The Benedict Cumberbatch paradox

“The Benedict Cumberbatch paradox”—I Googled it and it seems that I have coined the term! The paradox is this: he’s not attractive, but he is attractive. How can that be?

Disclaimer: I’ve been quite sick recently (not COVID-19) and this post was a by-product of my fever/medication-induced semi-comatose state. Enjoy what is probably the world’s longest backhanded compliment.

Let me explain

Some people aren’t what you would traditionally call ‘beautiful’, yet they have that something that makes them good-looking. Benedict Cumberbatch is but only one example. 9gag had a whole post about it although I don’t agree with all of them.

I chose Benedict Cumberbatch for this theory because he’s everyone’s favourite high functioning sociopath. That, and I’m a fan—there I said it. I own a Dr Strange T-shirt (it’s about as fan-girl I can afford to be). Also, Dr Strange 2: Multiverse of Madness is coming out in a couple of days and I’m super excited!

Let’s explore the paradox

First, Benedict Cumberbatch plays very interesting characters: Sherlock Holmes, Dr Strange, that guy from The Imitation Game, and that guy from Star Trek (I’m not great with names) to name a few. The fact is, people like interesting people. Thus, because of his choice of roles, we associate him with these interesting characters and he’s attractive because of that.

Similarly, most of the characters mentioned above are very intelligent (and I’m sure he is a smart guy too). This is also something most people find attractive. Do you know who doesn’t find intelligence attractive? That’s right, stupid people. Again, people associate him with these intelligent characters and he’s hotter for it.

Another attractive quality—he’s immensely talented. His portrayal of the above characters (and others) has made him a household name. Talent is always attractive.

From the few interviews I have seen of him, he’s very funny, especially his impersonations. The Alan Rickman ones are the best. Furthermore, he’s always smartly dressed and well-groomed. These are attractive qualities. And he’s British, which doesn’t hurt.


Does Mr Cumberbatch look like Sid from The Ice Age? Maybe. Is he hot? Definitely. The moral of the story is that don’t have to be ‘good-looking’ to be attractive.

Cumberbitch out.


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