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Smith, S. (1963). The Sexual Failure of the Handsome Man. Am. Imago, 20(4):357-367.

(1963). American Imago, 20(4):357-367

The Sexual Failure of the Handsome Man

Sydney Smith

It may be that some of you who do not frequent the neighborhood Bijou or look longingly at the feminine glamour exhibited on the cover of Life have never heard of Sophia Loren, but as far as sheer physical attractiveness goes, she is probably one of the outstandingly beautiful women of our day. Her chief claim to fame, aside from her Venus-like appearance, has been her starring roles for the Italian movie industry. My attention was drawn to her recently through reading an account of a newspaper interview held with her by a New York columnist. The portion of the interview that caught my imagination is reproduced here:

“I want to get married when I am 24 or 25, and he must be intelligent but not handsome,” Sophia said.

“Why not handsome?” …

“Because I'm jealous. I couldn't stand it if other women looked at him. I haven't found him yet.”

At first blush the above quotation seems straightforward enough, even superficial, but there is something teasing and a little rueful about it that raises more questions than it answers.

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