Why difference is hot

I have a work crush: a tall, rangy, floppy-haired designer who wears skinny jeans and a pretty smile. He’s male model hot, sure, but more than that, I’m drawn in by what he’s good at – the fact that in an hour long meeting he can cover an A4 page with beautiful, intricate doodles a million miles away from my wonky hearts and stars. Every so often he pauses in his scribbles to pick up his mug, which, appropriately, is emblazoned with the slogan Hot Tot Tea. He catches my eye and I look down at my notepad and blush. I haven’t mastered the art of checking him out subtly yet.

He’s not my usual type, but then I’m not sure I have a type anymore. In my teens and early twenties, I was wedded to the idea of a tall, dark, athletic Disney Prince and it was only when I was in my mid-twenties, and a little less head-in-the-clouds, that I started to broaden my horizons a little.

The boy before the boy was skinny, Geordie and had an arse that looked amazing in jeans. Sometimes at work he’d yawn, stretch and lean back in his chair, revealing a strip of pale, freckled flesh just above his waistband. It wasn’t objectively hot, but it worked for me. When he said ‘nothing,’ he pronounced it sounding the ‘o,’ and I swore my heart to men with Northern accents forever.

And then the boy came along, and I revised the lot. What was hot? Broad shoulders, height, facial hair. The front view in jeans, rather than the back view. No Geordie accent, sure, but well spoken enough to make words like cunt, arse and slut sound doubly filthy.

Where am I going with this?

Essentially, I think we’re much better at appreciating how other people’s qualities make them special than we are our own. And I don’t just mean with regard to the opposite sex. It’s rare that I look at a woman and feel an instantaneous girl crush bloom, but when I do, it’s not usually because she’s beautiful in a conventional way, it’s because she dares to pull off things I never would – tattoos, dip dyed hair…

Let’s stop aspiring to some objective view of what’s hot and what’s not. You wouldn’t tell someone else what books they should like, what music they should listen to, what dish they should choose off the menu. So if they choose you, who the hell are you to argue?

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