Recently, Kit Harington has spoken out how he feels about being considered a “heartthrob.” The “Game of Thrones” star has said in an interview with Page Six, “To always be put on a pedestal as a hunk is slightly demeaning.” He goes onto say “It really is and it’s in the same way as it is for women. When an actor is seen only for her physical beauty, it can be quite offensive.” He has a point. It really wouldn’t feel good if you do your job well and the only thing people seem to talk about is how attractive you are.
The irony of it all is that Harington’s character, Jon Snow, isn’t a sexual character. He plays a man who needs to do the right thing. Granted, he had that beautiful affair with Ygritte, wildling on the other side of the wall, but that was the only sexual encounter the character had. Harington points out how ridiculous it is that he gets sexualized: “It’s not just men that can be inappropriate sexually; women can as well. I’m in a successful TV show in a leading man kind of way, and it can sometimes feel like your art is being put to one side for your sex appeal.”
Normally, the attention is on how women get objectified in the media. However, this makes it easy for people to forget that it can happen to men as well. In the past, Marlon Brando and Paul Newman have fought against being considered sex symbols of their time. The both wanted to be treated as serious actors. Even now, more people talk about Newman’s eyes rather than his acting. Other actors today like Channing Tatum are asked about being wanted by a lot of women. It isn’t nice to feel like you only got the job because you’re attractive.
This objectifying takes away all the merit of what they have done. Going back to Harington, he works on a pretty serious drama. It has some comedic moments, mainly brought by Tyrion, but overall it is a drama with wonderful storytelling, amazing character arches, and great acting. However, people want to ask Harington what it’s like to be hot? Questions like these can make an actor feel like his acting was all for nothing.
Objectification, regardless of gender, is still wrong, whether you’re trying to ask a woman solely about her dress on a red carpet, or you’re asking a leading man how it feels to be a heartthrob. It makes the person feel like that’s all they are, a piece of meat. So, instead of focusing on their bodies or their level of attractiveness how about focusing on the work they have done? If they are in a new movie, or in this case if a new season of their show is coming out, talk about that. Ask about their character, or what changes their character might be going through in the new season. Try and get some spoilers playfully and the two of can share a laugh.
Photo via Flickr/ Suzi Pratt
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