Evolution of men and its representation in James Bond movies


If you didn’t notice, things have changed quite a lot in the past 50 years. The perception of the world changed and so did the people. One species that went through extremely significant metamorphosis is the human male. Once strong, rough and commanding, now cute, femininine and emotional. A term used more and more often for urban men is metrosexual, representing someone that looks a bit gay even though he is heterosexual, taking care of his looks and appearance.

The mass media and pop culture have been giving people representations of stereotypes since the dawn of television. People have been giving it back. It doesn’t matter who was more influential, the fact is that this evolution of society has been documented and can now be studied. In our case we will focus on a figure of a man. To make things easier, pop culture brought up a perfect case study, represented in a series of films about one perfect alpha male, detective James Bond.

Since Dr. No was filmed in 1962, the mentioned 50 years passed. In more than 20 films, James Bond was portrayed by different actors representing different ages. If you compare all the different looks and different behaviors of actors representing the same character, you can perhaps get a clearer picture on how the society of each time was perceiving a perfect male. Amongst other things, James Bond definitely got less hairy and more buff. You could say he’s not that handsome anymore, now he’s a bit beautiful.

Comparing Sean Connery and Daniel Craig we can wonder in which novel James Bond actually thought about shaving his armpits and waxing his chest. We can also wonder in which novel he’ll start to pluck his eyebrows and wear a bit of mascara. Perhaps he and his Bond girl can then do it while they are getting their legs waxed. It may seem far fetched, but cultural changes between consecutive Bonds are massive, so don’t get surprised when something like that happens.

Another important thing occurred in this feminization process - James Bond became a bit less charming. The old school acts and seduction methods the original used have been replaced by modern ones, quite boring and lame. A simple task of ordering a drink could once be made legendary, but now such things are loosing it’s appeal and look weird. Today it’s more important which telephone someone has and which brands he wears, because wits are not that appreciated anymore. All in accordance with the figure of a modern male, looking good with not much smart to say.

The way the future man will look is probably up to the women and their expectation of men. This will probably manifest in the form of which pop star they will idolize the most. Seeing the hysteria over that vampire guy, it looks like it’s futile to resist. The ultimate question, is James Bond imitating a stereotypical cool guy or is a stereotypical cool guy imitating James Bond was probably answered with that thought, so I might as well go put on some hair conditioner.

A few more things you might find interesting:

written 21.12.2009 20:11 CET on chronolog
5387 views   •   2 likes   •   2 comments  •   Like   •