Evolution of the male sexual icon

By Abigail Chaff

Abigail Chaff

When you think about it, would Frank Sinatra be considered handsome today? Not in the slightest. Our 21st century idea of good looking is within the parameters of chiseled abs and a nice tan.

I suppose Old Blue Eyes wouldn’t equate to the modern day “Guidos,” but doesn’t that just make you depressed?

Gone are the days of suits and hats. Now we want ripped jeans and a fitted. College ladies, you can’t tell me that if you saw Clark Gable walking down the street you would stop to holler.

Now Mr. Rhett Butler is the kind of tall dark and handsome that I like, but now-a-days that isn’t quite the aged to perfection we all go for.

George Clooney still makes many girls’ hearts melt, but it’s usually “girls” as in over the age of 30. The old ideal of sex appeal came with a stiff scotch and a cigarette in hand. A guy with actual style was appreciated. A man who could sing and dance was the whole package. Now the only dancing we see is on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Remember Gene Kelly?

I was raised on musical theater, so this may be a personal preference of mine, but I’d be a liar if I said I wouldn’t like to see a man in a tailored pair of pants do a soft shoe tap number. Now, however, Gene might be considered a little too effeminate.

The ‘40s and ‘50s were a romantic era: Men opened doors, bought flowers and never went out without a tie. Men took charge in the way every woman longs for. Where are the days of real dancing? Not this sweaty, grinding undulating somehow respected by the likes of Magic Mike.

There was a time when men and women really danced, floated together on the floor, left a little something to the imagination.

The sexual idols of days long past were men who actually looked like men, not boys with great metabolisms. They had chest hair, an accent implacable, a hat dipped below one eye and were slowly smoking in the corner.

If you had Dean Martin send you over a drink at the bar, would you really take it? Or would you be waiting for Zac Efron and his bros to get you a shot, man? The closest thing to a rat pack era golden boy is the guy in the Dos Equis commercial, and that’s essentially a joke.

My boyfriend happens to resemble him slightly; just with more tattoos and less of a tan. But by God he can rock a bowtie and order a proper martini.

Of course, any trend has its moments in the limelight before the pendulum swings the other way. I just wonder what phase our society is going through.

Genetically modified food is giving young girls periods at 13 and a size D rack. Male role models are idolized for a strong jaw line, and I don’t really know what else.

No one can dispute the iconic beauty of Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn, and okay James Dean and (young) Marlon Brando are still total studs. But if Carey Grant was Batman, would we all flock to the theaters to see the heartthrob? I don’t think so.

What made a man years ago and what makes a man now are in different worlds. I am a sucker for not so attractive/attractive older men, rather than a Robert Pattinson. And ladies, please, Bradley Cooper isn’t even attractive. With short hair, all you can see are his crooked eyes.

The next time you go out on a date, ask yourself if you would prefer him in a suit and tie. I bet you would.

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