In Hollywood, baby-faced stars were replaced by more traditional masculine looking men ten years ago. 

Experts claim that today’s younger audiences are attracted to more delicate, feminine actors, with shorter statures and more symmetrical faces.

Gen Z audiences are drawn to celebrities like Tom Holland, Timothée Chalamet and Harry Styles who embody a ‘brand of enlightened non-toxic masculinity’, according to beauty expert Laura Kay. 

They are more attractive because of their symmetrical and heart-shaped faces, making them more appealing on Instagram. This has been a major part of the Hollywood marketing machine. 

These non-traditional leading men also benefit because younger generations are more tolerant of things which would have seen as ‘abnormal’ in the past, such as height differences or attitudes to gender, says dating and relationship expert Alex Mellor-Brook.  

Tom Holland (25), who is now dating Zendaya (25), is 5ft 8in shorter than what one would expect from a Hollywood star. Harry Styles (27) proudly sports feminine clothing and has launched a line of nail varnishes.  

Experts have revealed why men who have a leaner physique and facial symmetry as so popular. Pictured: Actor Timothée Chalamet, 25, at the 24th Annual Critics' Choice Award in Santa Monica in 2019

Cole Sprouse, 29, played Jughead in the teenage hit Riverdale. Pictured at the Christian Louboutin and InStyle dinner at San Vicente Bungalows on November 14, 2021 in West Hollywood

Gen Z audiences are drawn to celebrities like Tom Holland, Timothée Chalamet and Harry Styles who embody a ‘brand of enlightened non-toxic masculinity’, according to beauty expert Laura Kay. Pictured, Timothée Chalamet (left) and Cole Sprouse, who possess these qualities

Highly Instagramable  

Laura said: ‘The likes of Timothée Chalamet and Tom Holland have a perfect facial symmetry, it is almost heart shaped, which makes them naturally very photogenic. According to studies, the most beautiful facial shape is the heart-shaped one. 

They aren’t macho or sculpted differently. They have an attractive, brooding and smouldering appearance that appeals to both males and females.  

‘It is the perfect balance and, in my opinion, they look “ageless” which further adds to their wider appeal. It is difficult to determine their age if you are not a trained eye.

Also, celebs who have these characteristics are more trustworthy and relatable than those with more masculine features.  

Laura said that the charismatic energy of their faces is matched by a smiley, cheeky, and sparkling eyes. 

“It’s refreshing to see them embrace their individuality through fashion, style and art.

Women are not looking for the same thing as men. 

Alex Mellor-Brook of Select Services, a relationship and dating expert, stated that although people find slender faces attractive, it is not a new phenomenon. However, the pandemic has changed how women see themselves as partners. 

Tom Holland, 25, who is dating his co-star Zendaya, pictured, for example, is 5ft 8in, shorter than one might expect for a Hollywood A-lister. But he is a heartthrob in the eyes of Gen Z fans

Tom Holland (25), is now dating Zendaya. His height is 5ft 8in. This is considerably shorter than what one would expect from a Hollywood A-lister. He is still a star in Gen Z’s eyes.

‘Another factor is down to the younger generation being a lot more tolerant to what has been seen as ‘out of the norm’ by other generations,’ Alex said. 

“So, the question of height differences between a couple won’t be questioned as heavily, similar to an European approach. But, this is still the preferred choice of many women for choosing a partner.

Recent attention has been drawn to the issue of height differences between the Spider-Man partners Zendaya and Tom Holland, who are co-stars in Spider-Man.     

Alex explained that muscular men have a natural attraction because they are healthy, and more likely to bear good children. Alex believes that in modern times, women are more attracted to strong men for their relationships than they are for marriage.  

He said, “If a woman is attracted to men as well as women, this can also impact the options.” 

He said, “The slimmer appearance will give a less “macho-tough guy, non-committal” impression, and more caring, dedicated, sensitive side, which is currently a trend among women looking for a long-term partner, after they have had enough.

 Dr Ross, Perry, Medical Director of Cosmedics skin clinics said that trends on what is attractive in men keep changing. 

‘Over the decades this has constantly changed from pumped up bodybuilders in the 90’s such as the Gladiators or the Chippendales through to the days of heroin chic of Kurt Cobain- think ultra slim, small muscle mass and rugged yet attractive features,’ he said. 

Former One Direction Star Harry Styles, 27, has been playing with gender constructs and appeals to Gen Z fans because of his 'enlightened' views. Above, at the Met Gala in 2019

Harry Styles (former One Direction star) has played with gender constructions since he was 27, and Gen Z fans love his “enlightened” views. Above, the Met Gala 2019, 2019.

‘Culturally today we’re more open in what is seen as attractive, the rise of the drag queen is a perfect example, we’re seeing beauty and attractiveness in a completely different light.’


According to Dr Ross, people now want to find a partner who is lean and strong than someone muscular.  

He explained that a lean person is someone who goes to yoga and expresses themselves in unconventional ways. 

‘We don’t necessarily need someone to be over 6ft to appreciate their attractiveness, small and slender is what’s “trendy” on social media, it’s attractive, edgy, cool and sexy as is someone who doesn’t conform to what to masculinity traditionally looks like.’

Men are now more forthcoming about their mental health, and they show more vulnerability to their potential mates. 

The Korean pop band BTS, pictured with James Corden on his Late Late Show on December 8, have such dedicated fans they call themselves 'BTS Army'. They are a perfect example of the more androgynous look coveted by today's younger fans

BTS is a Korean pop group. They were pictured on James Corden’s Late Late Show December 8. These guys are an excellent example of today’s more androgynous style that is adored by younger fans.

‘Today men openly talking about mental health, aren’t afraid to wear make-up, play around with fashion and this shows confidence and makes them appear more personable and in turn makes them seen as more attractive not just to the younger generation but also the older generation too,’ Dr Ross said. 


These celebrities are often able to appeal to a more “woke” audience because beauty is now more fluid and open-ended. 

‘There’s a huge proportion of male “celebrity” who fit into a category of being “woke” in their outlook and thought process not feeling they have to conform to what society deems as classically handsome,’ Dr Ross said. 

Chris Hemsworth trim physique as the god of thunder in Thor: Ragnarok was still a hit with fans

Chris Hemsworth’s toned physique in Thor: Ragnarok still was a big hit with fans 

Hyper masculine-looking men like Dwayne Johnson, pictured in Santa Monica in December, are deemed attractive because on a primal level, they look healthy and likely to produce good offspring, an expert said

Dwayne, who is hyper-masculine looking, was pictured in Santa Monica in Dec.

‘But they are having more fun with their appearance, sexuality and we’re finding this hugely attractive. 

‘Someone who isn’t afraid to express themselves with make-up, highlighting a strong cheek bone, waring eye make-up to accentuate the eye shape, not being afraid to show off flawless looking skin or sport full lips or washboard stomach is creating a much more attractive male.’

This is also evident in men turning to cosmetic surgery as a way of achieving ‘tweakments’.   

He said that men now want to be as beautiful as their female counterparts and to take good care of themselves, including their body.