When will it be time for the hot rodent girlfriend — and why do we idolise weird looking men?

Sydney Sweeney, Charlie XCX, Julia Fox are all hot rodent girlfriends  (ES Composite)
Sydney Sweeney, Charlie XCX, Julia Fox are all hot rodent girlfriends (ES Composite)

There’s this a fun game to play at the pub when you run out of things to talk about with your mates. It’s called frog or rat. The premise is simple: everyone either looks like a frog, or a rat. So you name someone, famous or mutual friend, and then sort them into their allotted category.

Unfortunately, it is a truth universally acknowledged that, in general, the frogs are the hot ones. Harry Styles is a frog, Zendaya is a frog, Florence Pugh is a frog. I could go on but frankly it’s quite upsetting.

Then, this month, something switched. The rattier men are suddenly enjoying their time in the sun. It’s largely thanks to the success of Challengers and The Bear, which has led the unconventionally attractive, rodent-adjacent men such as Josh O’Connor and Jeremy Allen White to be treated like Greek gods.

Josh O’Connor (AFP via Getty Images)
Josh O’Connor (AFP via Getty Images)

These men, alongside others like Mike Faist, Barry Keoghan and Matty Healy, are being heralded as a new breed of attractive, and that breed is being dubbed the “hot rodent boyfriend.”

But when will be it be the the hot rodent girlfriend’s time to shine? It feels as though every year there’s a new subsection of strange dudes we’re instructed to suddenly fawn over, but very rarely does this happen with women. Even now it’s apparently the era of the rat, the beautiful ratty women (Charli xcx, Julia Fox, myself) are being shunted to side. Where are our thinkpieces? Where is our declaration of popularity and divine attractiveness? Nowhere!

As much as I mean some of this in jest, it is interesting that bizarre looking men are so easily idolised and yet women who even skate the edge of the beauty standard (i.e aren’t even that bizarre looking!) are never given the same treatment.

Jeremy Allen White (AP)
Jeremy Allen White (AP)

When a wonky looking man becomes successful, we treat him as if he is an angel that deigned to visit earth and attend Cannes festival. When a wonky looking woman becomes successful, it prompts discourse about how “brave” she is or how she’s “breaking boundaries”. The clearest of example of this has to be the response to HBO’s Girls in the 2010s, which saw Lena Dunham endlessly mocked, and Adam Driver relentlessly praised and thirsted after.

I’m not saying that we need our features to be pored over and picked apart then praised as attractive — women have enough of this disembodiment already — but a general consensus that these weird subsections of “hot” men are perhaps a little unfairly weighted would be nice.

So this summer, spare a thought for the hot rodent girlfriend. She needs all the love she can get.