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Aug 17, 2011

On Male Beauty



Readers, do you subscribe to the belief that a man can be too good-looking?

I was reading an excerpt from Rob Lowe's critically-acclaimed autobiography, "Stories I Only Tell My Friends" recently, and he believes that his good looks kept him from having the kind of film career in his youth he had hoped for.  Indeed, it's easy to believe that Rob's beauty could have been an obstacle.  (The modified mullet and shark tooth earrings weren't doing him any favors either.)



There are lots of different kinds of good-looking men (as there are different kinds of good-looking women) but the kind of good looks that seems to cause the most trouble, not only for the man himself but, if he is an actor, for his audience too (keep reading), are the ones considered "pretty."

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes a handsome man pretty, but we know it when we see it.  Tyrone Power is a classic example of this phenomenon, and based on what I've read about his life, he suffered for it, both professionally and personally.



Power died young after a life of considerable self-abuse.  He was only in his mid-forties -- and considerably less pretty.



When you think about the most popular male movie stars of classic Hollywood cinema, they're generally not the best looking (and this holds true for the women as well, imo: think Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Claudette Colbert) -- the more rugged actors held on the longest and are best remembered, men like Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and Spencer Tracey.





Some actors started out as beauties -- Gary Cooper and John Wayne come to mind -- but aged rapidly into rugged-looking, craggy-faced heroes worshiped by men and women alike.





A lot of this "curse of the beautiful male" thing has to do with homophobia: there's a sense that a beautiful man is likely to be homosexual or -- due to his almost feminine looks (long lashes, bright, light eyes) -- not sufficiently masculine.  Americans like their men to look like men.  Actually, I think it's that heterosexual American males like their heroes to look more rugged for fear of being labeled homosexual themselves.  It's all a bit headache-inducing.

Of course, the fact that many beautiful male actors are now known to have been -- or consistently rumored to be -- gay (or its mid-Twentieth Century equivalent), doesn't help matters.  Tyrone Power, Montgomery Clift, and the late Farley Granger come to mind.  Even in the gay male community, many put a lot of value on being "straight-looking," i.e., traditionally masculine.  (Clifton Webb need not apply.)






What is a beautiful man supposed to do?  Facial hair seems to help -- or does it only call attention to precisely the features they're trying to hide?  (Think Johnny Depp and Zac Efron.)





I've often read that teen idols are usually of the pretty type because young girls find them less sexually threatening (subconsciously, of course).  This would apply to everyone from Troy Donahue to Ricky Nelson (remember him?) to Justin Bieber.



When these teen fans grow up, however, they prefer Clark Gable.


Friends of the man-loving persuasion, how do you like your men?

Do you have a preference for the iconic strong, silent type?  Are you uncomfortable around a man who might be considered prettier than you are?  Do you have nothing but empathy for Joanne Woodward (who wasn't exactly homely but she was no Paul Newman)?



Are you suspicious of a man who's too good looking, either because you think he's likely to be stuck up, or the constant target of the attention of decorators, florists, and male sewing bloggers?  (And he might like it.)

Can a man be too beautiful?

Jump in!

82 comments:

  1. Cary Grant. Still among the most beautiful.

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  2. Our local theater had a Paul Newman series, and after the shows the women in the bathroom line were in unanimous agreement that he's hotter than George Clooney. And I think he got more and more handsome as he got older-- I do like the rugged look.

    I empathize with Joanne Woodward, because my hubby is better looking than me (he even has shapelier legs, not fair!) Women are always hitting on him while I am standing right there, and giving me these weird "how did you get him" looks. Oh well, I guess there are benefits too, hee hee.

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  3. Rob Lowe - swoon, back in the 80s and still now. Plus Brad Pitt. Which is odd for me, because I really prefer dark-haired men. Tyrone Power is/was pretty? Not to me. Hmmm. I have no conclusions about this. I only know that I know what I like when I see it. ;-)

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  4. I have never had interest in "pretty boys" because they tend to be frat boys and tend to be very shallow, womanizers, and incapable of a committed relationship. It worked out well, though, because they were not interested in me, either.

