Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Hollywood Actors

  • E. L. BorkowskiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1698-1



Individuals who are perceived as the most attractive individuals in society who work in film and television.


Hollywood actors have the ability to transform their stage into another dimension for their audience. With this ability, many people covet these Hollywood actors and their lifestyle that comes with the territory. However, being a successful Hollywood actor depends largely on the physical attractiveness of their appearance to the population. Each gender of Hollywood actors conforms to the common perception of what makes an individual attractive. By being able to abide by these perceptions of attractiveness, many Hollywood actors manage to find roles that remain within their levels of attractiveness and portray a character that their audience will find appealing. With the pressure of abiding by the common belief that Hollywood actors must remain attractive in order to stay successful, some Hollywood actors can be seen as being more prone to anger. Although Hollywood actors have the stress with remaining physically attractive to their audience to earn more work in their trade, some would argue that the stress is not what makes them more prone to anger. Rather, Hollywood actors, because they are attractive, are more prone to anger because of their appearance not because of their trade.

Attractiveness and Hollywood Actors

The common belief that in order to be a successful actor in Hollywood comes from the perception of attractiveness of the individual. Thus, each gender of Hollywood actors must adhere to the common perception of what makes each gender attractive to others. For example, females are perceived as attractive when they have lower body weight, whereas males are perceived as attractive when they have a higher body weight (McCreary and Sadava 2001). Female Hollywood actors follow the common belief that having a smaller body structure will make them more appealing to their audience. As a result, females are more likely to diet and are more likely to use unsafe weight-loss strategies to remain physically attractive (Connor-Greene 1988). In addition to a lightweight body structure, females are perceived as more attractive when they maintain an element of youth to their physical appearance. Females are considered more attractive, and thus a more successful Hollywood actress, when they reduce the effect of aging in film roles (Lincoln and Allen 2004). Age changes the facial structure of females that make them dissatisfied with their physical appearance. When females age, their lips, eyes, and cheeks are making structural changes to their facial structure that distance themselves further from cultural beauty standards set by Hollywood (Franzoi and Koehler 1998). So with both youth and a lightweight body structure, these females have a higher perception of attractiveness in Hollywood. As a result, those females who are considered attractive are portrayed more favorably in film and television than characters who are considered unattractive (Smith et al. 1999). Females use both age and body structure to influence their perception of attractiveness, and Hollywood actresses that can abide by the cultural standards of beauty are considered more successful in their trade.

Like females, males also adhere to cultural standards of beauty to obtain success in Hollywood as an actor. Unlike females, males’ body structure is to have a higher weight because it perceives the males as having muscle and strength. With having a higher body weight, males can distort the perception of their body to have others perceive them as attractive. For instance, body structure can perceive certain facial characteristics, specifically a prominent jaw line, to associate these facial characteristics with masculinity and strength (Windhager et al. 2011). Males who are considered muscular have more success in Hollywood as an action star and remain within that field of acting for several roles. Males view these Hollywood actors as successful because it remains their ideal body structure that cultural standards have promoted (Leit et al. 2002). In addition, younger men who perceive a larger body with more muscle mass and less body fat is what both males and females would find attractive (Lynch and Zellner 1999). Therefore, similar to females, emphasis on body structure influences the perceptions of what males consider to be attractive.

Attractiveness and Anger

Anger is an emotion that every individual expresses in their lifetime and has been examined to determine who are more likely to be anger-prone. Hollywood actors and actresses consistently argue that anger is a response to the stress and pressure of their career. However, research shows that the pressure and stress of working in Hollywood may not be the reason why some Hollywood actors are anger-prone. Children who have been reported as some of the most aggressive students toward teachers have also been perceived as being some of the most physically attractive children (Hawley et al. 2007). Thus, the argument that the stressful work environment creates the response of anger does not sufficiently address that more physically attractive individuals tend to have more aggression and anger in their lives. Females’ perception of attractiveness is related to their emotion of anger, and males are more prone to anger when they view themselves as physically attractive (Sell et al. 2009). Accordingly, being perceived as more physically attractive makes an individual more prone to anger regardless of their career choice. Therefore, Hollywood actors and actresses, because they are perceived as some of the most physically attractive individuals within the population, will be more prone to anger than others.

Research has shown that individuals who are physically attractive are more prone to anger. In addition, individuals who are considered some of the most successful actors and actresses in Hollywood have been considered some of the most physically attractive individuals. As a result, media consistently reports on incidences of anger, aggression, and violence of Hollywood actors and actresses. In 2014, a Hollywood actress physically fought with her brother-in-law in a hotel elevator. In another incident in 1992, a different successful Hollywood actress was arrested for battery after being involved with an altercation with another female. However, Hollywood actors also have a lower threshold for anger and aggression to handle disputes. Over the years, several Hollywood actors have been involved with physical disputes with paparazzi in the public streets. In one incident in 2013, a successful Hollywood actor was engaged in a shoving match with a member of the paparazzi. Hollywood does have several different pressures placed on actors and actresses, but research helps understand that its more of the belief that attractive individuals have a lower threshold to anger and aggression in handling disputes.


Hollywood actors and actresses are considered as the most attractive individuals in society. By adhering to the cultural beauty standards, certain individuals are able to obtain a successful career in Hollywood, while others are considered not as successful. Females are perceived as attractive, and therefore more successful, when they maintain a lower body weight and youth. Aging is believed to make Hollywood actresses less employable and less appealing in Hollywood making them less popular in media. However, males are perceived as attractive in Hollywood when they have a higher body weight compared to females because it perceives them as muscular and having strength. While Hollywood actors and actresses are some of the most attractive individuals in the population, individuals who are perceived as more attractive are more prone to anger and aggression. Several incidences that have been seen in the media involving Hollywood actors show how attractiveness leads to a higher likelihood of anger.



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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida State UniversityTallahasseUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kevin Beaver
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA