It’s All in How You Look…Apparently…

After four years, I think I have figured it out!

What have I figured out?  Why people seem to hate Russian Evgeni Plushenko.  Before you stop reading and start complaining that I hate America, let me set something straight.  I love my country!  All I am saying is that people have been hating on Plushenko for a really stupid reason.  “What reason is that Becca?”  Glad you ask!  Feel free to disagree, but as a person of the discipline of Philosophy it seems to have become a part of my nature that when I debate I tell people why my opinion is probably right and their opinion is crap.  Oh Philosophy, it makes jerks out of everyone…and vampires, but that is for another post.  That being said, I think the reason people insist on hating Plushenko really boils down to and is based mostly on how he looks.  Let us have a discussion about that.  Shall we?

Are people really that shallow to hate someone based on how they look?  Sad to say, but yes.  People really do that.  Women are particularly bad about this.  It is for this reason that I only trust my friend Wesley to do my hair and eyebrows.  He is amazing and he does not have some ulterior motive to make my hair look like crap like some women hairdressers do to their clients.  People tend to be drawn to those who are æsthetically pleasing to the eye.  So, what does this have to do with Plushenko?  Well, let us compare him to someone who does an activity similar to figure skating that everyone knows; Maksim Chmerkovskiy.  Look at the picture of Maks on the right.  He is sexy and manly.  Maks practically oozes good looks with a bit of exoticness thrown in for good measure.  You can tell it even from this not so great quality image from Wikipedia.  999fcde8a1a0cd836fdf15dda97d8140Now, let us take a look at Evgeni on the left that I found on Pinterest.  He is cute in an unusual sort of way.  He is almost childlike in his looks.  Actually, he looks a bit like he stepped out of the world of Hetalia.  I mean it!  Evgeni looks a bit like the character of Russia.  It makes me exceptionally happy since I love Hetalia.

Now that we’ve settled their difference of looks, how does that affect how people view him?  First, as I mentioned, I picked Maks to compare him to for a reason.  Not just for looks either or that they were both born in the Soviet Union, Maks being born in the Ukraine and Evgeni being born in Russia.   I did not just pull him out of thin air.  If you have watched Maks for any amount of time you know that he is good at ballroom dancing.  He knows he is good and he has no problem showing off and letting people know that he knows he is good.  What I just described is called being arrogant.  Now, Evgeni is good at figure skating.  He knows he is good and lets people know that by showing off with difficult elements in his skating programs.  Now what was that sort of personality called again?  Oh yeah, arrogant.  These two men express hubris in a bad way.

So, what does being arrogant have anything to do with the way these two look?  Well, let us look at how I described their looks.  Maks is hot and manly.  When we see him being arrogant we view it as him being manly and showing how manly it is.  A lot of people find that attractive.  He is comfortable with himself and, in a way, him being arrogant expresses power.  People love power and people love people in power.  So Maksim’s arrogance is not seen as a bad thing.  Only him expressing his power in the world of ballroom dancing.  Evgeni is cute and childlike.  Children are innocent and when we see them being arrogant we automatically think they are being childish.  Our first reaction is to tell older children to grow “grow up” or tell younger children not to act that way.  People most likely see Evgeni’s arrogance in that light.  The mentality is that of “he’s a childish adult and needs to grow up”.  Unfair, but that is probably the reasoning behind it.

Now, an interesting thing has been brought to my attention since I first started writing this out.  Since we are in the middle of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games there has been a bit of a shocking situation occur.  While Plushenko was in warm ups for his Men’s Single Skate he injured himself and had to withdraw.  He has caught a lot of undeserved flack about this from the people of Russia.  I think it is pretty sorry that they are saying such awful and hurtful things about him because of the situation.  The day after he withdrew he did an interview with the Today show and it was quite an eye opener.  Normally when they interview him it is right after he gets off the ice and they talk to him for less than a minute.  This interview was a bit longer and I actually got to listen to him talk.  I do not actively go out seeking videos of him talking in English or really his skating in general.  I enjoy watching him with he is on the telly and if I feel the need to show someone his skating program that they missed I will look it up.  What does this have to do with anything?  Well, I discovered that his command of the English language is not the best.  He stumbled over some of his words like he was unsure that the words he was using were in fact the correct words to be using in that situation.  Maks, by comparison, has lived in the States long enough that he sounds fluent in the language.  After seeing that interview I went to look for other videos of Evgeni talking in English and he had the same look on his face.  This leads me to believe that Evgeni is not the arrogant jerk-face that people make him out to be.  He may only come off as being arrogant because he lacks a bit in his command of the English language.  Also, from what I have been able to gather from news articles recently and from listening to interviews, he is apparently good friends with Evan Lysacek and Michelle Kwan.  Both of them are, from what I have read and seen on interview with them, are really nice and friendly people.  I cannot imagine them being good friends with Evgeni if he was really such a jerk-face.

In short,  Evgeni is a now retired Russian figure skater that has been unfairly judged by the world based on something that got blown a bit out of proportion.  His childlike looks make people see him as something that he is not.  His lack of command of English does not help.  People of the world, let us not hate people just because they look different from what we normally see as attractive or because they are from a different country and do not speak our language well.  Evgeni does his best with English and he is adorable.  Also, for those of you who still believe him to be a childish jerk I will leave you with super adorable picture that I found on Pinterest that made smile and giggle at the cuteness of it.  Here is a picture of Evgeni Plushenko, his wife Yana Rudkovskaya, and their son Alexander. 

Now if that is not a completely happy and adorable family, I do not know what is.  How can you hate that man and his ridiculously cute child and his pretty wife.  Adorable!  They can come live in Oklahoma.  We will be proud of his awards and love him and his family.  We need a good figure skating coach here in Oklahoma and he wants to coach.  I’d take figure skating lessons from him.  I’d also like to pinch Alexander’s chubby cheeks.  So cute!