Dear Mr. Armitage,
One of the things that always comes up in my mind in connection with this is your aversion to being considered “male totty“ and honestly, I get it to an extent. Not that I have much experience with that myself (the totty part; most certainly not the male part). This is coming to you from the brainy nerd girl who was never, ever cool or popular. Being reduced to my looks has not been a particular problem of mine. And yet I think I can imagine how that would be annoying.
I‘m always torn about this with regard to myself. I want to be respectful of course and your looks are not the only thing I like about you. Not at all. Trust me when I say that I wouldn’t cross the street for just a pretty face, let alone international waters.
On the other hand, we simply cannot discount the fact that you are—as Louise might put it—fecking gorgeous. Sorry, it‘s true. The whole “they love my characters, not me“ and “I don‘t have the face to be the romantic hero“ are either well-calculated modesty or a genuine failure to accurately judge what looks back at you from a mirror, but I cannot pretend it doesn’t matter to my fandom. It does. You are objectively and subjectively delightful to look at. I do it often and I always enjoy it.
I see that this is not what you want to be liked for. I probably wouldn‘t either. We want to be liked for our achievements, not an accident of nature.
The thing is, your job is a special case. Your looks matter there as well. And yes, sometimes you do get cast for your 6‘2-ness along with the clear blue eyes and impressive facial structure (we won’t go into the menacing thing here today) as well as for your talent. And those open-shirted photo shoots aren‘t done for science
even if our perusal of the same certainly is. They exist because you are incredibly attractive.
And here starts the dilemma. Where is the line? Where does good-natured appraisal stop and malicious ogling start? Do you have to grin and bear it? Do I have to be more restrained?
I read comments that make me cringe and I have been called a party pooper for saying so. But I am no angel. I can‘t and won‘t pretend that your acting talent alone is what drew me to you and that my fandom exists in a vacuum where your physical attributes don‘t matter. I‘m human. You‘re beautiful. There you have it.
Just know that you are not any old hunky actor. You are the best kind. The whole package. The real deal. You’ve got talent and a personality to back up those looks. If we sometimes go a little nuts because of them, it‘s because we can‘t help it.