As a relatively straight woman who begrudgingly finds herself attracted to societally approved versions of masculinity, watching The Avengers is quite exciting. It appeals to me. I am appealed, thanks to Mark Ruffalo's crunchy likability, Chris Hemsworth's bronut cromag beauty, Chris Evans' tortured Americano, and RDJ—his is a torch I will always carry.
But then, creeping just outside of my typical hot-guy periphery, is Jeremy Renner. JR (that's what I call him), to be pretty objective, has not done much to ingratiate himself to us. He refers to breasts as "globes," his idea of an apology is a massive sub-tweet, and—maybe this is a schtick—he may be kind of a jerk. Renner, whose haircut is like Ryan's from The OC, and whose makeup artist needs a serious talking to (is it too-dark of foundation? Guyliner? I cannot tell, but something clearly is off), and, as the below video points out, Hawkeye as a character in the film franchise is just Katniss without the politics. To quote an incredible Funny Or Die piece from ages ago, "He’s an excellent worker and will be able to land on his feet wherever he ends up… whether it’s an amateur archery range, or the archery section of an REI, or wherever, I’m just brainstorming here."
But, like an unloved puppy with mange, I want to cuddle him and stare into his big, possibly lined eyes. I do not know why, and I can't identify it. He's clearly cocky and has a bit of an attitude problem, and maybe got in a fight with a bottle of self-tanner. And yet, in his little neoprene suit, I get a thrill. He's like a pair of very baggy culottes—not super flattering, but I cannot help but want to put my legs in them. (Okay, maybe not a great metaphor, but...)
I would like to think that this is a bit of an epidemic. I would like to think that I am not alone in this, my confusing feelings about someone to whom I should objectively give a side-eye, but in many ways, he is just as babely as the other Avengers. I’m just not sure what those ways are, but they are there, and they are insistent.