Joanna’s 8 Great Actors That Personify Manliness list was not only spot-on, but it triggered a supplementary thought, one that I have a particular self-interest in: Lacking “Manliness” doesn’t necessary preclude you from being an awesome “man.” I am married; I have a child; and I am heterosexual, but besides watching 12 hours of football a week and perhaps lingering a little too long on the beer commercials, I don’t fit under the stereotypical definition of manliness: I don’t hunt; I don’t fish; I don’t consume large portions of red meat; I don’t scowl; I don’t kick any asses; and I’m somewhat emotionally available. Nor would I consider myself a “metrosexual”: I don’t dress with a particular flair; I don’t shop; and I don’t use product, except for moisturizer, because that’s just good sense. And while there’s certainly a debate as to whether a man who spends a lot of time absorbing media, dotes on his wife, prefers the treadmill to the weights, and bathes regularly can be considered “attractive” or “sexy,” there’s little question in my mind that these five television characters are awesome men, even if Ron Swanson could squash them all with his mustache.
Troy Barnes, “Community”
Unmanly Traits: Although Troy Barnes was both a high-school quarterback and the prom king, there’s nothing particularly jock-y about him. He takes modern dance and acting classes, his phone is the decidedly unmanly Motorola Droid X, he’s a nerd, he eats candy cigarettes, and he chooses not to drink alcohol. And while there’s nothing masculine about a love of LeVar Burton and Reading Rainbow, but everything endearing about it.
Marshall Eriksen, “How I Met Your Mother”
Unmanly Traits: Marshall is a goofball who is in a solid, intimate relationship with a wife, Lily, with whom he’s not afraid to cede control of the relationship. He’s extremely emotional and not afraid to cry in front of people; he can play the piano well; he has dancer’s hip; he once admitted to have never been in a fight; he’s an environmental lawyer; and he cannot grow a mustache. Moreover, when he’s depressed, he binge-eats ice cream. He’s also very cuddly and comfortable with his sexuality.
Brad Williams, “Happy Endings”
Unmanly Traits: A typical favorite night for Brad Williams is not downing six shots of whiskey and kicking ass. Brad would prefer to stay at home, watch TV, eat Chinese food and have sex with his smoking hot wife, who controls all the power in the relationship. He likes to wear dresses as shirts (he likes the deep tuck), would consider wearing tight-fitting baby shirts; he likes “girly” drinks; loves “The Gilmore Girls,” and enjoys crudité. He also dresses nicely, likes to express himself through touching, and loves to twirl.
Chris Brinkley, “Up All Night”
Unmanly Traits: Chris Brinkley was a lawyer who gave up his career to stay at home and take care of his baby. He wears aprons and cartoon boxers; he bakes; he loves to play Peek-a-boo with his infant daughter, and he “likes” everything on Facebook because he likes the way pressing “like” makes him feel.
Phil Dunphy, “Modern Family”
Unmanly Traits: Phil Dunphy dotes on his wife; he’s very juvenile; he was a cheerleader in college; he feels threatened by his father-in-law’s masculinity; he learned the dances from “High School Musical” to impress his children; he suffers from coulrophobia; he loves cheesy movies, and he’s completely useless with the stereotypically male chores around the house.