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  5. I think a man can be to pretty for the same reason a woman can be to pretty. They get used to having preferential treatment due to their looks. Also they gain attention from the opposite sex (or I would guess the same sex in the homosexual community) and that leads to added concern about their fidelity. I'm a straight lady with a manly man thing you can have Rob I was always a Springsteen lady

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  6. One of your best post imho. I personally like men with strong masculine features like a strong chin and remember the 5 o'clock shadow. My husband still gives me shivers when he he has not shaved for a couple of days. By the way, I think American men gay or not are much more masculine in appearance (think Prince)then European men who tend to look very effeminate and are straight (Prince Charles).

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  7. i prefer my men on the pretty side. yes to ricky nelson, young elvis, paul newman. i also think adam brody is cute - it's the curly hair.

    i am totally ok with my man being prettier than i am - it's me who gets to look at him, after all!

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  8. No, men can not be too beautiful! I love a great looking guy...and sleep next to one every night.

    My two favorites after hubby: Paul Newman and Cary Grant...I just swoon. It seems everyone in my neck of the woods met Paul at some point, sadly I never did.

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  9. I happened to fall in love with (and marry) a "pretty" guy 15 years ago. Men give him the once over all the time (or give me pitying looks: "When are you going to wake up to the fact that your husband is gay?").

    Thankfully he only reads this blog when I send him links to Cathy's photo shoots.

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  10. Thank goodness for that, Slowest.

    Sassy, it's not polite to brag! LOL

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  11. Men can be jaw droppingly, achingly beautiful and still retain a (albeit maybe a gentle) sense of masculinity. Johnny Depp is a case in point in my view. Yul Brynner was oil painting gorgeous, James Dean was a "pretty" kind of good looking too in my view. If you take away the acoutrements of his rebellious style....
    Also masculinity and homosexuality have never been mutually exclusive in my view either...
    I've known gay men who have been more manly (and more of a man!) than many hetrosexual men I know.
    Similarly the most gorgeous man can become repulsive when exposed as an ass; and the most plain of men instantly attractive when blessed with a sharp wit or a thoughtful, insightful nature. Ahhh, how fickle I sound ha ha!
    Life is a zillion shades of grey isn't it?!
    Px

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    1. Handsome is as handsome does.

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  12. Beautiful men are fun to look at, but that's as far as it goes. They have a tendency to look softer than a rugged looking man, hence more feminine, which doesn't have anything to do with sexuality.

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  13. What I find fascinating is the - an overused phrase now - X factor. The person who has nothing obviously out of the ordinary in terms of being handsome or beautiful, but who gives off sex appeal in spades. It's impossible to bottle or pin down, but some people definitely have it. How? Why? Do they know it? How do I know it? Intriguing! I know perfectly 'normal' looking people who can leave others slack jawed and mesmerised. It's quite a thing to watch. Sadly, I don't hold this charm over others but I love being around to witness its power!

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  14. I always loved John Wayne and Cary Grant because you could always tell they treated women with respect. I see that also in a male sewing blogger and few gay guys I know. Those are the kind of guys I love.

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  15. There was an interesting article on the Hairpin about Rock Hudson and his public persona, which I think is pretty relevant to this post (don't know if I can link it, but if you google 'the hairpin rock hudson') you'll find it.

    You're right that there's a strong suspicion of beautiful men in our culture, as opposed to pretty teenage boys. But it hasn't always been like that. Have you seen Germaine Greer's book 'The Beautiful Boy'? It attempts to remind women of the power of the female gaze, and also to showcase the rich heritage of art that celebrates male beauty.

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  16. My husband is very masculine- looking; tall, dark, gets a seriously swarthy 5 o'clock shadow - and is always a hit in the gay community. I often see guys checking him out.
    I guess I have odd taste because I always thought Tony Curtis was just stunning. Jim Morrison and Ralph Fiennes are also at the top of my list.

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  17. Ah yes, the "X Factor" -- I know it well... ;)

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  18. I see your point, but I think what I don't find appealing in men is being too slick and full of themselves. I like suave (hello Cary Grant!) and maybe this goes to the beautiful category, but I'm not interested in the frat boy I'm suppose to fall all over. Leonardo di Caprio, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon don't really do much for me. Maybe it's a blonde thing.

    In real life, I tend to fall for computer geeks and men that aren't too wiry. Using Entourage as an example, Eric is way more appealing to me than Vincent Chase (who would be in the beautiful category, no?). I also find Steve Carell attractive. John Cusack can drop by any ol' time. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine...

