There are a few types of hot dudes in this world. There are the super-duper hot ones, the ones who know they’re super-duper hot and use smooth talking and devastatingly good looks to distract you from the fact they’re giant tools. There are the secretly cute guys; the ones you’re probably friends with who are so-so when you first meet them, but because their personalities are just so great they become cuter with time. There are the nerdy-cutes, the indie-cutes, even the hipster- cutes (can’t believe I just said that) and the unexpected hunky- bearded-dude ones (I’m looking at you, Ryan Hurst. R.I.P Opie). And then there’s Ryan Lochte, who created a brand new category of hot dude. He is the; please-don’t-open-your-mouth- even-just-to-smile hot.
If you asked me who Lochte was four years ago, I couldn’t have told you because I was still drooling over Michael Phelps— my man of the 2008 Summer Olympics. He was a dorky-cute star with the wingspan of a freak of nature. What was not to like? Plus, people were saying he was the greatest Olympian of all time, which added a little extra (way to prove yourself there, Phelps).
For some reason, this year I looked at Phelps and didn’t get the same swooning sensation. He just didn’t do it for me. Was it his constantly confused demeanor? Who knows? All I cared about was a new man in town. Ryan Lochte.
A fine specimen of human being, the first few times I witnessed him on TV I was speechless. How could a dude be that hot? How could a dude look like that? It’s safe to say I’ve been in love with Jake Gyllenhaal since I knew what being in love meant, but he’s hot in a different way. Ryan Lochte looks like a sculpture. I was so impressed by his athletic abilities when I saw him swim he became King of the Olympics in my head. All of a sudden, I was a swimming enthusiast. I watched every race he was in and if anyone beat him—even Phelps— I was angry and raging.
Then the post-swim interviews came on (my favorite part of the event). The swimmers stood with their godly physiques, catching their breath, dripping wet, with bright lights shining from the heavens beaming down around them. But when Lochte started talking, all my fantasies were smashed.
The dude is dumb.
I couldn’t believe my ears. You know how they talk about “word vomit” in “Mean Girls?” This was a new level. The man has no intelligence. It was almost as if he learned how to speak three days before the Olympics.
He was this year’s golden boy and as a result, there were dozens of interviews and special news pieces about him and his life. They talked about his background, his family life, his closet full of shoes, his American flag grill (which is why he’s not even allowed to smile) and most importantly, his love for swimming.
Various interview highlights included such beautifully crafted quips as, “What I was always good at was letting things go through, like, through one ear and out the other, so to say.”
And when asked what his design style would be if he were to ever become a fashion designer, he explained, “Um, it would be a mixture between, like, rock star slash, like, hip-hop.”
In a way, it’s kind of adorable. It’s almost like he doesn’t know any better. How can you be mad at someone who just doesn’t know what they’re doing? I have a bit of an internal struggle with this: Is he a loveable tool or just a regular, plain old tool?
And it doesn’t stop with Lochte, who is undoubtedly surprised he gets wet when he jumps in the water. Stupidity runs in his family. From his mother, who came out with a statement that her son is a “one-night-stand only kind of guy” because he’s just too busy for a relationship, to his sister who went on a talk show and let certain racial slurs slip a few times, it’s almost inevitable for Ryan to turn out the way he did.
We’re at an impasse: Do we continue to let Lochte ride this wave of success at the risk of making Americans seem dumber than we already appear? Without Phelps in the picture, Lochte is bound to be the talk of the town for the next few years. As he chases his own coattails in circles at the end of his Olympic success, it’s safe to say he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The real question here is, where is his publicist and why isn’t she just telling him to be quiet? We’ll see him talking, but all we will hear is “Abs, abs, abs.”