There’s a great old Saturday Night Live skit, in which Eddie Murphy goes undercover, to discover what life really is like for white men.
In recent years, I’ve felt a bit like Eddie Murphy in this skit, as I’ve come to feel more confident and comfortable in my skin, in my sexuality, like there’s a secret society of confident men, bestowing benefits – social, conversational, sexual, material, experiential – on one another simply by virtue of how we comport ourselves.
Until relatively recently, I carried around a full 30-40 pounds more than I do today. People used to tell me I looked like George Costanza. Today, I’m not skinny, but I’m muscular, fit. If there’s one person I’m told most often I look like, it’s Gary Sinise (though my recent beard has made those comparisons less frequent). I barely have love handles and, if you look close, you can see a six-pack straining to peek out where my abs are. My chest is one of those chests that looks just fine (and I don’t mean “ok”; I mean fine) when photographed by a phone.
Like Eddie Murphy in that skit, I’ve learned that, if you’re a confident guy, if you feel good about yourself, and you communicate that in your posture, your carriage, your demeanor, the world’s a different place. Confidence is sexy, not just to straight women, but to straight men. We want to fist bump, high five, engage in small talk, but we want to do it with guys women find sexy. As if somehow that confidence will rub off on us. And we want to stay away from less confident guys, as if we might catch what they have.