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  19. As a heterosexual man it's taken me the longest time to distinguish male beauty. For the most part men are like pairs of pliers and I'm at a bit of a loss when someone says, ooh, look at this! I mean, what's the difference?

    Did you notice that so many of the headshots you gave as examples included long eyelashes, a feature often associated with women? Also, more feminine, pointy-looking, attenuated chins.

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  20. Okay, I don't think a man can be too beautiful although I don't necessarily gravitate toward "pretty" men myself.

    I like the "bad boy" look - think rock stars. Unfortunately, I married one, and they look bad because they are..that was a nightmarish 4 years. Sadly, the "look" still draws me in :(

    Hubby is tall, dark, and handsome, but a GREAT guy!

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  21. The danger of being a good-looking man, whether "handsome" or "beautiful", is that one spends his entire life with a very unrealistic view of the average personal interaction. This can often lead to an arrested development of emotional maturity. Both women and men are more trusting and accommodating of good-looks. Unwise.

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  22. It is interesting that beauty in a man can be a drawback. I do notice that in own tastes: as a het woman, I thought Brad Pitt was too 'pretty' when he was younger. I guess the stunning beauty can make it difficult to see anything else? I liked him in "Ocean's Eleven" where he was still handsome but his character had that quirky clothing style and a distinctly offbeat personality.

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  23. Forgot to mention this: I would agree that Rob Lowe suffered from being too handsome when he was younger. Alec Baldwin too. I think they've found their niche as older comic actors.

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  24. How about a sprinkle of Jack Palance and some of Pierce Brosnan!! ;)
    Rhonda

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  25. I prefer that a man look natural. If a man looks like he: wears makeup; plucks his eyebrows; spend more time styling his hair than the average woman; or applies large amounts of hair styling products, then I rarely find him attractive. I prefer the illusion that good-looking men got that way naturally.

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  26. I prefer funny and smart. They last longer.

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  27. Honestly, mid-90's Brad Pitt was so gawd awful statuesque good-looking that it was right up on the border of being weird. The man is a genetic anomaly. Even *other guys* were all, yup. That's freakish.

    But, yeah, I don't think that beautiful necessarily equals sex appeal. It may be more like art.

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  28. This is a really interesting post, especially the bit about teenage girls finding pretty boys less aggressive-looking. When I was that age I found most men agressive-looking, to be honest, but I think it was just from being exceedingly shy.

    Personally, I've often wondered if women see their own femininity through the lens of the comparative masculinity of their partner; like, if their man is rugged it makes the woman feel more womanly, or prettier, by proxy. Sex-appeal can often be just feeling sexy yourself. Maybe if someone needed a boost in this area, this would give it?

    I'm lucky enough to be married to my own lovely arm-candy, but it just makes me feel like I can get really dolled-up when he looks especially fine. I know I'm bragging, but that boy in a suit = me getting away with false eyelashes.

    Keep up the good work, MPB!

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  29. It's funny, I wouldn't categorize Paul Newman as "pretty". Handsome, sure. When I think of pretty men, I think of guys who could easily pass as female with a wig and a dress (... ahem ^__^). Sometimes "boyish" is the more appropriate word for younger guys who are going to get more rugged with age.

    As for how I like them... unquestionably adult & male, but not too far towards the Neanderthal line.

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  30. I agree with Bratling, that is what makes Johnny Depp so damn hot. ;)

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  31. It's interesting, Flynn. An old friend is a tall (5'11") woman and self conscious about it. She needs her men to be taller than she or she just doesn't feel sufficiently feminine. I'd bet many women feel that way. It probably works the other way around too (i.e., some men preferring traditionally feminine girls who make them feel more masculine in contrast).

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  32. Oh I love a pretty man myself, but I have give pause to Karen's (didyoumakethat) comment because I think that sometimes there is pretty and then there is pretty AND charming. The last bundle has it made whereas someone who doesn't have that charm or X-factor doesn't have much to go on except the fact that he's pretty. I find Carey Grant rather pretty, but yet he's still got something more than just the looks. I've met some pretty gorgeous fellas and yet most of them were just "blanks." Personality of 0. So it is with acting. You've gotta have something more than just your looks.

