Happy 35th birthday to Adam Levine. If you’re anything like a lot of people, you might be reading that sentence with a healthy dose of sarcasm in your mind-voice (unless you’re reading out loud, in which case it would be your voice-voice). That’s because a lot of people love to hate Adam Levine. I’ll admit I’ve been quick to jump on the “Adam Levine is a douche” bandwagon, my villager torch firmly in hand. But when it comes to actually explaining why I don’t like him, sometimes I come up blank. He’s one of those people who just rubs me the wrong way.
But even I have to confess that there are a lot worse guys in Hollywood, and a lot of my distaste towards him is irrational. So in honor of Adam’s special day, I’m ready to play devil’s advocate and defend him against some common complaints. If you still don’t like him after reading this, that’s A-okay. I probably won’t like him either. But maybe you’ll be able to admit that it could be so much worse. And then we can all live in peace on the same planet as him, amen.
Complaint #1: He only dates models.
Sure, exclusively dating unattainably beautiful women whose job it is to strut around in lingerie has gotta make you wonder where his priorities lie. But unlike fellow modelizer Leonardo DiCaprio, he’s actually made the decision to commit to one of those sexy ladies. I’m not saying that marriage will actually happen or that it’ll last longer than five seconds, and I’m also not saying people shouldn’t be allowed to date around if they so choose. But Adam Levine actually goes to Behati Prinsloo’s fashion shows and brings her along to events with him instead of lounging with her on a yacht somewhere and then moving on to the next girl.
Complaint #2 He shouldn’t have won People‘s Sexiest Man Alive.
There are various reasons people objected to the magazine choosing Adam to represent sexy men who aren’t dead. The most common ones seemed to be, “Ugh, he’s the worst” or “RYAN GOSLING WAS ROBBED!” But people also complained that there hadn’t been a non-white Sexiest Man in far too long. That’s fair, but there also hadn’t been a non-actor in far too long. Adam was the first musician to hold the title, proving that (GASP) there are sexy men in other professions too.
Complaint #3: His music sucks.
Everyone has a right to their opinion, and we all have different musical tastes. But so often people have these pretentious hipster reasons for not liking Maroon 5′s music. “It’s too mainstream, man.” “That’s not rock n’ roll. How dare they?” “Moves like Jagger? Nice try, poser.” Come on, people. You know “Moves Like Jagger” is catchy, and you know you bopped along to “This Love” at least once when it first came out. Don’t even pretend. There’s no shame in liking pop music.
Complaint #4: He’s hypocritical.
Case in point: That time he tweeted that celebrity fragrances should be punishable by death and then later debuted a celebrity fragrance of his own. Ellen DeGeneres called him out on it, and it was delightful to watch. But I bet there was once something you said you would never do and then a year later you found yourself doing it. You just might not have tweeted about it for people to dig up after the fact. Plus, Adam laughed about the situation and hasn’t deleted the tweet. Also, money. People like money. If the way they get it is to hawk a fragrance with their name on it, I can’t really blame them.
Complaint #5: He’s annoying on The Voice.
He is annoying on The Voice. But so are all the other judges. It’s four really famous, really over-the-top musicians fighting for attention. And that show is on like seventeen hours a week. You gotta find ways to keep things entertaining for the audience. Oftentimes an attempt at humor or cuteness will veer into intolerable territory. It happens to us all.
Complaint #6: He’s obsessed with showing off his body.
Yes, Adam Levine is very proud of his body. He goes shirtless in almost every music video, and he even struts around in his undies for no apparent reason. First of all, he’s not inappropriately shirtless as much as Justin Bieber is, so we can give him credit there. Second of all, if this were someone we liked otherwise we’d be delighted to see him topless. He’s got a nice body, which brings me to my third point. He’s unconventionally sexy. He’s skinny and heavily tattooed, and it just goes to show that you don’t have to have bulky arms and an eight-pack to be confident and hot.
Complaint #7: He’s full of himself.
Sure, he thinks music critics are just idiots who don’t get his music, and he’s said douchey things about wanting to sleep with a bunch of women because he respects them so much and that makes him not a misogynist, and he has that smug smirk permanently painted across his face that you just want to slap off. But he can also make fun of himself, which is very important in Hollywood. Did you see him host SNL? He was hilarious. He also did a skit for Jimmy Kimmel poking fun at his Sexiest Man title. So it might not totally cancel out everything douchey he’s ever said, but it’s better than him saying douchey things and being unwilling to joke about them.
So how do you feel? Still think Adam Levine is a douche? Is he now a more tolerable douche than before? Did this post accomplish anything besides putting “Moves Like Jagger” in your head for the rest of the day? Hello?
(Photo: Joel Ginsburg/WENN.com)