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GQ Jesus

What does the perfect man look like? I guess it depends upon who you ask. Some would say he’s a Barzoni-Black-Jesus-Montage-Vincent-Barzoni.jpegcombo of brains and brawn. Of course, it’s easy to forgive stupidity in a male if he looks like Fabio. But most women, I think, require sensitivity in a stud. Thankfully, my wife is less demanding.

Lisa prefers handymen. That’s right, her “perfect man” is a jack-of-all-trades; a carpenter / electrician / plumber / auto mechanic / landscaper / painter, and brain surgeon, if needed. In my case, she compromised her standards for the sake of good looks and charm. So what if I can’t replace brake pads and repair garbage disposals — I look great in acid-etched low-rise jeans. Hey, you can’t have everything.

Or can you?

Under the heading of Science and Technology, The Independent reports on The World’s Most Beautiful Couple: and the Figures to Prove It:

It is the holy grail of the fashion and beauty industries: a scientific blueprint for the most beautiful women, and men, in the world.

Researchers have thrown away the old vital statistics and, instead, focused on how the dimensions of different parts of the body relate to height and body mass index (BMI) to give the perfect physique. Perhaps surprisingly, two of the most important measurements are the girth of the thigh and the slimness of the calf.

So much for intangibles like kindness, sympathy and wit. Perfect masculinity has been narrowed to “the girth of the thigh and the slimness of the calf.” This is a bit scary, especially with words like “girth” and “slimness” flying around. Nevertheless, the “scientific blueprint” (which includes BMI, Waist-chest ratio, Leg-to-body ratio and height) calculated the Perfect Couple:

The Perfect Man: Christian Bale

The Perfect Woman: Naomi Campbell

Okay, so it’s an exercise in futility. There’s only One Perfect Man and He ain’t on this earth anymore. But jesus-christ-superstar.jpgeven Jesus, as perfect as He is, looks different depending upon the blueprint. Image galleries like this typically contain wildly diverse likenesses of the Messiah — from Rastafarian to Revolutionary, Seraphic to Studly. Apparently, people have different renditions of “perfect.”

It should be no surprise, then, that there’s another version of Jesus. In The Gospel according to Greeley: Jesus was a hunk, The Chicago Sun Times reports about a variation on a theological theme. In an article entitled Jesus: A Meditation on His Stories and His Relationships With Women, controversial Catholic priest, author and sociologist, Andrew Greeley writes:

Because he represented the Father-in-Heaven … Jesus had to be the most charming man who ever lived. His eyes, his expressions, his smiles, his posture, his laughter, must have melted human hearts, male and female. . . Strong, handsome, serious. He was the kind of man on whom women could easily form what we today call crushes.

I must admit, it’s never crossed my mind. But according to Greeley, Jesus would have given Christian Bale a run for his money. He was “A terribly impressive male,” the author writes, one whom the women jesus-revolutionary-1999-easter-poster-uk.gifcould not help but find “sexually attractive.” Yikes! And all this without knowing His BMI and waist-chest ratio.

Perhaps it’s our infatuation with all things physical, but Scripture reveals no such “blueprint.” Jesus looked like what He was: a commonplace Jew of first-century Palestine. (According to the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus was arrested in Gethsemane before the Crucifixion, Judas Iscariot had to indicate to the soldiers whom Jesus was because they could not tell him apart from his disciples.) He did not sport a halo and “melt human hearts.” Yes, Jesus was perfect, but it had nothing to do with “the girth of the thigh and the slimness of the calf.”

Perhaps that’s our problem — we want a GQ Jesus, a Westernized, feminized, psychologically savvy, socially active, politically relevant Messiah. Nowadays, our savior must be “strong, handsome, serious.” Or maybe we need another blueprint. After all, who says that the perfect man must be handy.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Heather Goodman March 12, 2007, 3:24 PM

    I think Greeley’s forgetting that verse in Isaiah that tells us there’s nothing in his appearance that should draw us to him.

  • Jason March 12, 2007, 10:08 PM

    It’s interesting that when the world thinks of “perfect” it thinks of it as physical perfection. Christian B. and Naomii are physically good looking but they are missing traits of the Holy Spirit that God says makes people beautiful.

  • janet March 13, 2007, 12:20 PM

    Mike, I so enjoyed reading this post. I can’t wait to see Jesus, to look in His eyes, to feel His arms around me. I suppose I do have a crush on Him, but since I’ve never seen Him, it can’t have anything to do with His looks. And like the other commenter said, having read that verse in Isaiah I don’t visualize a Fabio (and ick, I never was all that impressed with Fabio anyway). It must have something to do with the fact that He is my Maker, that He knows me inside out and loves me anyway, that He persues me and rescues me from my sin, that He heals my heart and meets my needs, that He gave Himself up for me…
    The world is so confused. In a day when 75% of the news coverage is about Brittany Spears and Anna Nicole, in a society that shuns acne, fat, wrinkles, vericose veins, “bad” hair, do you really think an unfashionable Savior would be acceptable?

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