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  33. Yet another thought-provoking post! Interesting about the psychology of young girls. When I was a pre-teen or early teen, I would swoon over pretty-boy types like Tyrone Power and David Hedison. I stayed up all night to watch Tyrone Power's movies. As I got older, I found myself attracted to the more rugged types. Today, some of the pretty boys make me gag. In my experience, these men have a sense of entitlement that I find repulsive (though Tyrone Power’s ghost is welcome to visit me anytime). Pretty or not, I prefer someone who is “real.” Then there is the “X-Factor.” Terribly frustrating.

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  34. My main, consistent preference in men is that I am attracted to guys who have narrower, longer faces rather than squared off faces/round heads. Maybe that goes along with being "pretty", i.e. more delicate featured. Or, maybe I prefer that proportion because it's similar to mine and other people in my family -- I've read that we tend to be drawn to similar/familiar faces.

    Anyway, Rob Lowe: too pretty? Whatever. He's aged and become more craggy looking and he's still hot. Robert Downey Jr., too. Young he was meh. Now he's at the top of my List of Five.

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  35. I always found the prettiest men in films quickly migrated into television or oblivion. Much like women with a certain look, they were typecast, marginalized, and shown out the side door.

    One wonders if the actresses can't or won't put up with the competition.

    Rugged good looks is only way for an actor, or supporting actress, to maintain a career in motion pictures.

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  36. I agree with Flynn. I'm 5'9" (and a half!) and I was never really comfortable with a guy who was shorter than me. I found it annoying in high school that the basketball players would date the tiny cheerleaders.

    My sense of romance and femininity came a lot from musicals and old movies. I literally wanted a man who could sweep me off my feet. I was tall and thin, but felt so Amazonian compared to the skinny boys waiting for that last growth spurt to fill them out.

    To me masculine has always been a deep voice and strong arms. A twinkle in the eye as well (I couldn't live with anyone who didn't have a sense of humor and mischief). Handsome to me was Sean Connery (when he was older), Harrison Ford, Gene Kelly, Michael Landon, Gordon MacRae. *sigh* Um, what were we talking about?

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  37. Funny trumps all--A man that can always see the humorous side of things ALWAYS catches my attention. I'm not talking a chuckle head. On just looks alone... good looking was always good looking, pretty or rugged doesn't matter. THAT's why Cary Grant was so damned attractive. Yes he was nice to look at--but not so wrapped up in his looks that he couldn't pull off a good prat fall or reel off a perfectly executed one liner...SEXY!!!

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  38. There is an assumption that beautiful people (men and women) are shallow, unfaithful and unworthy of the attention lavished upon us. It hurts.

    Peter, wouldn't you agree?

    :)

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  39. Gregory Peck...Now there is a handsome man. Not too rugged not pretty. I once checked out this space for rent and the landlord was just too damn good looking. Very uncomfortable to look at cuz I didn't want to appear silly or drool. :). I suppose it is like when men see a gorgeous woman and they act silly... I've seen that a couple times (come on pull yourself together) Manly...is that why of recent all these young actors have decided stubble on the face is a must. In the end this is the reality of the world... A real person is what tricks my trigger, someone like Peter with his engaging personality...And I'm not kidding. A sparkle in the eye is just sooo appealing.

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  40. I like them smart and funny, if they are pretty, that is just a bonus.

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  41. Just give me a passably good looking man with a brain ..

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  42. I've always liked dark men (viz: old boyfriends, husband before he lost his hair!) A 'beautiful' man is all about symmetry. The more feminine they look, small nose, long lashes, neat eyebrows and firm chin, the more attractive they seem. Cary Grant was just too handsome for his own good (many wives) but never took his looks too seriously. Brad Pitt i consider pretty even though he tries to rough things up a little but with the messy facial hair. My all time fave is the English actor Rufus Sewell. Too handsome. He was delicious in 'Cold Comfort Farm', 'Middlemarch' and recently, 'Zen'. Check out his Marc Bolan impression in 'Shakespeare Retold- The Taming of the Shrew'

