10.05.2012

Funky Fad Friday--How Old Are These Guys?


 So, according to the comments on last week's fad, I am the only person weirded out by winking? Okay, cool.

Moving on. Let's discuss something in YA that pops up a lot: Hot Guys. More specifically, cut, ripped, built, broad-shouldered, five o'clock-shadowed, other-kinds-of-manly Hot Guys.

I don't have a problem with this one. I, like every other slightly creepy adult woman, really don't mind reading about a love interest with rippling muscles or whatever.

BUT.

You guys, let's be realistic for one second.

I had the privilege of growing up with my husband. I met him in high school at the age of sixteen, which is often the age of Hot Guys in YA books. And yeah, his shoulders were definitely broader than mine. He was shaving by that time, at least once a week. He had a fair amount of muscles. But, he was still kind of growing into his ears. He was lanky, like most teenage boys are. His voice was deep, but still cracked from time to time. He didn't hit the Hot Guy needs-to-shave-that-attractively-careless-scruff mold until, oh, about twenty, I'd guess.

I had a lot of guy friends who served LDS missions. They typically leave at nineteen and come back at twenty-one, and the thought I had as each one came home was, "Wow, he filled out." Boys became men somewhere in that two year window.

So, my point is, are these Hot Guys really only sixteen or seventeen? Because sometimes the way they're described makes them sound older.Not that I mind. It makes me feel less creepy.

Input! Has anyone else noticed this? What do you think about it?


11 comments:

S.P. Bowers said...

Yes! I've noticed that and it bothers me too. I'm all for hot guys but there does need to be some realism or we lose trust with the author.

Donna Nolan said...

I'm going to play devil's advocate here (because let's face it - I am more often his advocate than not) but I am going to somewhat disagree. I do agree that 90% of boys - at least in our day - are not HOT and built at 16 or 17. But I had the privilege of working out in the weight room with the football team when I was in high school. More than once I nearly dropped the barbell on my chest during the bench press when I caught a shirtless 16-year-old, ripped, muscle-y, sweet male specimen walking by – or better yet, lifting weights. Mmmm. So they do exist, but not as often as they do in books. I will also say though, I went to my niece’s high school graduation a few months ago and kids are much hotter than they were back when I was a teenager.

Jeigh said...

I'll agree, there are some ripped 16 year olds out there. My nephew, in fact, has a very impressive six pack. But yes, they are not as prevalent as they are in fiction. Which is why it's fiction, eh?

Donna Nolan said...

And you know me and my cougar ways - I'm not reading a book about some lanky, average guy. LOL. Unless he is super smart, or super funny, or super skilled at anything. :)

Erin said...

This bothers me mostly in movies. I HATE how they make these high school kids look and act like fully-formed adults. It breaks the suspension of reality for me to see a high school so full of mature, hot, muscley guys. That is definitely NOT the high school I went to. What, did these guys repeat kindergarten FOUR times?!

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Peggy Eddleman said...

I think you are totally right! Guys aren't generally completely built at sixteen (although some are-- they're just the exception, not the rule). And I think that to sixteen year old girls, the "built"ness of them isn't what makes them attractive. Maybe it's the adult writers that feel the need to make it that way? Idk. But I do know that in YA TV, they don't exactly use 16 year olds to play 16 year olds. I mean, have you seen Vampire Diaries? Yeah... Those guys are totally teenagers. (Not!) Great subject!

David P. King said...

Good point. That might explain why 20-something actors are picked for teenage roles. Kind of skews the reality of it all. Granted, I knew some guys who fit your description at that age, but when almost every YA has one, you can tell it's not representative of the population. That's the magic of fiction, right? :)

meradeth said...

lol, I have thought about this a lot, and worried that when I'm liking some underage hottie that that makes me have issues I don't even want to think about. But, when I think about it, in my head, yeah, sure they might be in high school or something, but they are always much "older" in my mental view of things. It probably helps that I read a lot of fantasy where age is more relative.

i'm erin. said...

Agreed. I just finished a book about a guy that was 16 but he was supposed to be all rugged and huge and so hot and I was like, really? come on. I taught 16 year old guys in high school and they are not rugged and hot. Not at all. So I guess it's the descriptions that throw me off.

P.s. I will shoot you one day. (that is supposed to be a positive comment)

Gwen Tolios said...

Yeah, I've noticed it. Which is why YA with more honest guys are books I like better. Though, the Hot Guys are fun to make fun of.