Earlier this month, 3 men were kicked out of Saudi Arabia for being too handsome. The identity of one of those men has been speculated about: he could be Dubaian fashion photographer, model, actor and poet, Omar Borkan Al Gala. “The commission members feared female visitors would fall for” him, a local newspaper reported. So he was deported to Abu Dhabi.

There are precedents for that.

A few thousand years before Omar Borkan, another good-looking Near Easterner was harassed. He was a talented lyre player and psalm writer, a ruddy and handsome guy with beautiful eyes. His name was David, and he worked as a bodyguard for Saul—who was the most handsome guy in Israel. When the 2 of them came home after an altercation in the hood, women were happy to see them. They sang songs and played tambourines. But they liked David better than they liked Saul, “and Saul eyed David from that day on.” He put him in dangerous situations; he tried to pin him to a wall with his spear; he sent agents to root him out; and he went after his band of debtors, discontents and other men in distress. But Saul ended up dead; and as a friend put it to David: “You are the man. Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul; and I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom’” (1 Samuel 18:9, 2 Samuel 12:7-8).

So the first precedents were Biblical precedents. But there would be plenty of others.

Around a thousand years after David “the Beloved” started a dynasty in Judah, Caesar “the Hairy” started another dynasty in Europe. And Caligula, the third member of that dynasty to become an emperor, didn’t like pretty men. He had Ptolemy of Maruitania, who was Antony and Cleopatra’s grandson, hauled off and executed in Rome—“because at his entrance into the amphitheater during a gladiatorial show the fine purple cloak which he wore had attracted universal admiration.” And later on Aesius Procolus, so good-looking that people referred to him as the Giant Cupid, was dragged into the circus to fight against a Thracian, then dragged through the streets—“to be jeered at by women.”

Caligula’s nephew, the fifth Roman emperor, wasn’t a whole lot better.  Nero dabbled in painting and sculpture, and was another poet and lyre player. He also performed on the water-organ, flute and bagpipes, and sang; and he had Paris the actor killed—“because he considered him a serious professional rival.”

Mongooses have been deported, too. The meerkat, Suricata suricatta, lives in small groups on the Kalahari Desert. Usually, the dominant female breeds; and the rest babysit. But sometimes, the alpha female gets jealous. When a pregnant meerkat is about to give birth, she ocassionally harasses the next-sexiest females—her 12-month-and-older subordinates—in the group. The dominant attacks, and her sexy subordinates are chased out.

Right Said Fred: they be so sexy it hurts.

REFERENCES:

Halpern, Baruch. 2001. David’s Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Clutton-Brock, Tim et al. 2010 Adaptive suppression of subordinate reproduction in cooperative mammals. American Naturalist, 176: 664–673.

LINKS:

Right Said Fred: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wmqq3TfV5w

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