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  43. This is a very interesting topic and coincidentally, I just read today an article in New York magazine, called The Prettiest Boy in the world. It was about this very adrogynous male who has gained fame because he looks so feminine. Fashion designers like Gaultier have him walk in their women's fashion shows. I guess it is more about the new popularity of gender neutral/adrogynous models. You can search for it online or here is a link: http://nymag.com/fashion/11/fall/andrej-pejic/?imw=Y&f=most-viewed-24h5

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  44. I think being pretty definitely works against some actors. As soon as I was reading your post, Leonardo Dicaprio sprang to mind. I'm always surprised when I see a movie with him in it at what a good actor he is and I think it is because of his prettiness and smaller stature that he doesn't really get the credit that some of the more rugged taller actors get. I don't know if you've seen them, but there are studies that show that beautiful people, especially women, are less likely to get hired in the workforce than equally competent less attractive women (I'm sure they are not counting acting jobs).

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  45. interesting post. I have always liked Rob Lowe and thought he was an underappreciated comic actor (remember Wayne's World?)
    but my crush for the last 10 years or so is Clive Owen, dreamy !!!!!

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  46. I don't think men can be too pretty, some men are just more feminine in their appearances. My Uncle was actually a very beautiful looking man. He also made a beautiful woman, just a head shot though LOL.

    I am really not attracted to looks, I like all men pretty, short, tall, bald, with hair, rugged etc.

    What attracts me to a person in general is their sense of humor. I use to date a guy that was very pretty many many years ago. However, he really didn't have much of a personality. If you wanted to gaze at him all day, then he would be perfect.

    I love, love funny men.

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  47. I had a friend who theorized that pretty boys dated homely girls so they wouldn't be outshone by their dates. I think she was right. I like men who are blond or red, over 6 feet tall, and not hairy. Tom Selleck is gorgeous, of course, but not my cup of tea. And the dark hottie who was chatting me up on the flight from Tampa to Philly last Friday? That SO wasn't gonna happen, even if I were single. I think everyone has deeply ingrained preferences that can't be overcome.

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  48. It's funny, I was just discussing this with my hairdresser yesterday. She knows I'm into comics and superheroes so we were talking about the latest rash of superhero movies. She really likes the actor who plays Captain America, and while I can see the appeal, for me the actor who makes my tummy flip is the guy who played Thor. And yet... I saw a photo of him with SHORT hair the other day and he just didn't do it for me. I wonder why?

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  49. @Beth: Rob Lowe in Tommy Boy! Soooo funny!

    I absolutely agree that young girls prefer pretty boys because they are less sexually intimidating - at least, I know I did! My middle-aged male friends have expressed a lot of disdain for Justin Bieber. Wow, what they don't get. I just say "I don't think you are his target audience".

    I always thought "pretty" men were stuck up, and maybe they are, but I have come to feel sympathy for their plight. Once, when I worked at my college bookstore, I was trying to chat with a very good-looking young man as I rang up his books. He had that attitude: stiff, barely speaking, looking anywhere but at me. What he didn't know was that I was married (I don't wear a ring) and at least 5 years older than him, which mattered in those days (the 90s - so last millenium). The instant I mentioned that my HUSBAND had taken one of his classes, he loosened up and was as friendly as can be. Suddenly it came to me that his whole life must be like riding that bus where the slightly creepy guy sits too close and wants to know too much about you. I'd be defensive too, if being friendly garnered all sorts of unwanted attention.

    For me, I don't want my man to be prettier than me, I'm too vain for that. I also don't care for big testosterone dudes who are agressive and muscle-y and vein-y and hairy and LOUD. Give me a smart, funny everyman, who tells the truth, understands me (mostly) and laughs at my jokes. Hey, that's what I have! :)

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  50. Too pretty!? Too pretty for what?

    Being too pretty is an impossibility.

    Unfortunately though, it is possible for a society to be very limited in what it considers acceptable traits for "men" and "women" to be.

    As you mention, homophobia definitely plays a part here. Also weighing in is the job description for "men": strong, smart, successful. It's not necessary for men to be pretty to fulfill their gender role. In fact, if they are pretty, it's a huge threat to the existing definition! Seek and destroy all threats! Must. Maintain. The. Current. Paradigm.!!!

