Why People Are So Obsessed With The Fish Man From The Shape Of Water

Photo: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for the film The Shape of Water.
Hollywood's next big sex symbol doesn't even have a name. Actually, he's not a man at all, and he might not really have a gender, either. He's a humanoid creature who has both lungs and gills — he's a fishman, and he's the star of Guillermo Del Toro's film The Shape of Water, which arrives in theaters today.
In the film, the fishman is referred to as "the asset" or simply as "him." Played by the statuesque Doug Jones, the fishman is at least six-foot-seven. He has flippers instead of hands, a scaly back, and eyelids that operate vertically. And, when he's emotional, his murky, viscous body emits a blue light. He is unequivocally very attractive.
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There is at least one review of the movie that does not agree. One Twitter user highlighted a review from Gamespot that states, "But with all its grandeur and charm, the fact that this is a love story between a woman and a monster is too ridiculous to ignore."
Ridiculous? We, as well as a few irate Twitter users, beg to differ. The creature is hot.
"People reviewing Shape of Water like "HOW could WOMAN love FISH?? And not HUMAN MAN????" when human men have betrayed our trust and let us down since the dawn of time," writes Lauren Keyes, a fiction writer based in Los Angeles.
"Men actually writing reviews of the shape of water being like But WhY woULD she WanNa FucK the fIShman is my new fave example of fragile masculinity," writes Penelope Wever.
For those hesitant about the creature, allow us to explain:
He is hot partly because of how he factors into the story. The Shape Of Water is a love story almost as basic as Cinderella — two people fall in love and, well, gee, isn't that nice. Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works at the government laboratory where the asset is held, and the two slowly fall in love over the course of the film. She's mute. He's mute. In her words, they are both "incomplete." In her eyes, he's hot, and Hawkins' face is an awfully convincing image.
It's also because he's beautiful, plain and simple. Guillermo del Toro has said repeatedly in interviews that it was important to him that the creature have a nice butt. The creature also has very broad shoulders and a dancer physique (hi, Doug Jones). When we see his slick (i.e., fishy) body wrapped about Elisa, it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed. Scales and flippers be damned, this thing is morsel and a half.
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And finally, I'll tell you what's ridiculous. Remember when that powerful man (I shan't name them here) forced a journalist to watch him masturbate into a potted plant? Or, remember when that other powerful man masturbated in front of his co-worker? Or the one who purchased a sex toy for his co-worker and added an explicit note? Men need a serious time-out to reconsider the power structure of this world.
While they do that, we'll just be over here, lusting after a fishman. Actually, considering the absurdity of this year — I'll reiterate, he ejaculated onto a potted plant — fantasizing about a graceful piscine humanoid is downright sensible.
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