Thursday, July 7, 2011

Progression of Male Celebrity Crushes

This delightful article on Brando over at The Hairpin is a little bit less about Hollywood scandal than it is about "seriously, you guys: Brando. AmIright!?" I was struck by one paragraph in particular...

But as evidenced so thoroughly above, Brando was also spectacularly, ruinously handsome. And while he certainly inspired no small amount of teen squeals, he was no teen idol. He left that job to James Dean, who was busy mimicking the Brando scowl and mumble. Crucially, Dean was also more accessible to girls still ambivalent enough about actual sex that they want their objects of affection feminine-faced and shiny, looking like they’ve just come from a facial and an eyebrow wax. (See also Zac Efron, young Leonardo DiCaprio, and David Cassidy.)

It makes so much sense, but I never thought of it before! I started to think about my Hollywood crushes over the years to see if I could find any sort of journey from feminine-featured to, you know, MAN... and then I decided you should come along with me on this (sometimes unfortunate) trip down memory lane. Enjoy the ride!

Okay, so we start with Eddie Furlong. I loved him. I also loved this kid Jared in my grade school who looked just like him oh my god.

Totally still hot... you know, if you're in 8th grade.

Next I made the logical jump to Gilbert Blythe because I was/am a girlnerd.

Gil will always be my #1 main man. I don't need marble know the rest.

Girlnerdery continued down literature-adapted-for-screen road right to the feet of one very feminine Christian Bale.

Spoiler alert: Every time I watch this movie I yell at Jo when she refuses Laurie.

Then, I suppose I started growing up a little, though I think this era of Depp was a bit feminine-tinged.

Still totally hot, though.

Oh man and then I saw RENT on Broadway and fell deeply and irrevocably in love with Taye Diggs.

I imagine that simply by existing in this world Taye Diggs has restored many a groove.

UGH, I suppose I have to admit to this. Freshman year of college? Definitely had a gigantic Ben Affleck poster in my dorm room.

It's okay, I'm rolling my eyes at myself too.

Then I saw the film version A Streetcar Named Desire for the first time and I was pretty much convinced that I had never actually seen a man before in my life. Affleck who?

Obviously, we nicknamed Streetcar-era Brando "Liquid Sex."

I think perhaps Brando may have been the shift because for a while I was like "Handsome and rugged, please!"

I refuse to reimburse you because you shorted out your laptop drooling over Ken Watanabe...mostly because I have to get mine replaced too.

Oh right! And then I couldn't get over accents, specifically Liam Neeson's.

The craggier he gets, the better he gets. Crows feet on men, amIright!?

I think then I had a moment of drooling over celebrities closer to my age, like sweet sweet Mos Def.

Hot AND funny AND musically inclined? Yes please.

Oh god, and then Kal Penn. I adore Kal Penn. ADORE.

Hot AND funny AND has met the President. Neat!

In the end, you can fall in and out of love a million times, but there's always the one with whom you'd like to grow old.

Mine happens to have a tattoo that says "Wino Forever." Not only hilarious, but practical and maybe true.

That wasn't too embarrassing! Luckily I didn't trace through my rock and roll crushes. Because I mean, when you start here:

...and move on to various members of the Monkees.... yeah, there's no recovering from that.


  1. I am also super hot for Johnny Depp, then and now. Though I sometimes worry that he might actually be insufferable in person. He's a little too artfully disheveled all the time, y'know?

  2. Add Alan Rickman in there and you've got my list. Seriously, Kal Penn has been on my list for YEARS.

  3. Oh honey, mine are sooooo much more embarrassing. I can't do it in chronological order like yours, but here's a list of my girlhood crushes: Phil Collins (yes, the singer), all of the Monkees - except Peter - he seemed too dumb, Alan Alda as Hawkeye in M*A*S*H, Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard, and Tom Hanks (ever since I saw Splash in the movie theatre).

    My more-adult, less embarrassing list: Antonio Banderas (who is not aging well), Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Mike Rowe, Patrick Stewart (still), Tom Hanks (still), Collin Firth, Ralph Finnes. I could go on and on.

    More interesting would be our same-sex crushes. I've got a list for that too.

  4. OMG Ken Watanabe YES!!! And every other one too. But to contextualize my earliest stage of non-threatening feminine men, take a lookie-loo at George Hamilton in "Love at First Bite.". I was 8 or so, and I cut out the picture of him that ran in the tv guide and slept with it under my pillow. The only other celeb who got that place of distinction was Simon LeBon. Ah, Wild Boys.

  5. OMG, I was in love with Jonathan Brandis growing up (feminine much?! he even played a girl in Ladybugs! lol). And def. Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm still in love with those two. Taye Diggs, yum yum. I also loved/love Daniel Day Lewis (he's in the "what old man would you F&%*" category- just sayin') and let's all thank Jennifer Aniston for bringing Justin Theroux back in to the limelight. I love guys who love hats and still look good when they (and/or their clothes) take it off....

  6. Meg, I ADORE Gilbert Blythe. I saw "The drowsy chaperone" in Boston a few years ago, and he was the lead! I almost died. I went back the next night to drool over him again. Lame? No.