Petronella Wyatt

Pretty boys

The ongoing escapades of London's answer to Ally McBeal

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As I was sitting in the car the other day, I looked to my right and saw a billboard depicting a pair of giant legs. Glancing up, I noticed, for what must be the umpteenth time, the face of Brad Pitt emerging somewhat incongorously from a Greek helmet. There was a gaggle of girls standing about and staring at it with gloopy expressions on their faces.

Brad Pitt — to the modern female the epitome of physical perfection. What a miserable thought. I don’t know a single member of my sex who has been to see Troy to see Troy. They have all been to see Troy to goggle at a half-naked Mr Pitt.

Frankly, I would rather goggle at the Mr Pitt who was once our prime minister. With his angular, rather cold face at least he looked like a man, even if it is doubtful that he behaved like one in the heterosexual department. But these modern sex symbols, who, it cannot be denied, attract women like a magnet attracts iron filings, look like a bunch of girls.

Consider the actors who were recently voted by a Channel 4 survey ‘the sexiest film stars on the planet’: Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp. Shave their faces, put make-up and wigs on them and they could give Kate Moss a run for her money. But do they really exude good old 18-carat SA? They probably don’t even have BO.

Why is it that women have rejected the traditional male blueprint — once personified on the screen by Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy and Robert Mitchum — for something so effeminate? The new prototype has a small, often upturned, nose, wide eyes and a mouth that Liz Hurley would kill for. He looks more at home in the kitchen than on the battlefield.

I wonder if this is a result of feminism. Do women believe that men who look like women will think like them as well? Are they more sensitive, more biddable, more domesticated? Do they whip up soufflés while they chitchat away about designer frocks and Brazilian waxes? Have they actually had Brazilian waxes?

Or is it a nurturing thing? Are members of my sex naturally drawn to anything that resembles a baby? This would obviously include men who have faces like them. Do they feel that Pitt and DiCaprio would be willing to be patronised, clucked over, burped, chucked on the chin and tucked up in bed at night?

There must be some weird psychological explanation. Because, in my opinion, these chaps are about as sexy as squashed potatoes. Give me men with large noses (well, not too large), narrow-set eyes and mouths that do not appear to have been cosmetically enlarged by collagen. This evidently means I am neither a feminist nor a nurturer. But I am not an idiot either.

Only a moron would want to liaise with a man who was prettier than she. It is a woman’s prerogative to fuss over her appearance and her lipstick shade; to keep her man waiting while she tries on her third different outfit. How awful if men did this sort of thing, too. I suspect it is a close call between Mr and Mrs David Beckham. Probably their marriage is going through a difficult patch because they keep fighting over clothes and jewellery.

Oh, the perils of marrying a pretty man. He won’t look after you, he will want to be babied around the clock; he will pinch your appointments at the beauty spa and spend hours in the bathroom. Then he will decide you are too masculine-looking for him and hop it with a 16-year-old nymphet.

For goodness sake pull yourselves together, girls. Boycott Brad Pitt, Leonardo, Johnny Depp, Becks and all the other pretty boys. Insist on watching only black-and-white films featuring men with crooked noses and large ears. Make ruggedness your ideal. Sean Bean should have played Achilles. Or, better still, Boris Karloff. Now there was a killer male.