This post contains spoilers related to Midsommar and the male psyche.
Ari Aster’s gruesome horror comedy Midsommar offers a lot of good advice. Do not go hiking, for example. Do not go on a vacation with your boyfriend and his male friends exclusively. Do not sleep over at some fucking weird place. Do not accept mind-altering substances from strangers who openly participate in ritual suicides. Do not go to Sweden. Do not hang out with anyone who talks about their “thesis.” Do not take pictures of a book with your phone.
Midsommar’s most prescient warning, though, was communicated through its use of fashion. No, I’m not referring to how one should avoid large, white billowy dresses when they are paired with flower crowns, though clearly one should. I am referring to something else.
Midsommar’s most prescient warning was, instead:
DO NOT DATE A MAN WHO WEARS SCOOP-NECK T-SHIRTS.
Repeat it again: Do not date a man who wears scoop-neck T-shirts. Say it out loud: Do not date a man who wears scoop-neck T-shirts. Remember it now and forever: Do not date a man who wears scoop-neck T-shirts!
For those who haven’t seen it, Midsommar is about a woman whose family dies and who then has to go on vacation with her terrible boyfriend and his even worse, pervy, academic, vaping friends. Truly horrific. The boyfriend, Christian, played by Jack Reynor — an actor whom your brain tricks you into associating with Seth Rogan — is distant and uncaring. He allows the girlfriend, Dani, played by Florence Pugh, to feel like a burden for wanting to talk to him about how her sister carried out a murder-suicide, killing herself and Dani’s parents. In a particularly damning scene, Christian manipulates Dani into apologizing for the fact that he did not tell her he was about to leave the country for 1.5 months. He does not remember her birthday. He brings her to the Swedish pagan suicide cult. He doesn’t give an appropriate emotional response after they watch two people kill themselves. He couldn’t even come up with his own thesis idea.
And he wears scoop-neck T-shirts!
A scoop-neck T-shirt, as you can see, is a T-shirt with a wide, circular neckline, which cuts into a man’s chest and exposes a bit of his shoulder that is not typically exposed with a normal cut of T-shirt. As you can see, it does not look good. They have a look similar to that of a T-shirt whose neck has been unnaturally stretched out due to thoughtless pulling or careless washing, which just so happens to be the type of T-shirt Christian wears when he is not wearing an on-purpose scoop neck. Often, and as shown in a Midsommar scene from which I am unable to find a still, the T-shirts are inexplicably quite long.
T-shirts like this appear on straight men who consider themselves bohemian in a vague sense. The men are purposeless, adrift, unsure of themselves. They do not know why they are wearing this cut of T-shirt, but they figure someone must know why, because the T-shirts do exist, and that is good enough for them. They live in the Williamsburg of their city, though this is something they, too, haven’t much considered the reason behind. They live an unexamined life, made worse by the fact that they are untethered from any natural sense of taste. It hasn’t occurred to them that the type of person they want to present themselves as would at least lie about meditating. They have not considered the fact that you have an interior life, as they do not have much of their own. I assume they like to think of their necks as unusually large.
They are the sort of guy who would stay at a Swedish death cult out of a voyeuristic American arrogance disguised as open-mindedness, rather than at least attempt to run away, even if admittedly that did not work out for the nice British couple.
Listen to Midsommar: Do not date these scoop-neck T-shirt men.
Does it all work out for the best in Midsommar? Of course. Dani wins a dancing contest and gets to wear a large flower suit, and the scoop-neck T-shirt man and his terrible friends are gruesomely murdered either before being or by being ritualistically placed in an on-fire barn. But you can’t expect the journey with every scoop-neck T-shirt boyfriend to end so appropriately.
Just don’t do it.
Say no to dating scoop-neck T-shirt men.