Introduction and Purpose
When I was younger (so much younger than today), my room was plastered with pages ripped from magazines. I was obsessed with the high-concept, meticulously-styled spreads in the glossies. Annie Leibovitz was a god to me. Whilst perusing the internets, I noticed that next month’s cover boys for two of the glossiest of glossies were gents that made my heart pound despite being on opposite ends of the hot spectrum (one’s fair, one’s dark…one’s meticulously groomed, one looks like he smells really, really, truly, I mean very, I’m not kidding bad). I decided the only way to deal with this anomaly was to Do Some Science (plus I enjoy wearing a lab coat and goggles, plus I need more beakers in my life, muppet or otherwise).
A side by side comparison of two radically different specimens of male beauty will yield concrete and empirical conclusions about aesthetics.
1. The January 2011 copy of “Vanity Fair” featuring Johnny Depp.
2. The January 2011 copy of “GQ” featuring Ryan Gosling
In Fig. 1 Mr. Depp is employing what is known in the Scientific Community as the “I’ve-been-living-in-Europe-can’t-you-just-smell-my-odeur-wafting-off-the-pages” offense. He or some hapless make-up artist has ground the customary stick and a half (no more, no less) of kohl around his eyes. Mr. Depp is not only is patchily bearded but also, displaying an almost Diane Keaton-esque skittishness about his neck, haphazardly bescarved.
Alternatively, in Fig. 2, Mr. Gosling, suited, tied and pocket squared, stares down the camera with some unearthly, nigh-on Aryan peepers (that’s scientific, right? peepers?). His brow is quizzically cocked as if to say, “Hey girl, I agree, my suit is a little shinier than I would like, but they let me keep this much stubble and I mussed my hair a bit while no one was looking. So I still look masculine, right girl?”
Because we thought it would be Professional and Scientific to examine the specimens from another angle we present Mr. Depp in Fig. 3, squinting off into the distance, likely thinking about Tim Burton, or how whimsically European even his light sockets are. We, the Scientific Community, approve of his decision to cover the skull and cross bones tattoo in this shot (it’s just excessively piratical).
Finally, in Fig. 4, Mr. Gosling holds court with a shadow which is obviously and scientifically a metaphor for his thoughtful soul and contemplative nature. (My inner self totally wears a hat too.) Also, the Scientific Community is unsure when Mr. Gosling got so tremendously muscled. Our feelings are…mixed.
Our conclusion is, well, inconclusive. We do believe, however, that we have proven what rhetorical lengths we will go to just sos you can look at some pretty fellers. Don’t say we never gave you anything, cause we gave you this.
Joanna Robinson lives in Northern California and the last time she successfully completed any science was her 5th grade Science Fair Project entitled “Does Humidity Affect The Longevity of a Soap Bubble.” If you take exception to her Scientific Method, she doesn’t blame you.