is overrated.

Who do you think has gotten better looking with age? Who is aging poorly? Do you think you’re aging well or not?

I’m asking because I have nothing left to say. Also, I’m feeling kind of shallow today.

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