Angelina Jolie can get away with murder, or solving crimes, or just about anything as long as she looks sexy in her butt-kicking heels. So it’s only okay for a woman to be aggressive if she’s beautiful? Yes, but here’s the shocking part, it’s other women that prefer the heroine to be a hottie, according to a recent study. The researchers found that women surveyed thought pretty, aggressive women were good role models for today’s youth, but unattractive aggressive women — not so much.
The study compared the work of Angelina Jolie and Kathy Bates. (For the record, if Kathy Bates happens to read this, we think you are beautiful, too). The researchers coded Jolie as the attractive heroine and Bates as the unattractive heroine. More than 100 volunteers filled out questionnaires about their status as role models after viewing scenes of the two actresses in aggressive and non-aggressive roles.
Jolie was seen as a good role model when she was both looking feminine and aggressive, which is considered more of a male trait. When Bates displayed aggressive behavior in movies, however, she was not seen as a good role model. And the passive heroine, whether she was attractive or not, did not garner a lot of support as a role model. So it seems a good female role model can act like a man, as long as she’s stereotypically pretty.
Of course past studies have shown that being attractive is helpful, be it in getting a job or landing a well-off partner. Now, it could be argued that we also like our leading men to be buff hotties with incredible jaw structures while they’re saving the world from Armageddon.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then why are we all holding onto the same generic image of Superman and Superwoman?