ArCATypes: A letter to my lovers

I’ve seen the rankings of good-looking gents. I am a frequenter of the Smouldering Men Appreciation Society on Tumblr. And my Internet history is filled with various “shirtless” Google image search results. Seriously, Google “shirtless Mark Wahlberg.” You’re welcome. So basically, I have a lot of credibility when it comes to looking up intangible men. But it’s not all about objectification for me. Allow me to fawn over some of my more prominent crushes directly.

Dear Leonardo DiCaprio, your adult baby face — which was the entire plot of “Titanic” to my 6-year-old mind — sealed the fate of my sexuality as you became my first-ever crush. My elementary school’s Scholastic Book Fair sold me a diary filled with pictures of you, to which I confessed my deepest first-grader feelings every night. Remnants of that sense of intimacy reappear every time I see your increasingly well-rounded face on-screen.

Oh, Andrew from the band MGMT, I would like to go on a picnic in your VanWyngarden. But seriously, your psychedelic sounds and style make me wish I could experience your “Electric Feel.” No, seriously, when isn’t it “Time to Pretend” that I’m your girlfriend?

A very special shout-out to Andy Samberg. You instilled in me a taste for hot and hilarious nerds when I saw you fake rap about the “Chronic — what? — cles of Narnia.” You’re responsible for my appreciation for the likes of Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Cera. Your dick in a box will always hold a special place in my heart.

All right, all right, this is starting to read more like an acceptance speech than a love letter addressed to multiple men, so I’ll stop. I know I must look polyamorous, but I’m not. (Although, it’s okay if you are.) So, why should I have such wandering eyes in a culture that supposedly upholds the standard of monogamy? Well, mainstream media provides so many delectable male choices that it’s hard not to acquire an ADD of admiration. The immediacy of this media intake makes strongly felt feelings so much more short-lived.

Let me break it down for you. People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, which Wikipedia dubs “a benchmark of male attractiveness,” makes it sound like such a man would live out his title until death. But like the pope, the man inevitably loses this title during his lifetime to another looker. This example is only a symptom of our tendency to assign seemingly permanent roles to people who only exist to us in passing. No wonder I viciously cycle through each homme du jour like I do soup.

At most, my celeb crushes these days last about a week. Hey, it’s hard to maintain a one-sided relationship with a person with whom you can’t keep in contact. All I know about sexy celebs is what the press reveals about them and what I can interpret from their art. Despite any illusion of intimacy, I have no depth of understanding about them. I can YouTube as many interviews with man candy as I want, and I’ll never know their juicy interiors.

Longevity in, hopefully, mutual relationships is gained when people understand each other outside of the media’s construction of a usually unrealistic image. So this Valentine’s, focus your attention on someone who knows you exist. Or feel free to salivate over numerous celebs in one day. It’s all good. Love, Cat.

Oh, and if you’re one of many celebrity men whom I didn’t mention in this letter, don’t worry. I’ll probably pine over you sooner or later — but not for long.

Contact Cat at [email protected].