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  51. I like quirky and a little rough and tumble
    Jeff Goldblum crossed with the brawny guy. lol

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  52. Dirk Bogarde for me:

    http://tiny.cc/jbr2s

    MIcky

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  53. The hyper masculine image is a western ideal of what it is to be a man. In a lot of Asian countries women appreciate men that have the pretty boy look. If you ever watch Korean drama or read Japanese manga, males that have feminize features are celebrated as being sexy and desirable. It is encourage in Hong Kong and Korea for men to look this way through diet, fashion and yes... even through makeup.

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  54. I think part of the problem with "pretty" actors (male and female) is that their prettiness distracts from their acting. You spend so much time looking at them you never actually get lost in the character they are portraying. This affect seems counteracted only by excessive costuming/makeup(makeunder?). This may be why these actors get passed over or typecast.

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  55. Yes, a man can be too beautiful, and his name is Bill Murray .. if I could post a photo here I could prove it !

    ( it's the inner man, man .. wow )

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  56. That pitiful "you poor dear he has a blowjob mouth he MUST be gay" thing really makes me sad. And angry.

    Its like when Charlotte started dating a man she assumed was gay. He said "Charlotte I am a 34-year old pastry chef living in Chelsea, If I was gay don't you think I would just be gay". In this modern time can't we take pretty guys/individuals word for it? what ever sexuality they align themselves with?

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  57. I have noticed that nearly all TV sitcoms have women who are nearly perfect 10s and men who are between 4-6. Think Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie. Or Ross and Rachel from Friends. I think this is because what the male producers are producing is their own fantasy-- an ugly man with gorgeous woman. In no way would they want Al Bundy to look like Johnny Depp-- there goes the fantasy.

    Symmetry is all well and good, but I loves me some secondary male characteristics-- strong jaw, large nose, broad shoulders. When I was a little girl and the other little girls were swooning over Bobby Sherman from "Here Come the Brides," I was swooning over Robert Brown.

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    1. Max Baer Jr. In The Beverly Hillbillies

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    2. Max Baer Jr in The Beverly Hillbillies as Jethro, was honest, kind of naive, blushed easily, liked Ellie Mae's pets, hard working, keen, and although he was well built and attractive, did not seem aware of his good looks. Now that is Sex Appeal for me. I watched this sitcom while growing up in the '60's, and Jethro is still a dreamboy for a gay rural country boy like I was. Bless you, Max Baer !

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  58. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder! Thats my viewpoint in whatever in see. Everyone are god's creation and are beautiful in their own ways.

    Coming to the top of if i like very good looking men, well NO, they seem to be so involved in themselves and too proud to be normal self and show off at every possible instant!

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  59. Being european, my oppinion may not count in this forum.

    A man can not be too beautiful, I think. The first thing, I noticed about my husband, were his beautiful light blue eyes framed by long, dark lashes. I have not stoppet gazing into them ever since.

    When I see other women hitting on him, it truly makes me proud, because I know, that I am the one he has chosen and all the others can only look on in envy :-) It just does not get any better than that!

    As for moviestars - Bring on Johnny Depp any day!

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  60. You had me at Tyrone Power....

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  61. Yes, IMHO there are men who are too good looking due to my own insecurities, I think to myself that they'd never give me the time of day and instantly dislike them. Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt are exceptions to the rule of course, they'd be attracted to me instantly! Oh wait, that's just my fantasies talking.

    I also think women are more forgiving than men are in the looks department. Women are more likely to overlook a physical "flaw" in a man because of this fabulous personality but I find that's quite the opposite in men. *Most* men are more focused on the visual than the cerebral, that's why strip clubs for men are far more popular than strip clubs for women. No?

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  62. Alas, the problem of beauty is the corrosive power of envy. That's why they say 'pity the pretty'...

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  63. Eye candy, yum! the more the better!

    RE: acting--I read that both Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp chose acting roles that downplayed their attractiveness (BP-Kalifornia; JD-Edward Scissorhands, Benny and Joon, for example--and who could forget Leonard Di Caprio in What's Eating Gilbert Grape?).

    And other than pale males, there's some serious male beauty in Jimmy Smits, Denzel Washington, LLCool J, Seal, etc.

    And yes, a man with a sense of humor about the world and himself is irresistable!

    Valerie from the PNW (40 degrees this am!)

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  64. I have to add: If you love someone they become more beautiful as time goes by ..

