CNN (US), April 1995
Hollywood Hunks-Just a bunch of Himbos?
by Sherry Sylvester
Women have been treated this way for years....
The pin-up poses, the tight outfits, the sexist wording in reviews of their work...Hunk, stud, babe, beefcake and more recently, as Keanu Reeves said, "There's a great word. What is it? A himbo? Yeah, himbo. I love that word. I read that and laughed my head off."
Himbo is a companion word to bimbo. But most of the men are not complaining about this sexploitation. After all sex sells and it can jump-start a career.
Tom Selleck said, "I was always flattered to be called a sex symbol. People still do it and so I'm flattered, but at the same time, it's not ever been something I've been conscious of playing."
There is one beef though, that brawny means brainless. Sylvester Stallone has fought that stereotype for years. He said, "They expect me to be very much like the characters that they see on film and come in with a knife in one hand and a bandalero on my shoulders saying 'What da ya want?' and speaking in growls."
When it comes to casting, sex appeal helps some and hurts others. Reeves explained, "When I met Bernardo Bertolucci for 'Little Buddha,' he didn't say, 'Pleasure to meet you, Ted. Yeah himbo. Ya know that he felt that afterward. But it's never really affected my personal life."
Director Peter Bogdanovich said, "I just did a show with Grant Show, who's a big star on Melrose Place and he's a superb actor and nobody even thinks that. All that people say is, 'Well, he's just a hunk.'"
And this from Grant Show, "Well, good looking people get by using their looks more than their minds so their minds don't develop."
Over at Baywatch where one's physique usually gets more notice than one's technique, this star talked.
David Charvet said, "You find yourself doing a show for three years where you are sticking your chest out and your shoulders are back and you're holding in your stomach and you realize that that's so boring after awhile."
But Selleck says that you have to draw the line. Selleck said, "If they say we want you to wear a rubber-electric suit in this and you say 'Why? I'm playing a judge,' you realize they might be wanting to exploit something you don't want to exploit."
Well, it's a living.