By Nkem Ndem
Before you join me in psycho-analyzing the issue of a man’s “beauty” being subject to the weight of his pocket, let’s get one thing straight: Money is sexy as hell. Yes, I said so. A while ago, if someone made the same statement and I heard it, I would look at them with disdain, while thinking to myself: “what a shallow somebody” …and naturally, I would roll my eyes… very heavily too.
But, yeah…I see the light now.
Believe it or not, having money is a game changer for anyone: man or woman. But I guess for men, it’s a more dramatic change. No? Have you ever seen the throw back pictures of some Nigerian celebrities who are kind of sex symbols now? Tu face? Flavour? They looked dried up, hungry and excruciatingly unpleasant to the eyes… compared to the way they look now. What is the difference between then and now? Did their facial features change? Did they take some magical pill that made them look hotter than they used to? No. they didn’t. Their “beauty” came with the money they acquired when they “blew”! I mean…except for maybe Bobrisky who went on to bleach and now wears fabulous weaves and wigs, most of these celebrities did not really do anything extra to their looks. They just became handsome and sexy because they gained wealth.
Agreed, there are some who even with the wealth, they still look ugly AF…they know it, we know it… but nobody ever mentions it. In fact, they are used as yardsticks for “handsomeness” and “being dapper”. Why? They have the money!
Yesterday, a close friend asked: “Nkem, be honest, would you rather an ugly man with an annual income of 500 million Naira or a handsome man who is unemployed or undecided at his career path?” It was a tricky one, so I asked further questions for clarification: “when you say ugly, do you mean repulsive or just not good-looking?” “hmmm…not good-looking” he said. “Hmmnnn…and both are the same age?” I continued, and he says “Yes, both 32”. With the extra questions answered, I did not hesitate. I straightaway said: “I’d go for the Ugly one.”. My friend (clearly shocked since I’m a huge champion of equal love for “struggling” men) yelled: “Liar! Even if he looks like ‘a certain president Nigeria once had’?” and I said: “YES! What do you mean? That dude is super intelligent and sexy! Have you read any of his books?” Of course, that was me trying to be funny, but my “yes” was a certain yes.
Before you judge me any further (because I know you are already doing that), let me walk you through my thought process and how it was easy to pick the ugly rich man. The way I see it, being wealthy or having a huge income is a product of extreme hard work, huge efforts, and sacrifices made in the past by themselves or their families. The man who makes the annual income of 500 million Naira is rich not just because he has money, he is rich because he did something in the past to grow, to maintain money. He has was intelligent, focused, purposeful and tenacious. The handsome man, on the other hand, what did he do to earn his looks? What effort did he put in? Genetics? Proper grooming? Is that it?
Again, “handsomeness” is a depreciating value while wealth is appreciating value. Looks and unnecessary charm in a man will give butterflies, sweet heartburn and all that goofy nonsense that makes life seem enjoyable…but that handsomeness fades with time and circumstances…and along with it the heady feelings and emotions. That is a certainty.
A man who has successfully earned a considerable amount of money is likely to be more financially smart and plan futuristically. His value usually will appreciate with time, and even if he fails or experiences difficulties at some point, there is the high probability that he has what it takes to rise back up again. Considering these remote implication makes it easy to see pick the ugly man.
Basically, the amount of money a man has kind of determines how valuable and how “handsome” he appears. Even Jay Z, who is generally considered ugly, said in Family Feud, one of the songs on 4.44, his new album: “Ain’t no such thing as an ugly billionaire, I’m cute.” Perhaps he was being petty, but he hit the nail on the head. Do you think Beyonce, the epitome of beauty, would have married him and stuck with him despite the lies and cheating, should he have been the regular boy from across the streets? Do you think she would have thought him handsome enough to combine her genes with and birth children? If you asked her now, she would say to you that he is the most handsome man in the world. Why? His financial worth is handsome, ergo, he is handsome.
Don’t get me wrong, this in no way means I no longer have an unabashed soft spot for beautiful people, I still do. But at the same time, I also have a deep respect for financial stability and economic vigor. Like I always say, women (feminist or not) are naturally wired to seek a man who is capable of protecting and taking care of them financially…even when they can take care of themselves already. It is innate, they would prefer a person with whom they can have a secure future with, ugly or not. A man stops being ugly to any woman the moment he is able to make something for himself and can offer her an above-average future.
We need to stop being pretentious about things like this and look past the erroneous idea that a woman who picks an ugly man with money is shallow, does not see him for more than his worth and is only managing him for his money.
Nkem Ndem is a writer, editor and proofreader