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What makes a 20-something man ugly?

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

Nothing, technically, makes men in their twenties ugly. Speaking as a man in his twenties: men in their twenties are bomb-looking. They look incredible. If I had to bang a dude – a Bond villain has my family suspended on a rope over lava, and they are crying, screaming, begging me for help, and he is just laughing, “HA HA HA,” he’s saying, “BANG A DUDE OR THEY DIE” – I’m banging a dude in his twenties. Their bodies and health are as good as it is ever going to be. Hairline on point. They can add and subtract muscle like they are breathing it. Skin elasticity out of control.

I am banging that. I am hopping all on that. If a Bond villain makes me, I will happily bang a man in his twenties.

Sadly, though, while physically gorgeous, men in their twenties are hampered by having absurdly bad-looking idiot minds, their minds the mental equivalent of a naked mole rat chewing an old, grey plate of mince, their minds terrible, their minds appalling.

So this is the darkness at the heart of being in your twenties. On one hand: great skin, good gums, pretty solid waist size. On the other hand: I genuinely think VIP service in nightclubs is cool. I reckon I could leave my job and make a go of being an online poker player, despite having only played poker a handful of times. I just feel confident about this. A small part of me, still, thinks that, maybe, while doing a rabona at five-a-side, an Arsenal coach will see me and draft me into the big leagues. Twenty-nine-year-old debutant, ‘GOLBY #2’, the substitute right-back. My mind allows me to think these things. There are other slip-ups, too – the food I eat is often appalling, I cannot keep a room tidy for anything over an hour, I still mostly ignore gas bills, I’m really bad at texting. The constant chaos of being young and alive – but living in a fantastical mind prism, high on my own fumes – is truly the worst.

Being in your twenties is essentially just being constantly surprised when people call you ‘Sir’ when they ID you in a supermarket. That’s it. You’re young and you’re physically flawless, sure, but you’re still nervously waiting to be found out. That’s what makes men in their twenties ugly. That and that sinister face they pull when they legitimately say “banter”.

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