WOWS_MatthewMcconaugheyFor the uninitiated, a Man Crush is when a straight man has a non-sexual, idolatry crush on another man. I have many of them, and will be writing about a different one each month.

I have a Man Crush on Matthew McConaughey. And if you don’t, I don’t understand why you wouldn’t. I mean, the dude is so hot right now.

Why?

Well, for one thing he’s a beautiful, beautiful man. If you’re going to openly admit that you have Man Crushes, it’s important to be able to admit that you find a man attractive, or, more accurately, understand the reasons a woman would be warm for his form.

For another, nobody in show business balances complete and unrequited coolness with such a talented acting output. The closest is Leonardo DiCaprio, probably, and the only reason anybody thinks he is cool is because he bangs any supermodel he wants. (Though his ability to do so may be the coolest thing in the world.)

I man-birthed my Man Crush on McConaughey a number of years ago. I think back then it was based more McConaughey’s cool factor than anything else. As a younger lad, my Man Crushes were defined mostly by the feeling that a male celebrity would be awesome to hang out with, if ever I was given the chance. I was always enraptured by the dudes who seemed like they were able to walk the line between pop culture stardom and leading a humble, friendly life.

I appreciated that McConaughey would act in a movie here of there, some of which were pretty good, and then make headlines for hanging out around the world in a portable camper, playing bongos naked, or surfing. Basically, he was having fun and enjoying the life he seemed undeniably aware that he was lucky to have.

I would not mind being Matthew McConaughey. Not at all. (This is another facet of the Man Crush—an unwilling desire to be like the man himself.) He was a talented actor (though many of his films admittedly do not indicate as much) who seemed to have no qualms whatsoever with the fact that he was famous largely because of his good looks. Other actors like Johnny Depp had always seemed borderline obsessed with proving how talented and artistic they were, that they weren’t luckily famous because they were drop dead gorgeous.

As I grew older and more mature, I began to desire more substance in the form of Man Crushes. I sort of forgot about McConaughey, except for the times me or one of my friends would impersonate his character from Dazed and Confused by drawling out an approving “Alright, alright alright.” I drifted instead toward writers and other men who relied on talent, not looks.

But then a funny thing happened: McConaughey emerged as one of the most talented actors currently working. And this came out of nowhere. He started killing it.

I vaguely remember watching Magic Mike a year ago and thinking “Well, good on McConaughey. He’s still cashing in on that body. May as well.”

Then I started hearing about his weight loss for a role in the film Dallas Buyers Club. I was nonplussed, on account of severe weight loss being rather commonplace for male actors trying to prove that they are talented—something I’ve never particularly understood. Weight loss shows a certain amount of dedication, but it’s something anybody can achieve if they starve themselves. It’s not specifically a talent. (Having said this, however, I will say that losing more than 47 pounds by eating a small bowl of pudding on a daily basis deserves some kind of commendation.

Since I see movies I don’t even think look particularly great, I went to see Dallas Buyers Club. Turns out, I really enjoyed it and admired McConaughey’s performance. I think awarding McConaughey the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award for Best Actor and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role are more than justified, and I’ll feel the same if he wins the Oscar for Best Actor, for which he is nominated.

How can you not like a guy who cleans up at awards shows AND starred in a film called Surfer, Dude?

The night he accepted his Golden Globe—he began his acceptance speech with “Alright alright alright”—was the night True Detective, McConaughey’s latest project, premiered on HBO. McConaughey plays a detective partnered with Woody Allen’s character. They’re investigating a gruesome murder in Louisiana.

The first two episodes amount to two hours of the best television performances I’ve seen in a while, probably since I finished watching Breaking Bad. I highly recommend checking it out.

In conclusion, Matthew McConaughey is January’s Man Crush of the month for many reasons, but principally because he is a man who can no longer be stereotyped. He’s gone from comparable to your run-of-the-mill famous frat boy to an undeniable talent who still somehow maintains his effortless ability to remain cool.

Matthew McConaughey has become a unique individual. And that’s something every man should strive for.

Here are some hilarious McConaughey quotes for the road.