It's a question many others have pondered as well, and that reality is of note because so few people question their attraction to other celebrities and public figures who have a certain look. (For instance, I'd bet that few people have ever scratched their head wondering why a Marvel movie actor is coupled up.) Of course, I'm not suggesting Pete Davidson is unattractive, but it wouldn't be a reach to say he doesn't possess the physicality or aesthetic that is often equated with what society regards as unequivocally beautiful (unlike most of those aforementioned Marvel actors).
With that in mind, though, it’s important to note that physical attraction is but one piece of the holistic attraction puzzle—and perhaps a piece that's mattering less and less as time goes on. A recent survey conducted by Match found that physical attraction matters way less to daters than other issues, including vaccination status and emotional intelligence. So perhaps its unsurprising then that what I'm calling “allure de Davidson” is hitting everyone from A-list celebrities to the Associate Lifestyle Writer at Well+Good (read: me). But, there are more specifics than just a de-emphasis on looks that helps explain the widespread attraction to Pete Davidson.
Below, clinical psychologist Aimee Daramus, PsyD, LCP, and neuropsychologist Sanam Hafeez, PhD, dive deep into possible reasons why we’re all so into Davidson. (That said, the experts in this piece are commenting purely based on Davidson’s public persona. Neither has met him in person or assessed him.)
4 possible reasons you have an attraction to Pete Davidson, according to relationship experts.
1. He’s funny.
“He's got a great sense of humor, and funny is always attractive,” says Dr. Daramus. Considering that laughter is contagious and can boost endorphins (and who couldn’t use more of those these days?), it’s not entirely surprising that a lot of people are attracted to comedians, like Davidson.
2. He exercises vulnerability—which, in turn, makes him relatable.
“While many young men in their twenties attempt to put up a front of coolness and Instagram perfection, Davidson does the opposite with achingly raw honesty,” says Dr. Hafeez.
For years, Davidson has openly talked about his mental health struggles and his experience with Crohn’s disease. His vulnerability lends itself to cultivating a sense of normalcy that makes him relatable. This allows folks to see him as someone who faces problems that the rest of us do—a “real” person who just happens to star in a popular TV show. And that relatability can increase a sense of attraction to him. “He's open about his physical and mental health struggles, and that's something a lot of people really need to hear,” says Dr. Damasus, adding that this attitude makes Davidson seem like the type of person “you could have an authentic conversation with.”
As far as the list of Hollywood stars who have gotten or might want to become romantically involved with Davidson, Dr. Hafeez says it makes total sense. “He provides a safe haven where they can...let their hair down without fear of judgment or ridicule.”
3. He embodies strong family values.
Davidson is a self-proclaimed mama’s boy (he and his mother co-bought a home and also lived in it together for a period of time). That relationship makes him appealing to many people—particularly those who share such family values.
Furthermore (and also driving home the former point about vulnerability), Davidson has been forthright in his grief surrounding the loss of his father, a firefighter who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks. He also regularly pays tribute to his father at events, like the 2021 Met Gala, which took place two days after the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
4. He comes off as the antithesis of a star.
Even though Davidson’s been on our celebrity radar for years, a lot of us see him as the antithesis of a star, says Dr. Hafeez. To many, Davidson simply comes across as someone who is being unapologetically himself, which is a departure from the popularized understanding of the glamorous celebrity lifestyle. Of course, we can't know details of his lifestyle for certain, but the aura he gives off supports this sense of relatability. “That is rare to find in a successful [person], let alone someone who has reached the top of a comedy career,” Dr. Hafeez says.
This reflects Davidson having a sense of groundedness as well as awareness of and connection to his roots. “For other women in show business, that can be an extremely appealing trait, that a man is secure enough with himself not to let an image-conscious industry change who he is,” Dr. Hafeez adds.
While all of these traits are presumed based on how Davidson presents himself and the public image he projects, they do explain the widespread attraction to him. And, ultimately, whether the traits are rooted in reality or not, that reason for attraction remains.
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