Harry Styles (in a Gucci Campaign)
In Hollywood, there are two leading-guy archetypes RN: the quarterbacks and the soft bois. (Before you say something like, ‘That’s way too simple, there are definitely more kinds’, please read all the way through this airtight case.)
The quarterbacks are the famous men you could run up to full-speed, do that Notebook-style leg-wrap-jump thing, and have absolutely no fear of falling. We’re talking about the Hemsworth brothers, Jason Derulo, Charles Melton, etc.
Soft bois probably can’t hold you up (they prefer intense, full-body, squeezy hugs, anyway). But they can whip up a poetic Insta caption in 30 seconds or less. And they’ve read all the essential Jonathans: Franzen, Safran Foer, and Lethem. They’ll meet you at a bar wearing a logo-less hoodie that costs at least `20,000. Specimens include Lucas Hedges, the Sprouse brothers, Jharrel Jerome, and Timothée Chalamet—actors we’d describe as ‘beautiful’ rather than ‘hot’.
These guys have the *staying power*. Take Paul Rudd. He first captured our hearts in Clueless (in 1995!) and is still charming-TF out of everyone. Men like him tend to hang around because they are a joy to spend (virtual) time with. Their appeal is based on their talents and quirky personalities.
Maybe the best thing about soft bois is that they’re actual softies, and go out of their way to be nice to people. Like when Timothée brought the fans who were waiting outside the NYC premiere of The King his favourite bagels. That sh*t is thoughtful!
These men represent a new kind of masculinity that doesn’t include a bod you’re dying to see in one of those soaked-T-shirt-style photoshoots. They’re totally okay with that (as are we—abs fade, dimples are forever!). In fact, it lets them get you in a way that performative masculinity usually prevents. Like, they are not going to freak out when they see a tampon, you know?!
And the more you fangirl over the soft bois on your screens, the more the men in your actual life will (hopefully) get the hint and start to replicate their soft ways. So long live the soft boi, and may he forever keep making great, weird, original, creative stuff, from movies to music to photography Instagram accounts. Oh, and Timmy, if you’re reading this, DM us.
Soft bois = the best cuddlers, probably.
BOIS BOIS BOIS
Okay, but what is a sad boi?
Not to overcomplicate things, but there’s a subset of soft bois called sad bois. They are soft but come with heavy baggage.
Look, we just know there’s a dark, twisty, gorgeous monster inside this man. You can see it when he does an interview and clearly HATES IT.
With all that drama between Lady Gaga and Irina Shayk last year, he definitely has plenty of pain—which we’d happily listen to him ramble about.
Zayn is too busy writing delicate lyrics about mom-to-be Gigi Hadid to be able to do anything else (like tour), and that puts him firmly in sad-boi land.