Ladies, your prayers have been answered. I present to you: Hot Rob.
He’s Disney Prince meets action figure. Somebody get this guy a modeling contract with Chubbies, stat. So dreamy. Mr. Perfect.
I know you’re not wondering why he got the nickname Hot Rob, but I’ll tell you where and when. My friends and I met the man-god on vacation in Colombia two years ago. His 8-pack was perfectly framed with a glistening seahorse Flashtat. He loaded our kayak up with cans of Aguila (thenceforth known as “The Beer Kayak”). Hot Rob and I have been friends ever since.
I know I’m going to break a lot of hearts when I say this but….
Hot Rob is not perfect.
Sorry Robbie it needed to be said.
I’ve traveled to six countries with the guy. He wasn’t perfect when he forgot to bring cash to Cuba (PSA they don’t have American ATMs) and we subsisted solely on ham and cheese sandwiches for 3 days straight (thereby dubbing our friend group “Jamón y Queso”). He definitely wasn’t perfect when he nearly got us killed flying 50mph on an “island hopping tour” (re: raft with a motor) in Croatia. When he’s had a few beers he speaks exclusively in a Southie Boston accent (not perfect). Also this:
You see my point.
I’ve known for a while that Hot Rob doesn’t fancy his nickname. He prefers Rob. Kind of boring but whatever. I always thought, oh, cry me a river Rob, must be hard knowing that every woman you meet thinks you’re so gosh darn hot.
I’ve been (even more) fired up (than usual) about women’s equality lately due to some recent events. I’ve used writing as my outlet for getting out some of these thoughts: how sexuality gets conflated with sexism, and how unfair it is that many people don’t think it’s possible for a woman to be smart, successful, and sexy. I might publish some of it here. In the meantime Queen Emma Watson has been doing a phenomenal job explaining the sentiment.
Anyways, I realized that what I thought was a harmless nickname was actually pretty demeaning. It simplified all of Rob’s many perfect and imperfect qualities into just a pretty face (and abs. lots of abs). If he were a woman, I’d be outraged.
It’s not cool to objectify men.
Gender equality, you guys. Let’s not be hypocrites.
Over the last few months I watched a woman in an authority position over Rob hit on him relentlessly. Her mind was so laser-focused on him that she actually started calling the other men in the room Rob by accident, and then collapsing in giggles when she realized her mistake. I saw Rob recoil in his seat. I can’t speak for him, but I can guess how he felt because I’ve been there too: Embarrassment, Shame, Violated, Objectified. It’s not ok because he has XY chromosomes.
Robbie, I hope you can forgive me for not seeing this before.
Rob has so many exceptional qualities that don’t get captured in a nickname, and they certainly can’t be fully represented in a dating profile. For instance, he’s really super freakishly smart. And don’t even get me started on his PowerPoint wizardry. He’s a friend that I trust and confide in. He has weird yet impressive dance moves. His outdoorsman-ship skills are top notch, and he never ceases to amaze me with his patience as he rangers our friend group through outdoor adventures. Rob’s a guy that will rollerblade with you down Mission Beach in all your finest American flag garb on a Thursday. He’s the kind of guy that, just yesterday, didn’t yell at me when I spilled chili cheese fries all over his bed.
To be honest, I don’t even notice Rob’s abs anymore (no offense Rob, I know the upkeep is no easy feat).
Rob is hot. But you can’t reduce him to just that. And despite the fact that I am very, very pro online dating (more on this some other time), I’m concerned how dating profiles overemphasize appearances. You can’t capture a person’s depth and uniqueness in 6 Valencia-filtered photos. And if Rob lists “Challenge 4 Charity Organizer” in his About Me he’s going to look braggy, even though charity work is a core part of who he is. I hope that one day we will create a modernized dating solution that better incapsulates the full human behind the profile. (Or I guess we could go back to “regular” dating?)
In the meantime, ladies, let’s drop the superficial nicknames.
Let’s treat men the way we want to be treated.