One late night, whilst on a YouTube interview-watching binge, I stumbled across an interview with Diablo Cody and Mindy Kaling that was part of a webseries called Red Band Trailer. Now, I must say that the brilliance of Diablo Cody as a host alongside one of my favorite television writers certainly appealed to me, but what truly made my jaw drop was the part of their conversation where they talked about boys.
It was like I had found clarity. No joke. I had to rewatch that part of the interview a few times to fully assess what I had finally, after twenty years of life, understood.
In it, Mindy Kaling talks about how the “ideal guy” for a female comedy writer is the bespectacled, self-deprecating nerd. “Some version of, like, Paul Rudd with glasses on … who went to Brown.” (That is, Seth Cohen. Anyone who knows me in real life will attest to the fact that this is literally my “type.”)
She and Diablo go on to describe why this match never works out, “They’re cads! That’s the secret thing… and they totally get away with it. They might as well be the Bradley Cooper types.” Together, they posit that maybe the so-called Bradley Cooper types of the world are more appealing as you get older, in a purely biological way. Like, as soon as you grow tired of trying to make it work with the nerdy men of the world, something inside us snaps and decides to make more options available, preferably the manlier “protect the cave” types.
This theory may just be light-hearted conjecture, but it made me pause and think about how people create these categories or checklists of what your ideal partner should be. So many people I’ve talked to have these never ending lists of criteria for who is “worthy” to date. What good are these lists? Such narrow-minded thinking in any other situation is frowned upon.
I remember back in the day (i.e. elementary school), I was super into blonde guys, probably because Nick Carter’s good Backstreet Boy days and that guy from Motocrossed. I think back to how my taste evolved, and suddenly middle school came about and the introduction of Seth Cohen changed all of that for me. It was all dark-haired, nerdy types.
As my taste in movies and TV veered toward classic SNL sketches and John Hughes movies at this pivotal time in my life, the attraction to the nerd grew. I still stand by my preference for gawky Patrick Dempsey circa Can’t Buy Me Love, mowing all of those lawns to pay for his telescope, instead of the McDreamy Dempsey. The type continued to pervade in my pop culture preferences: John Krasinski, Zachary Levi, Adam Scott, Seth Meyers…It’s like I’d typecast my future love. In a way, they seem, as Mindy said, to be the safer options when it comes to the very sensitive nature of dating.
Does this mean that all this time I’ve just been playing it safe? Probably. And let’s face it, I’ve had little to no luck with this “love life” stuff.
So, with this new perspective, what’s a girl to do? Honestly, I’ve still got no clue. I’ll probably always have a soft spot in my heart for the men of scrawny, bespectacled persuasion, but now, if Bradley Cooper comes a’knocking – who am I to turn him away?
“Art” by Taylor.