I may be too young to start a sentence with “when I was growing up.” Be that as it may, when I was a child, boys used to challenge each other to engage in risky behavior by saying, “It’ll put hair on your chest.” Implied in such a challenge was the idea that hair on your chest was a desirable attribute. Indeed, as a boy, why shouldn’t it be? Body hair is a sign of physical maturity, and what boy doesn’t take pride in becoming a man?
As late as the mid-1980’s, most of our examples of masculinity in Hollywood boasted several attributes of male maturity which distinguished them from both young boys and women. Many of these attributes were physical. Just as many were components of attitude, body language, and their roles within the fiction they portrayed.
Let’s take a look at seven such celebrities, men whose stars have risen in decades past but who have either passed on or faded over time. Some of them are still working, even successfully. However, their modern work is arguably enabled by their past achievements, which would have been more difficult in our current wussy metrosexual culture.