Puberty: a PSA

We’ve been pretty busy lately, here at WAMSW, because of the impending school year, so here is a quick, lighthearted post to tide you over.

There has always been a lively discussion about child stars and how they grow up; some of these are so distinct that their names become inextricably tied to what they’ve done. But rather than all the negative examples that first come to mind, we here at WAMSW like to focus on the positive: Neville Longbottoming. Stephen Colbert puts it best:

Stephen Colbert and a Message of Hope

Matthew Lewis stared in all eight Harry Potter movies as the loveable, hopeless Neville Longbottom, but when I first saw pictures from the last premier I did not recognize him. I honestly had to look up which character he played. And believe me, I pride myself on knowing both actors and Harry Potter. Turns out I wasn’t alone in this confusion, J.K. herself was baffled by his transformation:

J.K. Rowling on Matthew LewisIt has been partially explained that, starting around the fourth movie, Lewis wore a fat suit, false teeth, too big shoes, and even devices to make his ears stick out. Also can we just say that his wool hat, leather jacket, stubble combo sounds wonderful. In general, all of the post-Potter photos of Lewis, show him dressed well in cardigans and henleys that make him look like a cool, grown man. That, my friends, is how you shed the image of a dorky child star.

His change has had such a huge effect that the internet has turned his character name into a verb, often applied to this photo of Hiccup from the cartoon How to Train Your Dragon and the upcoming sequel. “We’ve been Neville Longbottomed by a cartoon!”

Hiccup from How to Train Your DragonIt’s amazing what a little messier hair and switching from fur vests to leather armor can do for a man.

Now I’m sure many of you are thinking that that is all well and great, but you’re past puberty and maybe didn’t have such a revolutionary transformation. To you I say: all hope is not lost. I have one more story:

This is Daniel Sharman

17 year old DanielThis picture from the show “Judge John Deed”, shows Daniel at 17. Yes, that’s right 17, an age when most boys are nearing the end of puberty. He looks about 12 (aided in part by the fact that his suit is about three sizes too big).

Here’s Daniel again, this time at 27:

27 year old DanielA noticeable difference if I do say so myself.

Ironically, he now plays a 17 year old on Teen Wolf.

Besides growing into his tall frame and extremely angular face, he has also figured out how to style himself. By growing his hair a little longer, so that the curl is evident without overwhelming him, he balances his strong face and achieves an effortless dishevelment. He is also more age appropriately dressed in fitted shirts, slim trousers, and classic accessories (like that leather watch).

Simply put, there is always hope. Not all of us will be blessed with a Neville-like transformation, but you can help yourself by figuring out what styles of clothes and hair suit you best.


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