Is Ryan Reynolds a hunk?
Ryan Reynolds to me is the pinnacle of sexy. Sharp jaw, perfectly refined stubble and a dazzlingly white smile wrapped up in the effortless charm that makes bowling balls bounce off him.
For the last 25 years of my life, either consciously or subconsciously, I have been trying to become him. The first fuzz on my top lip aged 13 was dedicated to him. His aviation gin ads inspired me to go into advertising just like they inspired Hegarty, Bernbach, Ogilvy and many more before me. Every self-deprecating, deadpan joke thought of, rehearsed in my head and butchered on delivery have been part of the long winding road to make myself as shaggably sexy as the eponymous Ryan Reynolds.
So, suddenly my world was rocked by the offhand comment made by Rob MacGillivray in front of 46 well-eared witnesses: “Well Ryan Reynolds isn’t actually that attractive.”
I couldn’t believe it. The ground beneath my feet swayed. The room descended into a frightened silence.
Half the class actually murmured agreement. Very few people in the room seemed aware that a contentious statement had even been made.
“His eyes are a bit squiffy.”
Just as Rob tries to brush off his comment and move onwards with the presentation, I challenged. Turning to the class, I asked how many people were pro-Reynolds. The response, only a smattering.
Sheepishly I turn inwards and start to question my perspective on life. My eyes are lifeless and nothing feels warm anymore.
“…I mean I wouldn’t kick him out of bed or anything.”
Shut up Rob, you’re just making it worse.
You’ll be shocked to find out that this is actually an A L L E G O R Y.
There are many biases you have in life. Some are honest, some are problematic and some are as
deathly serious light hearted as thinking Ryan Reynolds is a highly attractive man.
And they’re really damn hard to spot. Unchallenged, it’s easy to let some of the most unassuming assumptions colour opinion as fact.
Going into advertising, these biases can sink you. There’s a learning curve that everyone needs to go through, working out exactly where your biases lie. Challenging biases stops your work missing your target market and can prompt you into new ways of thinking.
Do better research. Hang out with people from different walks of life. Consume culture you thought you might hate and work out why people like it.
And that’s why my next campaign is about Ryan Reynolds being a munter.