I’ve never been terribly into Ben Affleck. When I saw Good Will Hunting during my formative years, it was Mathematician Matt Damon I fell in love with. And as an angsty, black clad teen, I gravitated towards actors like Johnny Depp and Jared Leto, when I gravitated towards actors at all. (I wanted to lose my virginity to Trent Reznor.) With his fratty haircut and blockbuster roles, Ben always came off as kind of a jock to me, the kind of guy whose ideal Sunday is football, and whose ideal woman is J-Lo. I didn’t despise him or anything, he just didn’t do anything for me. I guess I liked him for being in Kevin Smith movies, but even that wasn’t enough to grind my gears. And anyway, those movies happened a long time ago.
Which is why when I saw the first promo shots for Argo, I was completely shocked by how intensely babely I suddenly found him. He’d been off my celebrity crush radar for so long that I had no clue I could ever, in a million years, feel that way about him. His shaggy hair, grown out beard, and slick mod jackets have caused me to question everything I stand for.
And it’s not just me; pretty much all of my Brooklyn-dwelling lady friends agree. “Omg I feel so icky right now for loving that!” one of my friends said on Facebook. “Ben Affleck went from meh Hollywood bozo to BABEBABEBABE by growing a little beard,” said another. And when reached by email for comment, my friend Dana, who runs Candy Rain Magazine (NSFW) and is a major authority on hipster male beauty, said this:
“Finally, now I get it, I’d totally want him to star in my movies… the kinky homemade kind, that is.”
Are we really so easy and predictable that you can slap a beard on anything and we’ll instantly be attracted to it? Well, yes and no. Ben Affleck obviously has the raw materials for handsomeness, they just weren’t being used in a way that appealed to us until now. And judging from various quotes from the Affleck kids and Ben Affleck himself, he won’t be keeping the look for long. But let’s not let that detract from the amazing fact that someday soon, we’ll be able to look back on 2012 as that strange and glorious year Ben Affleck became an unlikely modernist sex symbol, if only for a minute. We will remember this moment for as long as we live.
I also hear the movie is good or whatever.