Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

What makes a 30-something man ugly?

Fat Ugly.jpg

As part of ShortList's recent examination of male attractiveness, David Whitehouse explores what makes men in their twenties ugly

We’re all organic matter. I’m aware of that. We grow, we flower, we rot, we die. It’s just that I’m not ready. I am 35 years old, and I am f*cking hideous.

When a camera flash goes off, the flesh beneath my chin expands like the neck of a bullfrog. I am either purple or translucent, depending on what part of my body you look at. There is what I think is a corn on my left foot but I am too cowardly to check in case it’s going to kill me. It is tiny, but glass-sharp, and when I stand directly on it, pain shoots through my testicles. I got this because I used my foot for three-and-a-half decades. That’s the only reason. I used my foot.

I didn’t look like this 10 years ago. My gums hadn’t started to recede so that I look, when I smile, like a horse on a postcard people buy because it appears to be laughing. My earlobes seemed reasonable. My breasts weren’t hinting at their oblong destiny. I didn’t even have breasts.

I’m me in a hall of mirrors. Me under a grill. I’m a diminishing echo of my former self. But I don’t hate me. I hate the 25-year-old me. I’m so powerfully jealous of him, I want to reach back through time and cram my arm into his windpipe.

And my jealousy extends to anyone his age. I’ve constructed an elaborate fantasy world in which they all have the life I wanted when I was 25, but which I missed out on because by some cosmic joke I was born 10 years too early – my decade-premature birth is a fault in the timeline of the universe, which I’d probably rule by now were it not for the blip.

In my fantasy world, the validity of which I can fully convince myself of at any given time, everyone in their twenties is rich from YouTube when I’m broke. Everyone in their twenties has the confidence of a gakked-up Etonian, entering work-experience placements and finishing the week on the board when I did a month at Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and didn’t even get a f*cking phone. They have apps I can’t decipher that facilitate them having sex with other 25-year-olds more easily than I can order a pizza.

I live with this jealousy like lava in my bones. It’s this that makes me ugly, isn’t it?

Follow David on Twitter

Related

Pol.jpg

Why men should show more chest hair

rexfeatures_5660048b.jpg

Here's what your barber secretly thinks about you

3837051-4271267664-khal%.jpg

Beards officially make you sexier, says science

Comments

More

Ten great pairs of socks for you to wear this summer

Nobody likes ankles, anyway

by Gary Ogden
25 Apr 2017

New Balance serves you pastel mesh realness with 247 "Breathe" pack

Killing it

by Sam Diss
25 Apr 2017

What Action Man and G.I. Joe taught me about style

"Each doll had multiple dope mission-specific outfits and their uniforms and gear were like extensions of their personalities..."

24 Apr 2017

Supreme and Nike collab on some more classic basketball trainers

Just like your mum, they're chunky but beautiful

by Sam Diss
24 Apr 2017

adidas’s Busenitz Pro is designed to look even better as you ruin them

Thank god

by Sam Diss
24 Apr 2017

The Idle Man drops new summer collection and, yes, it's very good

Realistic British summer outfits from the London store

by Sam Diss
20 Apr 2017

In praise of (the very small amount of) stylish football players

Celebrating the lesser spotted nicely-dressed footballer

by Sam Diss
20 Apr 2017

How Supreme left New York and made your dad furious

Streetwear's defining label swaps skate for Stoke away

20 Apr 2017

Can a man ever get away with wearing a shawl?

It's a half-cape-half-cardigan and we have conflicted feelings...

by Sam Diss
19 Apr 2017

5 best pastel trousers for this summer that won't make you look dumb

This is the tribute George Michael deserves

by Sam Diss
18 Apr 2017