Everyone gives me more or less the same reaction when I tell them my celebrity crush is Seth Rogen. I’m always met with faces of pure shock and disbelief, followed by a chorus of questioning as to why. If I’m really lucky, I get hysterical laughter. Seth Rogen doesn’t have a six-pack, and he’s far from the typical definition of “tall, dark and handsome.” He’s short if you’re not into guys under six foot and a little pale, but I truly find him adorable. His, for lack of a better term, “doughy” body doesn’t put me off. If anything, I find him more attractive for it. He seems less unobtainable. He seems more real.

The reaction I get quite obviously means I’m supposed to fall over myself for celebrities like the Hemsworth brothers or Channing Tatum. If I said I didn’t find them attractive, I’d be lying. Their chiseled bodies and sharp jawlines are nice to look at and all, but they’re entirely too intimidating. I’d never be able to talk to any of them in real life. But I think we’ve established I can’t talk to men in general so that’s not saying much.

The thing about crushes that people tend to forget is that they are supposed to be based on more than looks. There’s a difference between finding someone attractive and having a crush on them. I find many men attractive. I sure as hell wouldn’t date all of them. Sure, pretty men may be dreamy in their own right but that doesn’t mean other men aren’t.

We’re constantly barraged with discussion surrounding unrealistic beauty ideals women face every day. However, men face those same expectations. We don’t think it’s fair of men to compare us to Victoria’s Secret models, so why would we compare them to Calvin Klein models? What kind of message are we sending when we fawn over the airbrushed men while completely disregarding others we deem not fitting as an ideal male? I’m not trying to downplay women’s struggles with body image, as there are significantly more women who suffer from body image issues; however, it should be recognized that while we grapple with how thin our bodies are, 18 percent of adolescent males struggle with wanting to be bigger or more muscular.  

Those kinds of men are few and far between anyway — with only 1 to 2 percent of men having the idealized body type, it’s as unrealistic to expect abs on a guy as it is to expect a woman to have a 20-inch waist. Most of us are going to end up marrying the Seth Rogens of the world. It shouldn’t be a bad thing to be attracted to “normal” men. I’m not saying every other man isn’t normal. It’s just that Hollywood is full of unusually beautiful people; that’s why they make a ridiculous amount of money by having their picture taken or starring in films.  

It shouldn’t be everyone’s automatic reaction to scoff at my choice of celebrity crush. But it is. “Why Seth Rogen when there are so many more hot men to choose from?” people have asked.

You see, I’m crushing hard because not only is he hilarious, Seth cares deeply about social issues. He addressed Congress two years ago in an attempt to raise awareness about the lack of Alzheimer’s funding. His mother-in-law has suffered from Alzheimer’s for almost 11 years and he has made big bounds to help. Seth and his wife began Hilarity for Charity, a foundation to make Alzheimer’s advocates out of millennials. They hold the Los Angeles Variety Show to raise money and awareness for the disease. It is the sweetest thing. He’s a man of substance with aspirations and a solid dedication to his wife and their relationship.

As young girls, we’re primed to want to find our “Prince Charming,” and he’s usually portrayed as the old Ken-doll-like man who has a perfectly symmetrical face and not an inch of fat anywhere on his body. Now there is a “curvy Ken” to match his new “curvy Barbie,” so we’re making moves toward body peace.

Still, the “men of our dreams” have no substance. They don’t run charity events nor do they have ambition. We’re brainwashed into thinking these empty shells of humans are worthy of our time.

For men, it’s more or less the same, except they often get their ideas of ideal women from porn and half-naked models on the pages of magazines. Long cellulite-free legs, flowing lustrous hair and blemish-free faces bombard their psyches on a daily basis, leading to disappointment for some when it’s usually not the case in real life. 

We should all aspire to be more cognizant of who we admire. It’s definitely OK to look at a celebrity and appreciate their beauty, but putting them on a pedestal is far from necessary. How about we all just agree that we don’t have to be exceptionally beautiful to be of any worth to one another?

Olivia Puente can be reached at opuente@umich.edu.

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