Cast your mind back to that strange and confusing time we knew as the 1990s, writes Elizabeth Joyce.
Pogs? Grunge? Sarah Michelle Gellar?
Yep, you’ve got it. You’ll remember then that most hideous of fads, heroin chic.
Waifs and strays fell out of every glossy mag you opened, with Queen Moss ruling over an army of pale-skinned, hunched-shouldered zombies, clavicles so sharp they almost sliced the pages in two.
I remember the men in my life forcing themselves to find these images attractive, desperately trying to muster up a raised eyebrow or cheeky quip at a jutting hip bone or AA cup lest they be considered uncool.
It was all fake. They were prisoners of phwoar.
The joy then when bombshells such as Kelly Brook and Scarlett Johansson turned up was clear for all to see. These va-va-voom vixens appeared like mirages after one too many months in the skinny girl desert, their curves and curls a much-needed balm to the dry and dusty eyes of menfolk everywhere. And this, dear readers, is how I feel about the Diet Coke man.
My God, that chiselled hunk and his lawnmower are a sight for sore eyes. Well, not so much the lawnmower, lovely bit of kit though it is.
For too long now, we girls have been force-fed images of skinny pretty boys like Robert Pattinson, Russell Brand and Justin Bieber. Skinny jeans, guyliner and an “artistic tortured soul” all essential.
But, shout it from the rooftops, the hunk is back.
And it’s not just the Diet Coke man (or 32-year-old Cheshire model Andrew Cooper to give him the basic human right of using his actual name). Obviously Bond has been a bit of a brute ever since Daniel Craig took over the wheel of the Aston and the new CK model, Matthew Terry, has got pulses racing on both sides of the Atlantic with his Michelangelo-esque abs.
And it’s all down to the economy apparently.
Yep, when times are tough, scientists say we subconsciously turn our attentions away from androgynous little things to beefy bulky alpha males who can provide and protect. So it’s goodbye poets, actors and boffins and hello to mechanics, firefighters and any man who uses his brawn as well as his brain.
I subscribe to this whole-heartedly, especially if it means the extinction of those pesky little City bankers. Don’t get mad, it’s Darwinian. They caused this mess, they can pay with their very existence.
And besides, men have long been told to play down their masculinity, just in case we delicate little flowers swoon, handkerchief clasped to our bosom, if they so much as show an ounce of testosterone-fuelled strength. aggression or decisiveness.
Therefore anything that encourages men to be men is fine by me. Much like the arrival of the those bombshell babes following the fallow heroin chic period, this new dawn of hunkdom is a return to a healthier, stronger body beautiful. Talk about the Real Thing.
Read Elizabeth Joyce first in the new Weekend Express & Star, every Saturday.