An Open Letter to Dean Cain
by Angela Dahl (@AngelaDahling)
I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately. There have been Superman logos everywhere with the Man of Steel movie coming out next month, and I have no problem with this, to be honest. I love me some Superman, which is probably why I love you so much. As a child of the nineties, you were my first Superman. My dad was into comics, so I knew who Superman was, but you were the living embodiment, and you are what I compare all Supermen, and men in general, to. As such, you’ve kinda set me up for romantic failure.
No man I date will ever be as charming as your portrayal of Clark Kent: wholesome, smart, with just a dash of vulnerability. Superman is the symbol of truth and justice, but your Clark Kent was always a symbol of goodness, despite his desires and motivations constantly being tested (Lois being under the influence of potent pheromones and doing the dance of the seven veils comes to mind). And there was always a sense of fun in your character’s interactions with others. One of my favorite episodes is the one where Lois and Clark go undercover in a honeymoon suite. Clark keeps trying to make Lois say goodnight to him, to her chagrin, and instead of “Goodnight, Lois,” I imagine you’re saying, “Goodnight, Angie” and smiling that boyish smile of yours. You were a good role model for men because your Clark Kent showed them that strong independent women are more worthy to pursue and worth the wait. You also showed them that men of the nineties could have awesome hair. I remember there being a lot of bad man hair in the nineties, and I’m pretty sure you had the tousled McDreamy hair down pat before Dempsey did.
No man I date will ever look as good as your Superman in briefs. “Holding Out for a Hero,” the song set to the costume finding montage in the pilot episode, has become the theme song to my love life, and because of you, I will settle for no less than a good man who looks good in briefs. Ma Kent said that no one would be looking at your face, but I still did. Your Superman just looked like America, which makes sense because I know you were a pro-football player before you became a professional actor. I also think on some kind of unconscious level I knew that you were ethnically-mixed, and as a mixed-race American child, I literally needed heroes to look up to.
And the theme song? I mean, that was basically a theme song about you, let’s face it, and it sounds like America and superheroes. It’s in my top three TV theme songs of all time. I digress. The point is, though you ruined my expectations of men, you are special to me and to many people of my generation, and not just because of how amazingly you pulled off red briefs. You were amazing as Superman, and I’m certain you’re probably still amazing. Though you hung up your cape and red briefs years ago, just know that we still think you’re super.