Beauty & the Book

Hot Guys Reading Books is the tumblr blog attesting to “scour the internet for examples of luscious literary men” because “there are plenty of attractive men in the world, but unfortunately few of them that are avid readers.”

Amen to that.

Sort of a dating catalogue that allows you to sift through the bookish boys until you find the perfect fit. What a novel idea…

Here are some smart, sexy men to segue into the weekend with.

Well I do love a man in uniform…

Flannel, stubble and smarts? Where do I sign up?

Don’t hurt that pretty little head of yours.

Lose the glasses, then we’ll talk.

Everyone likes an older man, right?

14 thoughts on “Beauty & the Book

  1. Please see my reply to a previous about the massive amount of good things needed by men to be seen as desirable! Some would call the man in uniform a killer, the flannel and stubble a bogan, the dude in the coffee shop a poser with an oral fixation that can’t read books without pictures, the dude with the glasses….he’s reading (well, holding at least) Starship Troopers, and the older guy, old!

    Good looking men that read should not be objectified like this! Leave us alone!!! It’s too much pressure… Oh shit I just had a heart palpitation and felt the earth tremor.

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  3. Hey wait a second, ‘hot girls’ have been objectified for centuries, however, men have had to put up with the pressure of being valued by appearance for maybe a few decades, (A trend that really only took off after second wave feminism, and was popularised by 80s pop culture.) and women are the ones being unreasonable?? The women scouting for these photographs are obviously sending the message that men are more attractive IF they have something more to offer, like an interest in reading… Ever see a women in playboy magazine holding a book?? Women are more attractive to men if they don’t read, don;t think, don;t speak. (at least in the media, particularly men’s magazines.)

  4. Tess, I never said women are the ones being unreasonable. I said that fact that men are being objectified as women have been and still are is unreasonable. Do you really think it fair that present day men be held accountable for the sins of their predecessors? Past and present female celebrities have been objectified for their appearance. If you despise that ideal, why wish it on anyone else?

    Who says it’s only women scouting for the photographs in question? Gay guys? Modelling scouts? Blog authors? Interaction between the genders is not the only relevant factor here. And by the way, if I pick up a book, I’m sure women won’t be crawling all over me. There’s way more too it than that. The idea that because women are physically objectified in the media “that’s all men want from women” is flawed, and suggest that the media is out of touch with masculinity. It does not mean that any man’s ideal women is only a physical object.

    Personally, I’ve never looked at a playboy, and while I’m sure the images contained therein would evoke a phsyical reaction of some kind, that’s not something I want to do. The point to be made here, I think is that intelligent, discerning people with decently oriented moral compasses should pay no heed to the media’s depiction of either gender. Sure, be annoyed about it; it’s horrible on both sides. But personally I think it’s wrong to be hating on men who dislike their gender’s representation when you feel the same way about the widespread, demeaning depiction of your own.

  5. I’m not hating on men for anything, I am merely pointing out the inequality present in gender representations in today’s media. Personally, I am not offended when people find other people physically attractive, or are attracted to people in photographs, because they are holding a book, or because they are not. Media representations, as you said, do not represent the real world. And even if they did, physical attraction is a part of the real world.

    But I do think it is unfair to label things such as this blog, as predatory, especially since it promotes the idea that intelligence is an attractive quality in men, and it does not demand that men need to fit into any narrow physical category to be considered attractive.

  6. I’ve not said it’s predatory. Rather, that I believe it is (in this post at least) indicative of the backlash against the remnants of the previously dominant patriarchy. My issue here stops at the fact that if the above (appreciation of someone photo of someone for a specific trait) is something women are being liberated from now, after centuries of unfair treatment, that this is no reason for this to be applied to men, for whatever short period of time.

  7. I’m worried you may be missing the whole point I am trying to make. Women represented in the media, as physically attractive, have very few ways of being allowed entry into the ‘hot’ category, (being dangerously thin, big breasted, wearing lots of makeup, being thin, wearing tight clothes & high high heels, oh, and did I mention thin?) and a great many ways of fitting into the ‘not.'(being ‘plus sized, wearing the ‘wrong’ clothes, being ‘too skanky’, being too conservative; intelligence and strength are often considered traits of lesbians, not women… and lesbians are only allowed into the hot category, if they perform for men…) The dominate patriarchy that you mention still exists, just covertly now.

    I would not seek to, nor do I believe that this blog post in any way attempts too, flatten the range of ways the physical body is ‘acceptable’ in men. Men are not being subjected to the same conditions that women have existed in for centuries, when one blog post comments on a specific admirable trait in men.

    People are going to admire different qualities in other people, and often those qualities will be physical. I have no problem with this, it is human nature. It only becomes a problem when a single or limited and often unhealthy and unattainable prescription of what is considered attractive, is forced upon a gender, as has occurred to women for many years, and continues to occur today. I don’t see this blog post as limiting the way men get to be men and therefore a repackaging of the patriarchy, aimed at men, as women’s revenge for years of being dominated. That is the point I was trying to make.

