Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Illustration for article titled How have standards of beauty changed in your lifetime?

I ended up watching most of The Rocketeer on cable last night, since I hadn't seen the whole thing in a very long time. One thing that occurred to me while watching the movie is how much standards of physical beauty have changed in the past 20-25 years. Jennifer Connelly was arguably the biggest star in the credits — and if you were a guy of a certain age, she was probably the main reason for seeing the movie. And she was very beautiful in the movie. But today I get the feeling she'd be considered positively zaftig, with her round face and wide hips. They'd probably cast someone who was slimmer and more cut, with more defined cheekbones, closer to Megan Fox circa 2007.

The same thing has happened with men, as well. The '90s were really the last decade you could make a movie where an average-looking everyman like Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, or Matthew Broderick was the hero. Today it seems like every prospective leading man in his 20s or 30s, like Taylor Kitsch, Channing Tatum, and Charlie Hunnam, has the face of a GQ model and looks as if he could go directly from the set to compete in an Ironman triathlon. Even schlubby-ish guys like Pratt and Jonah Hill have lost a ton of weight to prove that they too can fit the paradigm.


All of this is to be expected — most performers have a certain look or quality that resonates with the era in which they were popular, and that doesn't necessarily translate well into later decades. But it does seem kinda alarming to me that at some point in the recent past, moviegoers decided they didn't want to see regular-looking folks in the movies, or even very attractive people who don't conform to Olympian standards of chiseled perfection. Has anybody else noticed this? Am I just an old, slightly (okay, very) out-of-shape grump who would prefer to see more stars who don't look like MMORPG avatars?

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