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  65. I don't have a real opinion on this, but oh my lord Paul Newman!!!! He is the sexiest man alive!!!

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  66. Paul Newman, mmmmm, be still my heart. That man was hot even at 80. He was knee wobbly good looking (and a terrific person to boot). Then there is the dreamy Cary Grant. I also have a thing for Keanu Reeves, he's got a good mix of genes. Now there's a man I would break my 10 year rule for.

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  67. I once dated a man/boy who dabbled in modelling, it took the biscuit when he took longer than me to get ready to go out!! brad pitt and johnny depp-lovely!

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  68. Elvis was in my mind that rare combination of both pretty and masculine. That hair, that profile, that devil-may-care smile. Until he reached his 40s that is. Sigh.

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  69. Just found this one! I saw a telly programme once about how women when ovulating find more feminine looking men atttractive! Go figure! What struck me from the photos above is how cute and pixielike James Cagney is! He's not rugged at all. It was all in his persona.
    Fashionable looks definitely have a part to play in it - I am always amazed how feminine 70's and 80's men's fashions are - the hair and clothes were distinctly not masculiny, but that was the time my hormones were rampaging and I found it quite 'hot'.
    I guess the stars who appeal to the whole audience base are going to last the distance - being able to act being an important criteria I'd say from the list the comes to mind, squeaks in over looks. Having both is a rare combo. Rob Lowe is one whose looks took away from his ability, but Johnny Depp has both in spades, and I think his choice of projects has helped lot - choosing a wide range of films both large and tiny budget. As has George Clooney. These guys do the projects that interest them.
    I don't have a type, my husband looks like Michael Barrymoore, but MrC is my idea of heaven!!

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    1. Interesting. So true about James Cagney!

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  70. Tyrone Power was the 'ish'! He was beautifully gorgeous. From all accounts read, he was also a very nice person and not stuck up. He really was a great actor, and is just now being recognized for it, unfortunately. Robert Downey jr is also HOT-even after being a druggy!

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  71. I think Tyrone Power is possibly the most beautiful male actor of all time. His eyes were stunning. He had beautiful teeth and a nice physique, as well as being on the "dark" side.

    He was a good actor, and from all accounts not terribly stuck on himself, although he did not have long term relationships or marriages.

    I thought his son looked a lot like him, until I saw a picture of his mom. LOL Tyrone Power said himself of his third wife, Deborah, that upon meeting her he couldn't help but notice how much she looked like him.

    Tyrone was not only a beautiful and an actor, he was a Lt. during WWII and flew cargo planes.

    From my point of view - yes there are rugged good-looking men and there are beautiful men. I think Newman is an example of rugged, Power an example of beautiful - no, make that absolutely gorgeous.

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  72. just came across this interesting blog. Tyrone Power was "beautiful" or "pretty" until perhaps 1941 - then he became incredibly handsome! He was absolutely perfect.

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  73. Valentino, Errol Flynn, Monty Clift, even Matt Dillon (not sure now) were what some would consider pretty. Now the pretty ones are Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Robert Pattinson, James Franco, Orlando Bloom. (Interesting how facial features can be trendy such as the full lips of three of the four I just listed.)

    I sometimes think that beauty (female and male) is what marketers say it is. We're inundated with images, products (cologne, endorsements, etc.), and 'news' clips filled with the flavor-of-the-month and I suppose this has to do with a 24/7 cable news cycle and a need to fill all that time. We have lists of 'hot' and 'not'. Colin Farrell used to be considered hot, I guess. He hasn't changed much from what I can tell but the media has moved on to fresher meat and we dutifully follow its scent.

    But there are those whose beauty worked in tandem with their talent. Vivien Leigh is a great example of a stunning actress who was extremely good at her art while Paul Newman was a very good actor as well as a looker.

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  74. I think Tyrone Power was incredibly handsome, and if you liked him as a prepubescent girl, that didn't change - just asked my mother, who loved him until she died at the age of 84. I have to agree that his prettiness turned into unbelievable handsomeness after 1941. And I also believe his career was wrecked by his looks initially. Once he was able to leave 20th Century Fox, he got excellent roles and proved himself to be a wonderful actor. Some actors' studios cashed in on their looks; Power's was one, and they wouldn't let him out of it.

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