Harvard’s newest teen magazine celebrity doesn’t quite fit into the teeny-bopper mold. Hedrick is an old-fashioned kind of guy who fancies himself a romantic, wears collared shirts and corduroy and rolls with Sigma Chi. Here at Harvard, he’s made his mark through directing the freshman musical two years ago and forming a group for men who oppose sexual assault.
But now that he’s been given his own page in YM magazine, and been lauded as not only “super-delicious” but also “deep-thinking” and “endearingly tortured,” it’s hard to go back to life as usual. Now, whenever his friends make fun of him, Hedrick says, “My new motto is: ‘Fuck you, I’m super-delicious.’”
Hedrick is one of twelve fellow cutie-pies to be chosen for YM’s newest publicity stunt; called “Last Boy Standing,” the feature pits the boys against each other in a battle to win the hearts of YM’s 12-to-15-year-old female readership. Each month the hunk who wins the fewest online votes falls out of the race, leaving the remaining boys still eligible for the final holy grail: a trip to New York and a $10,000 scholarship—not to mention the honor of being YM readers’ favorite “real boy.”Hedrick’s feeling the heat. He’s checked out his fellow contestants and he thinks he’s got them sussed out. He can definitely defeat Taji, a 14-year-old “adventurous yet attitude-free skateboarder” who favors Lucky Charms. But Trevor, 17, an “incredibly down-to-earth” mountain biker who appears topless in the December issue, should prove stiff competition.“I’m not going to beat Trevor Mahon’s nipples,” he says.
Hedrick landed his spot in the glossy when a friend who knew YM’s Boston regional director recommended that he apply for the role. He sent in a photo, answered a few questions, and promptly forgot all about it. A few months later he received a phone call letting him know the good news.
Between that fateful phone conversation and now, Hedrick has spent about eight hours answering pesky YM interns questions and still more time getting photographed in front of the Spee (because of 76 Mount Auburn Street’s Ivy-covered wall), beside the Charles River and in the Leverett courtyard. YM’s consensus on the strawberry-blond-haired junior is that he’s “endearingly tortured” and “John Cusack-like.”
When FM met with him over lunch this week, Hedrick lived up to the quirky romantic of YM’s telling. Eating his Froot Loops with a fork, Hedrick showed his sensitive side. Although he’s now a teen idol, Hedrick is still humble enough to remember more awkward encounters with the opposite sex. “I was tragically in love with a girl who didn’t know that I was in love with her,” he says. “Her name was Mary, and she was beautiful.”
But like his future readership—some of whom will inevitably fall for the Harvard hunk who likes fall because it’s “the most romantic season” without ever receiving reciprocation—the love was unrequited. Hedrick, though, didn’t mind.
“There was something inherently complete about it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with unrequited love. It’s inspiring and it’s humbling,” he says. And with that, he toasts his Minute Maid lemonade.
That’s something to drink to, and—if he’s lucky—something to vote for.