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Hollywood Beauty Standards

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All right, so your new film is about a cowgirl, a reporter, a nurse and a teacher. They all have different personalities, different views on life, and different socioeconomic backgrounds. In fact, they have almost nothing in common. Almost. The one thing they do have in common is that the Casting Director (or the artist in drawn works) made sure that they were all hot.

Hollywood Beauty Standards are a trope in aggregate. While there are occasionally "ugly" people cast, the vast majority of people in mainstream media are thin, toned, and perfectly groomed. An unfortunate side effect of this trope is that when everyone in the cast is hot, it's really hard to tell who is supposed to be hot In-Universe. The standards for appearance are so high that they can cause actresses of a healthy weight to be cast as fat.

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This can become particularly noticeable when characters living below the poverty line sport five-hundred dollar haircuts, or when the nomad who has been living out in the wilderness for years has perfect skin and teeth.

The In-Universe justifications for this trope tend to be either the Sex Sells or the Hired for Their Looks varieties. Generic Cuteness could, but not necessarily, be used for the same reasons in animated works.

Hollywood Beauty Standards often leak out into Real Life, so people feel terrible that they are not buff and muscular or thin and pretty (as applicable) since everything that comes out of Hollywood tells viewers they're only valuable if they're attractive/beautiful.

Subtropes:

Compare Gonk which is exaggerated ugliness, typically to make the character unlikable.

Examples should be limited to invocations, lampshade hangings, discussed or conversed entries

Film

  • The Changing Face of Beauty is a documentary about the media's obsession with youth and its effect on women. It was produced by Sela Ward, who during casting for the James Bond movie GoldenEye was passed over for the Bond Girl role because she was "too old," which in this case meant "only three years younger than Pierce Brosnan."
  • Last Action Hero has a kid named Danny transport into the action movie world of Jack Slater, who is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and spends much of the time trying to convince him that they are really in a movie. One of the things he points out is that there are no unattractive women around, even the extras are tall, blonde bombshells. Slater, being a movie character himself, can't see the problem, brushing it off as "This is California."
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Live-Action TV

  • Regarding Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon mentions this trope in the DVD commentaries:
    Joss Whedon: Xander, I’ve always identified as the figure I most was like, because he did have that inability to talk to the girl and come through in the big moment. And he does make an idiot of himself a lot. Of course he’s a lot prettier and more muscular than anybody who acts like that should be, but this is television so get over it.
  • Hot in Cleveland: In-Universe - the entire premise of the show. The main women are seen this way in Los Angeles, but are pretty in Cleveland.
  • Not just the USA: the French version might be sitcom Les Filles d'à côté. According to an insidernote , the casting director's brief was to "really raise the bar on this one" with regard to good looking actors and actresses.

Video Games

  • Dandelion: Discussed.
    Jiwoo: If she was ugly, it would have ended after 5 minutes of being aired.
    Heejung: ...true. Usually the main female character isn't ugly. The film might describe the woman as being plain-looking, but they actually use a really pretty actress.

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