Things of un-Beauty

I watched England v Croatia earlier this evening, the first match of the European Championships that I’ve followed on the TV rather than on the radio, and what really struck me was just how physically repulsive a big chunk of the England team is.

David Beckham was once reasonably good looking, but is now clearly trying to look nasty with his general lack of hair and tattoos and facial expressions; Wayne Rooney is a talented striker, but very ugly indeed; David James has cultivated some exceptionally unpleasant facial hair; and Paul Scholes looks like, well, Paul Scholes (fine header, though, at the end of the first half). The rest of the team isn’t so bad. But those four are quite hideous. Perhaps they can play the quarter-final against Portugal with bags over their heads to spare the viewing public.

(The Croatians were a far better looking team, even if their football was less accomplished. And it goes without saying that the Croatian fans were kinder on the eye than their English counterparts.)

UPDATE [22/6/04]: Will has posted some general theoretical rubbish on the subject. And [an UPDATE to the UPDATE, also 22/6/04], Jamie’s just pointed out in the comments that he was onto this important subject last week here and here, and has a sort-of evolutionary biological explanation for it all, which, if true, is terrifying in its implications.

MORE UPDATES [also 22/6/04]: Backword Dave weighs in, although he dissents from the damning judgment on David James, above. And Gwydion the Magician agrees, but observes that “the point Chris misses is that the players are quite representative of the nation as a whole”, and that “[h]aving spent time recently in five countries, I think it would be hard to deny that British men and women are on average the ugliest people in the advanced industrial world.”

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