  8. I for the most part, but I think we’re at slightly crossed purposes here. This post doesn’t limit the way “men get to be men”. But the problem is that the shadow (or hidden rule- depending on your point of view) of the patriarchy, I feel, looms more heavily on men that it does on women, at least in the ideological sense.

    The issue here is not so much about physical traits for men, as the media perpetuates for women. It’s about being sandwiched between the old and new paradigms of what is manly. Scarlett’s intent, I’m sure, was not to pigeon-hole anything to do with “What is a hot man?”. The post’s existence just illustrates the fact that we’ve now got to be intelligent, as well as attractive, as well as masculine and effeminate, to get it “right.” And I can’t help but think that there’s radical feminists a-plenty out there relishing that fact.

    And whilst my original comment here is well off, it was in an effort to have a bit of a go at the author re. gender issues, after she suggested I comment on “Is there really a Beauty Myth?”, as opposed to sparking a well thought out too and fro.

  9. Again, another post I wasn’t expecting to garner so much attention, especially not of this sort!
    Herbert, my trusty anti-feminist whom I can always count on to express your opinion, no matter how extreme or harshly judged it may be: you make some valid points here, one’s that I don’t automatically disagree with, funnily enough.
    I do think that the media is “out of touch” both with femininity and masculinity, as you raised, but most of us, certainly those who comment on this blog, realise that the media doesn’t portray true representations of reality.
    And Tess, while we seem to share a similar viewpoint here, that smart men are hot, even if this post was just in jest and didn’t really offer much in the way of constructing dichotomies about gender relations, I somewhat disagree with the extreme notion that the media, “particularly men’s magazines”, push the ideal that “women are more attractive to men if they don’t read, don’t think, don’t speak…”. Personally, I think a man or woman who reads is smoking, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me.
    Herbert, you said in your third comment, posted on June 11 at 4:18pm, that the “appreciation [of a] photo of someone for a specific trait… is something women are being liberated from now, after centuries of unfair treatment, that this is no reason for this to be applied to men, for whatever short period of time.” And to that, I say, “lighten up!”
    Sure, it’s unfortunate that some cultures (namely ours) and the media focus so much on physical appearance and the fact that you’re deemed worthless if you’re not physically attractive (an article on which I was reading over at sex and gender blogger Rachel Hills’ blog, Musings of an Inappropriate Woman []. You will have to search for “You Are Not Your Muffin Top” though, as the site won’t allow me to get a direct link.), but as Tess said, “… these photographs are obviously sending the message that men are more attractive IF they have something more to offer…”, which is true of human physical attraction in the purest sense. We may be attracted to someone because we like the way they look, there’s something about them we can’t pinpoint and they aren’t necessarily our “type”, or something far more biological is going on with our pheromones and Darwinian need to reproduce from the best gene pool, but long lasting love and attraction and even just friendship comes from more than just physical attraction. Common interests, such as reading, for me, are what holds the relationship together beyond that initial attraction.
    Tess, the way you phrased your latest comment was beautiful, and I think you should definitely consider writing more on this topic if you’re not already. Also, check out the abovementioned blog, Musings of an Inappropriate Woman, which reiterates what you are saying about the “single or limited and often unhealthy and unattainable prescription of what is considered attractive is forced upon a gender” by society and the media. As much as my personal viewpoint is to defend the media as I don’t feel that it has profoundly shaped my attitudes to this topic, you do raise some unfortunately accurate points.
    Finally, Herbert, it is interesting that you say “that the shadow… of the patriarchy… looms more heavily on men than it does on women” because I think the majority (of women, at least) would disagree strongly with you. While this tends to be my feeling towards this contention, I do agree that there are certain responsibilities, if you will, that are pushed on men in today’s society, ie. providing for the family (which may mean foregoing further education to enter the workforce and trades sector earlier – God knows our government places this highly), not showing emotion (which I think is one of the biggest mistakes the “patriarchy” exudes), and a certain physical ideal. Being a female, I can only speculate that this is perhaps as far as it goes, but similar concerns are faced by us, too.
    From adolescence, we are pressured into having sex at the right time with the right person, and if we don’t, we face being called sluts, prudes, whores, virgins. These taunts can come from everywhere: parents, peers, the media. Then we have to worry about school, entering the workforce, and increasingly, young motherhood and what options that leaves us with later in life. With this comes the work/life balance and the “superwoman” complex. For those women who choose to have a career first, there is the pressure to find a mate before our biological clock stops ticking, have perfect, healthy kids whilst maintaining a marriage, home and career.
    And these are only some of the myriad of expectations pushed on women by many an external, and internal, source, for a 20 to 30 year time period.
    But I feel you are coming to grasps with some of these things yourself, as you say, men have “now got to be intelligent, as well as attractive, as well as masculine and effeminate, to get it ‘right’.” Ideally, kindness, emotional (not just physical) strength and companionship would be welcome, but now you’ve got an idea how women feel.

  10. without wanting to sound as though I am just doing the whole ‘women sticking together’ thing… Nicely said Scarlett. Kudos

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