Earlier this week, I wrote about an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, in which Brody Jenner and his stepmother got into a heated debate about the meaning of their rich, rich life and their complex familial relationship. What should have been an easy assignment was difficult to get through, however, because the whole time I kept thinking Why is Brody Jenner so hot?
An actual (slightly edited) chat log from when I was watching the episode is as follows:
Tracie: I'm so embarrassed by how attracted I am to Brody Jenner.
Kate: I was just about to say that! I know so many women that's true for!
In my defense, he looks a lot like this guy I liked in high school, so I think that's why.
Tracie: Well he's like conventionally attractive, but also a little bit funny? But he's SO bro-y that it's embarrassing.
Kate: He has really good hair.
I'm so distracted because he's shirtless.
Tracie: I KNOW.
Kate: He looks Greek. He looks like a Greek god.
Tracie: It's crazy how he should have faded away by now.
Tracie: Oh the other thing about Brody is his eyebrows.
This wasn't the first time I'd had this conversation with another relatively smart woman of child-bearing age. In fact, when I posted about KUWTK later that day, a comment chain was started on Kinja – that I did not start! – that began with "Just here to say Brody Jenner is super hot and I. definitely. would."
All these women, equally attracted to Brody, equally disgusted with themselves. But why?
When I pitched this story to my editor, she said, "He is SO fucking stupid and annoying and yeah, I would do him infinitely." What is it about Brody Jenner? He's got such an unfortunate reality television pedigree that he should almost be considered roadkill for anyone who considers themselves in the possession of more than one brain cell. Jenner's been on four different shows since 2005: The Princes of Malibu, The Hills, his short-lived show Bromance, and in and out of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, until this season, when his presence has become a renewed and confusing situation for some of the audience, who pride themselves on hate-watching the show but still find themselves confusingly attracted to this man whose name – fun fact – is actually Sam. SAM.
The women I talked to said they first noticed Brody when he was on The Hills; Princes of Malibu never got quite enough traction before it was cancelled for his fans to really cement their love then. One said that Brody was appealing because "He was not Jason and he was not whatever that other guys name was [Frankie]. Those dudes were so annoying and he was cuter than them."
But the shame set in because of Brody's relationship with Spencer ("How is that person human?"). It became difficult for Brody's hotness to overcome his annoying tendencies, like the fact that he totally jerked around both Lauren and Kristen, or that he'd probably slept with every woman in Hollywood, or his ridiculous tattoo of Avril Lavigne's name, or his tendency to wear trucker hats. Alternatively, he seemed like perhaps he was a decent human being who would say whatever he wanted. He was a veritable breath of fresh air during an early episode of KUWTK when he babysat Kendall and Kylie.
This is not a joke: I actually bought this phone because of this commercial.
But no matter his nice moments, he was always still so BRO-dy. And his growing appearances on the show this season have left lovers of Brody torn. Some think he is refreshingly real; others think his character has become way too annoying.
"Like stop whining; you're 29 and your family loves you and you are on the show now, just like you wanted," said one woman. "Kris bought you a ticket to Greece. Greece is expensive."
Another laid down a clear bottom line. When it comes to Brody, it doesn't matter what he does or says, because she's not listening:
"If I was guaranteed that Brody Jenner would never utter a single word during the act, I would definitely have sex with him. But in general, his dumbness undoes his attractiveness."
The truth is that despite how weird it seems, we all have a Brody Jenner in our lives. He is that person you can't help but find attractive, despite all your best wishes. It's just that for a surprising number of us, Brody Jenner is being played by himself.
Image via Evan Agostini/Invision/AP and Seventeen