Since his last magazine cover, the internet has gushed about Robert Irwin’s good looks, but he also says a lot about what’s considered “hot” in 2022.
Robert ‘Bob’ Irwin is now a crush. Her Stellar cover has gone viral all over the internet, and everyone is raving about her beauty. Physically, it’s easy to see why. I mean, he looks like the younger Hemsworth sibling, but the hysteria surrounding Irwin also says a lot about what’s considered “hot” in 2022.
You see, in the early 2000s, we demanded very little from our crushes; Zac Efron literally had to stand there and look pretty for everyone to collectively lose their minds. Did I know about his policy? Absolutely not. Did I care? No. Similarly, the Jonas Brothers haven’t revealed their opinions, nor has Justin Bieber and even our own Hemsworths; yes, all three remained apolitical. Did I know Chris Hemsworth’s thoughts on Scott Morrison? No.
In fairness to these very attractive men, no one asked them these questions. The general temperature was that they didn’t need to be political, change-maker or progressive. These weren’t the necessary ingredients for a famous man to become a sex symbol or a teen idol. In fact, if something ambiguous was better, it meant we could all project our own fantasies onto it. But there was a very interesting change. Now, the men worth making thirsty TikToks aren’t just handsome; they have substance.
Harry Styles isn’t just known for being gorgeous. He is known to be kind, politically progressive and an advocate for the LGBTQI+ community. It’s not enough to be gorgeous; you must live beautifully. Men who become the “moment” are willing to share their beliefs and opinions.
Being a golden boy has become more than just an appearance. Hence the fanfare surrounding the younger Irwin. He is an animal activist and conservationist who believes in creating a better world and in fact helps to create it. It has the credentials to back up its beauty, and that’s why it’s now so widely celebrated and, let’s face it: coveted.
Women don’t just want good eyesight; they are looking for men who share their opinions. Perhaps this obsession says a lot about our times. Women’s rights are taken away. We want the men we fantasize about to be on our side too.
Of course, this shift in what makes men “sexy” has also kept men from becoming the next big thing. Nick Kyrgios is handsome but didn’t achieve pin-up status due to his many tantrums on the pitch. You see? Women simply expect more from men these days. Good cheekbones won’t just make you a sex symbol. Consequently, Chris Pratt lost his “sexy” status after problematic opinions became public. (He is a member of a church notoriously discriminating against LGBTQI+ people.) Meanwhile, Irwin hasn’t even had to take off his shirt to win over just about every woman in Australia. He helps animals. Who can resist?
Teenage girls no longer just want men to be handsome; 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 don’t just need to look good, you need to do something good. Fans of famous men expect these men to be exemplary in their looks and beliefs.
I find this change completely comforting. Women demand and expect more from men these days, even their pin-ups have to have substance, and I’m here for that. It means the right kind of men get the platform they deserve, and we can drool over it with a clear conscience.