Since the dawn of time, mothers have been desperately trying to get their daughters to settle down with a nice boy. At best, these setups end with an awkward kiss on the cheek and an irritated text warning your mom to never again set you up with anyone who still has acne. At worst, you abandon ship to hook up with the hot waiter in the bathroom. (Oops?) It’s the natural order of things, but it doesn’t have to be this way—even science agrees your mom needs to stop setting you up with guys.
According to a study in Evolutionary Psychological Science, mothers just aren’t as picky as their daughters, which makes zero sense. Don’t our moms want beautiful grandchildren? Like, my mom doesn’t need to know any of the details of my sex life, but surely she has to know that “respectability” is the kind of thing only Jane Austen heroines care about. I want a hot husband, dammit. Sue me.
In the study, researchers asked 80 women and their mothers to rate three men, each a different level of hotness, based on whether they would date them (the women) or set them up with their daughter (the mothers). Each photo was accompanied by a “pleasing,” “respectful,” or “friendly” profile description. Essentially, someone took the premise behind Parental Control and turned it into a scientific experiment. So if you’ll just excuse me, I’m going to write up a grant proposal that will examine the effect of strangers’ impressions of your bedroom on your overall attractiveness and desirability.
When psychologists analyzed the information, they found something kind of hilarious: Despite everyone claiming that personality was more important than attractiveness, the cold, hard data says attractiveness was one of the strongest influences. So you can stop pretending your type is “funny guys,” because the jig is up. The attractive and moderately attractive men in the study were rated way higher than the unattractive ones (which is how it typically goes), but it happened even when the ugly dudes had more desirable personality traits. And before your mom can call you shallow, that effect was found in both daughters and mothers. What can I say? Nobody wants a betch to date down.
That being said, the results showed a deep ideological divide between mothers and daughters. The young women said they wouldn’t even consider dating the uggos, but their moms were open to them as potential son-in-law prospects. So while the unattractive dudes weren’t rated well, mothers didn’t see them as totally out of the running. In other words, you’re not being picky—your mom is fucking you over and knowingly setting you up with guys from her synagogue that she knows are busted. Next time she tries to pull that shit, kindly remind her what your grandchildren will look like if your husband closely resembles Shrek. That should nip that behavior in the bud.
In the end, researchers concluded that mothers and daughters have a “minimum level” of hotness when deciding who to date, but that you have way higher standards than your mom. Just something to keep in mind the next time she asks why you’re not dating anyone.
Anyone who tells you we don’t need feminism anymore is officially an idiot, but there are some redeeming things about being a woman in 2017. We can vote, open credit cards without our husband’s approval (and max them out on shit we don’t need), and most importantly, objectify men to our heart’s content. It’s practically our duty as modern women to turn the tables and make our grandmothers proud.
Well, not my grandmother in particular, but surely some elderly woman out there somewhere would approve. Maybe that lady from The Golden Girls?
All this is to say that as you read the following list of the hottest older men in Hollywood, you’re basically doing gender equality a favor—reversal of the male gaze and all that jazz. Btw, if you’re not normally into dating people your dad’s age (reasonable), consider this your reminder that age is just a number when you have access to the world’s best dermatologists and your livelihood depends on being absurdly attractive. Enjoy.
1. Idris Elba
Idris Elba is British, more than six feet tall, and everyone wants him to play James Bond. Move the fuck over, Daniel Craig.
2. Pharrell Williams
Not only does he have a ridiculously perfect voice, but he also has better skin as a 44-year-old man than you could ever hope to achieve. We’re actually not sure that Pharrell is actually 44; we’re pretty sure he’s a 116-year-old who sold his soul to the devil many years ago in exchange for eternal youth. But whatever, he fine. If only he would lose the stupid hat.
3. Hugh Jackman
More like Hugh Jacked-man. Right? Right?? I’ll stop now. Mahalo.
4. Jeffrey Dean Morgan
I challenge you to watch the latest season of The Walking Dead without wanting to hate-fuck Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character. I refuse to believe I’m the only one.
5. John Stamos
He was hot as Uncle Jesse, and now John Stamos is hot as… whatever he’s doing now. Reminding people he was Uncle Jesse?
6. Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan can out-smoulder a dormant volcano. Pierce Brosnan, BTW, is a former James Bond—not to be confused with Piers Morgan, that British conservative talk show guy who everybody hates.
7. Antonio Banderas
Ignore the fact that he voiced Puss in Boots and appeared in Interview with a Vampire, and focus on his accent and cheekbones. Don’t lie; you were in love with him since his Spy Kids days.
8. Lenny Kravitz
Is Lenny Kravitz drinking the same magical age-defying elixir as Pharrell?
9. Norman Reedus
Yes, he looks kind of unwashed and eerily resembles the guy you see roaming around the campgrounds at Coachella without any friends or camping gear in sight, but check out those arms. That’s the kind of muscle I’d want on my side during a zombie apocalypse for ogling and survival purposes.
10. George Clooney
Do I really need to say anything?
11. Blair Underwood
Sorry Gossip Girl, but this is probably the hottest Blair in history.
12. Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs is famous for two reasons: 1) playing some guy in the Harry Potter movies, and 2) being hot.
13. Daniel Dae Kim
JFC, can he put away those cheekbones? You’re gonna cut someone with those.
14. Daniel Day Lewis
Different Daniel Day, same ridiculously perfect bone structure. Although it would be cool if he would quit taking roles that make him ugly on purpose.
15. Colin Firth
You had to know this was coming. Colin Firth is universally acknowledged as the hottest middle-aged man in the universe, let alone Hollywood.