The TV Myth

In honor of the Emmys, which I am watching right now, I’d like to take a moment to talk about the magic and myth of TV and movies.

I love movies and TV, I mean LOVE, but all media is partially to blame for the warped perceptions of body image that our society has. I could go on and on and make this a very serious discussion, but I’d mostly like to point out how ridiculous it can be.

I mean what does it say about us that we readily accept that these men are teenagers with no friends?

No one looks like this in high school

I mean, come on! And this is just a tiny example of the dozens and dozens of devastatingly handsome 20 to 30 year olds playing socially awkward high school students. 

Of course the myth can work in a slightly different way too. Rather than convincing us that teenagers have perfect skin and well-developed muscles, the myth can take a good looking man and totally hide that. I mean, we all remember being Neville Longbottomed by this guy:

Neville Longbottomed

But the real reason I wanted to write this post and the reason why this post is even relevant here is this guy:

tv myth

This is Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Declan Gormley in Mission Impossible III. Declan is a young agent who likes to live on the edge and not get tied down. I totally believe Meyers as that.

What I don’t believe is the last picture on the right. You are trying to tell me that you put that man in weirdly patterned shirt and a camera strap and suddenly no one pays any attention to him. No. Come on. I’ve been a tourist, and no matter how big the crowd, or how weird the shirt, I would definitely pick that guy out of a crowd. Just saying.

(Also those shirts are kind of in style now)

Frankly, TV and movies can teach us a lot about the human spirit, or at least keep us entertained, but neither are going to tell us the truth when it comes to appearance.

Doubt me?

This is Jim Rash’s twitter handle and bio:

Jim Rash His handle is “RashisTVUgly” which he explained in an interview. He and writing partner Nat Faxton had written a show with the idea that they might play the main characters, but they ended up in casting reads watching other actors. At one point Rash told the casting director that the actor they were watching was too good looking to play the everyday man he’d written. The casting director’s response was that the actor was “TV Ugly.”

If that isn’t a confidence booster, I don’t know what is. *sarcasm*

So while TV is great for seeing some of the latest styles, it is far from a clear reflection of the real world. Keep that in mind, find out what works for you, and don’t worry if you don’t look like the people you see on TV.


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.