Friday, January 17, 2014

Hypothesis on Models in Men's Magazines vs. Hollywood

After writing about Maxim, reading a commenter's point on marketers not getting men and thinking about Playboy's approaching death, I noticed a little pattern. The androgynous, 12 year old boy look showcased in the media is a gay male creation as straight men with editorial control buck the trend.

1. Playboy was founded by straight male Hugh Hefner. While pictorials could be anybody, like the middle aged wife of Jake Lamotta after the release of "Raging Bull" in 1982, there is a Playboy type. Hefner constantly marketed his bunnies as beautiful girls next door that his photographers could glam up. Playboy "centerfold" women look like the peak specimens of men's fantasies. Measurements always in a centerfold that conformed to the .70 ratio, sadly that has slowly slipped away with time as Playboy models have changed. Who reads Playboy anymore? Google Think any Playboy Playmate.

2. American Curves was founded by straight male Robert Kennedy (AC went bankrupt recently). Women are slightly more fitness oriented than Playboy, but bikini and 36-24-36 glamour models filled the magazine. Google Think Vida Guerra, Cynthia Escobar or Bianca Beauchamp.

3. The Weider Fitness Empire was founded by straight male Joe Weider, who had a classic BOMBSHELL for a wife, and stocked his magazines with very 'fit' looking yet femme women. Not all curved because it is fitness oriented so those svelte yoga and aerobics girls have representation here. The hot, fit yet femme girl at your gym is the look of the cover models. Google Minna Lessig, Stacey Keibler and Marzia Prince.

4. Pornography is run by a wide network of straight men (or so every feminist essay on porn states). They select women of every shape, color and size that fill men's daydreams or dark desires. Pornography makes up 30% of all Internet traffic, so it must be doing something right for appealing to men. Think any female porn performer.

It is a common joke or belief that gay men run Hollywood, ballet and the fashion industry. It is a heavily rotated women's magazine article to discuss those industries' obsession with stick or ripped thin. Hollywood gave roles to Calista Flockhart and Lara Flynn Boyle rather than Sofia Vergara when she was in her 20s. It is not like Boyle or Flockhart were Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet. Debra Messing and Sarah Jessica Parker have had successful, long careers in Hollywood. Amanda Seyfried lamented the loss of her beautiful breasts to get thinner to fit into the Hollywood look. She is not the first as this has happened before, most famously to Lindsay Lohan. A weird pattern seems to be start hot and curvy, go anorexic, and then get proportional implants to try to mimic their original curve with an anorexic frame.

It might not be enough of a sample set for the media to pick up on or want to recognize. It is a small pattern but Hefner, Kennedy and Weider had a better estimate of straight male desires because they were straight men even as they molded them slightly (Playboy pushed breast implants in late '80s/early '90s). Hollywood and fashion's problem sparking straight male desire reflect gay male disconnect from straight men. Straight men know what straight guys want. Gay men do not know what straight guys want. Gay men do like having sex with young men. It makes sense that gay men would select models, actresses or dancers that look like teenage boys. That is their thing. It is not for straight guys. Fashion, marketing, advertising and the media complex are entities full of gay men. Therefore, Kate Hudson and Renee Zellwegger have appeared in 30 romcoms and Christina Hendricks and Sofia Vergara are pushing 40 having never played a romantic lead. Gay men spend too much time projecting their desires on all of men when it comes to model or actress selection. Stop casting and selecting who you would want to have sex with if they only were a boy, and think of your audience.

*The pic is the famous side by side of Lohan with red hair and curves vs. blonde, anorexic Lohan separated by 1 year.


praguestepchild said...

Interestingly, the other woman on Modern Family is exactly this type, bleach blonde, bony body, and what I'm pretty sure are modest breast implants. Although she's not played up as being hot on the show.

Monroe Ficus said...

And if we are talkin chicks on Modern Family, how about that daughter of the blonde, young hottie, kinda asian-y looking, but apparently not (Olivia Wilde paradox). I wanna recut the show so I can edit out the gay couple and focus on the chicks. Maybe the Spanish edit of the show is like that

Scott's Bluff said...

I wonder if this trend caused any collateral damage to women over the years with regards to popularizing breast augmentation, a service I find particularly damning whichever way you go, either up or down; there’s no difference to me. One just looks silly (think of Wendy from South Park coming to class with hard rock tits) and the other is a slap in the face to your maternal ancestors who got you here with their heaving milk sacks. (NSFW, slightly gross) Gavin McInnes on Red Eye, men like all types of boobs, just not fake ones.

That's unfortunate about Amanda. D cups aren’t really huge though. It’s getting there, but that’s like people thinking JLH has a huge rack. Since gaining weight and moving into her 30s they’ve gotten bigger, sure, but they’re like C cups tucked inside a push up bra all the time. It’s more the frame that emphasizes them. Triple D/E cup is the sweet point of no return.

You had a post on your other blog about large-breasted English girls getting plenty of attention in British society. This reality, along with the proudly large-breasted women of Ce/Ee Europe, makes for a sad state of affairs over here. Once again, back to collateral damage possibly stigmatizing larger breasts outside the sphere of Hollywood/fashion industry. Maybe I’m wrong. The women who do go through with breast reduction surgery come to mind though. Sad.

