When I was young, my parents taught me that I could do anything I put my mind to. As of today, I have resolved to become People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.”
The way I see it, I’m already two-thirds of the way there. I am a man, and I am alive. Those two attributes, given my age and gender identity, will remain fairly constant over the coming years. I plan on being alive for five to six more decades, and I intend on being a man the entire time.
So all that’s left, really, is “sexiest.” I think I can handle that one too. Now, I don’t think that I am currently the sexiest man alive. Bradley Cooper captured the 2011 title yesterday, and I don’t believe that I am in his league. Yet. That would be delusional, and self-awareness is a very important to winning the coveted SMA award, if 1997 and 2006 winner George Clooney is any indication. Clooney has aged gracefully. He doesn’t walk around dressing like a man in his twenties or thirties. He has dignity and poise. That’s why he was able to win the award twice, his two victories separated by a decade. Know thyself and be sexy.
Yes, I have studied what it takes. From Pierce Brosnan (2001) I learned that accents are sexy. From Ryan Reynolds (2010) I learned that a good head of hair goes a long way. From Jude Law (2004) I learned that it’s sexy to be, like, really sexy.
Confidence is sexy. Right Matthew McConaughey (2005)? If you’ve somehow got abs that somehow extend up most of your torso, show that bizarre 12-pack off! It’s sexy! Shirts are for squares. Except billowy pirate shirts. That’s right, I’m looking at Johnny Depp on this one. Depp, a two-time winner, took home his second Sexiest Man Alive trophy (there’s a trophy, I assume) in 2009 after the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out. Yes, two years after the movie came out, but do you think he was pulling the award down on account of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus? NOPE. Rock that weird fluffy shirt with pride. But rock it like a pirate, not like a Yanni. There’s a reason they don’t give out the award live at the Acropolis. Yanni doesn’t have the charisma to be a swashbuckler, or a SMA. In order to achieve maximum confidence, I’m going to stop hanging out with anyone who won’t high five me on demand. I don’t need that drama in my life. From here on out, it’s all positive energy. I’m going to build my self-esteem up until I can walk down the street with no shirt and MC Hammer parachute pants.
Fitness is sexy. There’s never been a dumpy looking “Sexiest Man Alive.” Brad Pitt (2000) and Hugh Jackman (2008) were both pretty ripped when they pulled down the award. Pitt in particular earned his SMA nod a year after his turn as jacked brawler Tyler Durden in Fight Club. Maybe Jackman and Pitt don’t make quite the show of their fitness that McConaughey does, but no one would argue that they need to step up the cardio. I’m on my way there. I just joined the Planet Fitness location in my neighborhood. So I’m probably mere weeks away from a hot ripped bod. I’m going to do so many crunches. My abs are going to look like a gravel driveway. It’s going to be very, very sexy.
But it’s not all rugged good looks and swagger. A huge part of sexiness is being someone people want to spend time around. You’ve got to seem agreeable and un-diva-like. Who wouldn’t enjoy a day out on the town with Denzel Washington (1996) as a rookie cop in training or just as a pal? Wouldn’t it be great to drink some Sam Adams out on a stoop in Charlestown with Ben Affleck (2002)? Don’t you think it would be a real thrill to help Harrison Ford (1998) sort out his meds for the week? Just kidding, Harrison. You’re the prototypical Silver Fox. You’d probably be up for playing an unexpected prank, like TP-ing Tommy Lee Jones’s house or giving Mark Hamill a wedgie. Christian Bale is pretty sexy, but he’s not on the list. Why? Because he seems like a real live American Psycho. Not cool, C-Bale. I think I’m closer to a genial Richard Gere (1999 and also 1993 as part of the “Sexiest Couple” with Cindy Crawford) than a petulant Jeremy Piven. And I’m ready to step up my polite game to prove it.
So look out, world. From this day forth, the Josh Gondelman you all know and love (well, some of you know and love me) is dead. He has been replaced by the new Future Sexiest Man Alive Josh Gondelman. A man who is more confident, athletic, and approachable than ever before. I will toil ceaselessly in pursuit of my goal. And if all that work isn’t enough, then I will run over Ryan Gosling with a car. I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to win. And what’s sexier than a winner? Nothing.