Smart is the new sexy

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Perhaps it was everyone’s favorite “high-functioning sociopath,” Sherlock Holmes, who first introduced the idea that intellect has more power than simple physicality.

To think this new interest innovation all started with spunky t-shirts that read “geek is the new chic,” and now it’s blossomed into a full-blown movement.

Letterman jackets replaced leather jackets and now brains seem to be replacing brawn. We’ve turned away from this evolutionary need to be stronger or faster and instead have given into this natural intrigue and desire to know more and have a stable future.

In “Sherlock,” the BBC adaptation of the classic Sherlock Holmes stories, Irene Adler makes the short and bold statement, “brainy’s the new sexy.” Later on in the same episode, Holmes wittily retorted, “Stop boring me and think. It’s the new sexy.”

Taking a step back from the fictional reality in which these characters reside, it’s hard to look around and think intelligence is equally as sought after as style. Victoria Secret models still make more than professors, and politicians aren’t required to have any form of common sense. On the other hand, when you truly analyze popular culture, one can see a new trend emerging as the younger generation moves further from skin-deep character and closer toward in-depth thought built on intellectual analysis.

It’s truly nice to see a shift from dull vanity to genuine interrogation. The increasing importance placed on abstract over abs allows for younger adults to take a more mature look at possible future partners and create stable connections with other people.

Although it is imperative to a relationship to find someone who you are physically attracted to, it still stands that physical features will fade with age and time. It’s important to base a relationship off of not hair color and fitness, but wisdom and thought processes.

From the buff biceps of Channing Tatum to the wondrous mind of Cole Sprouse, Twitter has overtaken a massive makeover. The popular social-media site seems less and less like a spot to find the most attractive headshots and more a site full of genuine thought and captivation.

But it’s not just social media; this new fascination with characteristic much deeper than surface level has made its way onto television and the big screen. Characters like Spencer Reid from “Criminal Minds” and Bruce Banner from the “Avengers” movies have stolen the hearts of viewers and intrigued the mind of audiences everywhere. Both characters bring both body and brains to their team. 

It’s sapiosexuality at its finest  or the sexual attraction to intelligence and the human mind.

This new wave of ideas regarding what is considered attractive is all about looking deeper; this “novel attraction” being promoted through all forms of popular media is less about animalistic lust and more about genuine intrigue.

Without interesting conversation or authentic connections, friendships and relationships fall flat. I become bored easily with people who just want to hike and never want to participate in debate or share their ideas; to me knowing multiple languages is intriguing, being familiar with Shakespeare’s work is attractive, and understanding my psychological ramblings is more than appealing.

For me, finding a deeper connection is a little more about having someone to share research and literature with, but for many, it could simply mean reading books by the fireplace or writing poetry in a small-town coffee shop.

It’s more important to look at what is inside a person rather than what they have no power over on the outside. Take St. John’s Cathedral as an example, it might be beautiful on the outside, but it’s even more gorgeous on the inside.