Son of Brock Landers said...

@praguestepchild - Great point on Julie Bowen. She was a thin cute young actress and then got that 'stringy' look. Gorgeous face and modest bosom now, but wicked thin. Hollows out the eyes.

@Scottsbluff - I don't like plastic surgery but hey, od it if you want, as long as I can praise or criticize the results. I don't know if it had an effect on women getting the surgery done. It just seems that the Jackie O soft yet thin look is gone from Hollywood and fashion replaced by ripped thin (Madonna).

Dated a 3xD once. Young and a small frame. Her back hurt, and she knew by 25 she'd need a reduction, fortunately she could fall back to a C and be proportional and healthy.

Mike said...

Two reactions:

1) Joe Weider's wife - hot damn! If that doesn't motivate a man, nothing will.

2) The Lohan before and after: shaking my head..

Great points, SOBL. You correctly point out the gay influence in Hollywood, but there's also a distinct female influence too. It's important that the audience can relate to the female leads. Romantic comedies being an obvious example.

One thing I like to do with women around my age is ask them who in Hollywood they think is pretty and I also ask their opinion about actresses that virtually all men find attractive but that I suspect most women don't like.

For the most part, I find women love actresses who are moderately pretty (but have little sex appeal to most men) or women who are completely nonthreatening. Some examples: Julia Roberts, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone, etc.

The women they hate? Mainly the ones that exude sex appeal. Megan Fox was a big one for a while but she's kinda fallen off the map (wonder why?). Scarlett Johannsen and Hayden Panettiere are ones that come up often as well. Scarlett does well for herself but the other two?? Few if any leading roles on the big screen.

Actresses like Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth would have a tough time today I think.

Son of Brock Landers said...

@Mike - Great point on the female influence. The lead needs to be a woman they can project themselves into and ID with. Still, women love the different body type that Christina Hendricks is even if it is just as impossible for them to achieve, yet that type isn't on TV.

Megan Fox = Millenial Gen Angelina Jolie.

I have one buddy selling a show in Hollywood and another involved with a casting firm. The casting guy said all young female leads are between 4'10"-5'4" and around 100 lbs give or take 15. He was involved with Django Unchained. He emailed me and asked "What black woman would white guys think is hot, a black guy would marry and be believable that a black man would risk his freedom to return and save?" I typed "Zoe Saldana or Kerry Washington." Kerry Washington was that obvious of a choice for Django's wife. Saldana cost too much for that flick.

Inane Rambler said...

I've noticed myself that if you take an actress, even a small screen glorified extra type, and look at pictures of her at some Hollywood event, she's got these legs that look like someone carved flesh off of them, and they have these weird knobbly knees. It's not a universal trait, I've seen enough examples where that isn't true, but it's a noticeable pattern. The naturally thin girls I've known never looked like that. Sure they've had skinny legs, but they looked good, like they were supposed to look like that. Girls that I know have cut weight have that "Hollywood look" I mentioned above.

peterike said...

Still, women love the different body type that Christina Hendricks is even if it is just as impossible for them to achieve, yet that type isn't on TV.

Women like Hendricks because basically she's a borderline fat chick packed together in precisely the right way to be attractive, sort of (I don't find her that attractive -- great face but her body is too extreme for me).

In their delusional minds-eye, fat women imagine that if they, too, could just push things around in the right proportions (not actually lose weight, just move it), then they would look like Christina Hendricks too. But of course Hendricks is a freak of nature and she probably only has a few years left before she either has to lose weight or she'll just become another fatty.

Son of Brock Landers said...

I think Hendricks has 4 movies coming out this year. If she finds success this year, you'll see her slim down a touch to get back into 2007-2008 shape. Just look at season 1 Mad Men vs. now. Her ass and breasts are larger now, but she's pushing 40.

If her movies bomb, I wouldn't be shocked if after the last season of Mad Men she 'retires' and tries to have one kids or whatever with her dork husband. It's just a shame she didn't get much exposure in the early 2000s.

Anonymous said...

@Son of Brock Landers -

Zoe Saldana is mixed race. Her mother is Puerto Rican and looks like a quadroon. Her father was Dominican (mulatto).

Zoe Saldana is technically a brown-skinned biracial mulatta.

Her parents are both multigenerational mixed people who married each other.

Just because a biracial girl doesn't look like Mariah Carey, or Vanessa Williams, doesn't make her any less biracial.

Ethiopian women from the Horn of East Africa are 50% Black/50% Arab and a few biracials (multigenerational mulattos) there can be brown-skinned.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Last anon - Is that you alcesthema? I knew Saldana was Hispanic. I know this from her different interviews as well as my black female friends disliking Hollywood using her as the black woman in movies. They dislike her.

I won't believe Mariah Carey has a black dad until I see a picture. Her older sister, the high priced escort, looks like a white girl. Same parents.

whisker child said...

The question is, are there any straight men that would like to work in these industries to replace the gays?