The Mother City is full of beautiful men especially around this time of year when season is at its peak and international ad agencies insist on migrating their local talent to our very welcoming shores. When it comes to the latest in sports, leisure and Jockey campaigns, only the buffest bods and pearliest whites will do. Thank Saatchi & Saatchi for the never ending catalogue of beefy men and delicious eye candy parading around our vibrant streets, making Cape Town one of the most sizzling and appealing summer destinations known for man!
We may not have known this at the time, but from a very young age most of us had already begun creating vision boards of the ideal man in the form of pin up posters and magazine cut-outs secured tightly to our bedroom walls and locker doors. Male models and black and white snapshots of Marky Mark in his CK knickers, big guns and pumped up chests with the slightest hint of androgyny; perfect hair and chiseled jawlines, Brad. It's no secret; physical beauty has and always will be the epitome of every girls fantasy.
But what happens when the fantasy becomes a reality? What happens when you find yourself coming face to face with someone whose physical beauty is literally blinding? Do you fumble with insecurity and awkward shyness, or do you seize the moment for all its glory, jumping at the opportunity to conduct one of the life's greatest social experiments...to date an international male model...
As I glanced over towards the casting couch where nearly half a dozen male models had been pouting in self importance for the past hour and a half, I thought "why?" What was it about these creatures that made them so captivating? Was it their smouldering good looks and irresistible charm that got our hearts racing into a flutter; the financial freedom of not having to pay for anything apart from the occasional taxi trip or was it their uncanny ability to make you feel completely and utterly self-conscious? What made a super model so super?
Nina, a fashion designer and serial model shagger from London, had always had the confidence of Gisele Bundchen. She'd always arrive at some trendy night club or fashion event with some hot young thing dangling at her side. Backstage, on set or hot off the runway. She always managed to score the latest and finest in male talent. One day, Nina introduced us to Zoolander, a 6 ft 2 Latino God whose presence was ridiculously, if not uncomfortably surreal. His flawless physique and natural good looks had the rest of us gawking and giggling like a gaggle of silly school girls. At approximately 10pm, Nina had shacked up with some one else, leaving Mr. Zoolander with a very drunk and insecure non-model me. Had my fantasy man finally come along?
Although there was nothing super about the sex, and the conversation was pretty much limited to how many outfits he tried on at a fitting, we dated for about three weeks. My self-esteem had automatically inflated to the size of a Goodyear blimp right to the point where even I found myself asking the question that was so blatantly written across everyone's faces "what the hell was someone who looked like that doing with someone like me?" I was no ugly Betty but I sure as hell wasn't a ten either.
I don't know what came as a bigger shock; the fact that I had landed and dumped one of the hottest guys on the planet or the fact that my fantasy man had failed all expectations. Somewhere along the line, I was blinded by his beauty completely forgetting about traits like intelligence and drive. Dating Zoolander was like dating any other narcissitic lemming. What kind of future could I possibly have with someone whose idea of fun was sipping mocha-chocca-frappacino's at Vida while working on his tan waiting around for his agent to call? I suddenly saw my life ten years from now raising two beautiful children on my own on while their unmotivated has-been father sits on his ass smoking weed all day and playing X-box, wondering when his next break will be. Not so hot right now, is it?
The truth is that pretty boys are designed to make us feel insecure about ourselves until the day we realize that looks aren't everything. Fantasy should remain fantasy because behind the Blue Steel and La Tigra facial expressions lies a boy just like any other, and just like boys, male models are definitely not super human. They fart, drink, play video games and party till the sun comes up. The only real difference is that they still look great in the aftermath.
When it comes to dating Zoolander, just how different is it from dating someone who's not that really-really good looking?