Since its last magazine cover, the internet has been buzzing about Robert Irwin’s good looks, but it also reveals a lot about what’s considered “hot” in 2022.
Robert ‘Bob’ Irwin is now a heart beater. His Stellar cover has gone viral pretty much all over the internet, and everyone is raving about how handsome he is. Physically it is easy to understand why. I mean, he looks like Hemsworth’s youngest brother, but the hysteria surrounding Irwin also reveals a lot about what’s considered “hot” in 2022.
You see, in the early 2000s we asked very little of our palpitations; Zac Efron literally had to stand there and look pretty for everyone to lose their collective minds. Did I know about his politics? Absolutely not. Did I care? No. Likewise, The Jonas Brothers didn’t reveal anything about their opinion, nor did Justin Bieber and even our own Hemsworths; yes, all three remained apolitical. Did I Know Chris Hemsworth’s Mind About Scott Morrison? No.
In fairness to these very attractive men, no one asked them those questions. The general temperature was that they didn’t have to be political, a change maker, or progressive. Those weren’t the ingredients a famous man needed to become a sex symbol or teen idol. If something ambiguous was better, it meant we could all project our own fantasies onto it. But there has been a very interesting shift. Now the men worthy of giving thirsty TikToks are not just handsome; they have content.
Harry Styles is not only known for being gorgeous. He is known for being friendly, politically progressive and an advocate for the LGBTQI+ community. It’s not enough just to be beautiful; you must live beautifully. The men who become the “moment” are willing to share their beliefs and opinions.
Being a golden boy has become much more than just looks. Hence the fanfare around the youngest Irwin. He is an animal activist and conservationist who believes in creating a better world and actually helps create. He’s got the credentials to back up his good looks, which is why he’s now so widely celebrated and, let’s face it, coveted.
Women aren’t just looking for a good view; they are looking for men who share their opinion. Perhaps this obsession just says so much about our time. Women’s rights are being taken away. We want the men we fantasize about to be on our side too.
Of course, this change in what makes men hot has also kept men from becoming the next big thing. Nick Kyrgios is handsome, but hasn’t achieved pin-up boy status due to his many on-court tantrums. You see? Women today simply expect more from men. Good cheekbones don’t just put you in sex symbol status. Hence Chris Pratt lost his “sexy” status after problematic views became common knowledge. (He’s a member of a church notorious for discriminating against LGBTQI+ people.) Meanwhile, Irwin hasn’t even had to take off his shirt to win over virtually all Australian women. He helps animals. Who can resist?
Teenage girls don’t just want men to look beautiful now; they want men to stand for something. Gone are the days when men achieved sex symbol status without the substance to back it up. If you want the kind of unwavering support that Bob Irwin gets, you have to not only look good, but also do something good. Fangirls of famous men expect these men to be exemplary in their looks and beliefs.
I find this shift utterly heartwarming. Women demand and expect more from men these days, even their pin-up boys need to have substance, and that’s what I’m here for. It means the right kind of men get the platform they deserve, and we can salivate over them with clear consciousness.