I’ve chosen three characters to analyze in my study of what constitutes fascinating, can’t get enough of, men ~ Mad Men’s Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm), Californication’s Hank Moody (played by David Duchovny) and Marty Kaan of House of Lies (played by Don Cheadle).
I began with my own list of characteristics that they may have in common and created a matrix. Then I thought, Wonder how this rates against what traits women want in a mate? It didn’t take much digging (in this world of advice columns for dating singles) to come up with the following:
Sense of Fun
And last, though not least… a great smile! Well all of our Hollywood hunks have that. Here’s an interesting question – how many times in an episode do each of our protagonists smile? I'm guessing, a lot!
Conclusion: while exhibiting flaws, these characters are 'designed' to appeal to modern day ideals.
My next line of inquiry took me to, “What men look for in women?” As it turns out, men and women are not from different planets after all, according to a recent study reported in the New York Times.
So what do men want in their women? Turns out to be… confidence, intelligence, spontaneity, playfulness, sensuality, honesty, independence, supportiveness. And, here’s something I find interesting – “moderate neuroticism” – which is to say that they accept women are neurotic, they just want it tempered. I wonder if how much neurosis they’ll accept is correlated to how much sex they get? And, according to Ask Men’s #9, wearing red lingerie?
Interestingly enough, in a recent Mad Men episode in which Don was playing his own version of 50 Shades of Grey (or was it more akin to the Story of O?), he had a package delivered to his love slave. Can you guess what it was? Comment below and retweet to win a prize of… in this case only my gratitude. And here’s another observation, if advertisers were on the ball, or maybe just on the web, sales of red dresses would have skyrocketed. Yes, I answered the question.
#8 on Ask Men’s list is waist to hip ratio. Is it any wonder that Christine Hendricks is a hit?
#7 – large eyes and a balanced mouth. I’ll keep that in mind when it comes to casting.
#6 – a hot body. Even in Orphan Black, a BBC America, drama/thriller, the protagonist gets to strip and show off her hot bod on more than one occasion.
#5 – from a U.K. survey - men may find women who are extroverted, agreeable and highly empathic more appealing than women who exhibit these traits to a lesser degree. This definitely applies to Alicia Florick in The Good Wife; Carrie Bradshaw in Sex & The City; and even, to some degree, Sarah Manning in Orphan Black. These same characters also exhibit #3 on the list… self-sacrificing.
And what’s number one on our Ask Men list? Facial attractiveness. Well, we all know that we don’t have “ugly” protagonists, at least not in Hollywood.
So, even after this analysis of human characteristics, such as kindness and empathy, what all our protagonists share are good looks, hot bods and active sex lives. Mmmm.... I wonder what TV has learned from the porn industry?
Ask Men: http://www.askmen.com/top_10/dating/top-10-traits-attractive-women-look-for-in-a-man.html
Yahoo Lifestyle UK: http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/5-qualities-women-look-men-081030930.html
Decoding Women: http://decodingwomenshow.com/1/post/2013/03/top-5-qualities-that-women-find-most-attractive-in-a-man.html
Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/most_desirable_traits
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/opinion/sunday/the-tangle-of-the-sexes.html?_r=0
Ask Men: http://www.askmen.com/top_10/dating/top-10-proven-traits-men-desire-in-women.html