In recent years, we’ve witnessed the public and fangirls everywhere swap their infatuation with rustic Adonis-like celebrities such as Chris Hemsworth and Bradley Cooper for a far more nerdy clique. Cumberbitches and Hiddlestoners are amongst a new generation of fans that find themselves in adoration of the quirkier celebrity. The question is: why? If celebrities symbolise an impossible ideal for us to quietly fawn over, why do we now seemingly degrade our fantasies to that of ‘lower’ men? The answer is clear. Because these men are men of substance, character and charm and our generation recognises this. Your crush on Tom Hiddleston, my friends, is perfectly justified.
With a blockbuster history that arose from one of Hollywood’s superhero juggernauts as the villainous Loki in Marvel’s Thor and Avengers, and an impressive repertoire throughout the theatre industry in productions such as Coriolanus, it’s no surprise that Hiddleston has become such a public phenomenon. Now with Hollywood shining a spotlight on the Cambridge-educated Englishman, this time in Guillermo del Toro’s gothic romance-horror Crimson Peak and Ben Wheatley’s film adaptation of High-Rise, we can be reunited with our idol. Or as Graham Norton coined, preparing the ‘Hiddlestoners for Hiddleboners’.
One reason that Hiddleston has risen in the public eye (and has gained an internet fanbase) is simply down to how polite and charming he is. These characteristics are rare traits in modern celebrities. Whilst nowadays many ‘modern celebrities’ are firmly – albeit hot-headedly – diving into fiery debates without much tact, Hiddleston remains firm in his silence. This is not to say he is not opinionated or doesn’t care about modern issues, but demonstrates his wisdom in knowing when to involve himself and being considerate about what to say. In essence, he is a gentleman. And as this gentleman said in a recent interview with Guardian reporter Henry Barnes:
“The way I was taught was it’s just untenable to have an opinion you can’t back. I think it’s very easy to adhere quite loosely to generalised opinions these days. I would never be so bold as to make a big public statement without making sure I fully believed in it.”
With a plethora of celebrity twitter feuds headlining the news, lest we forget ‘Minaj-à-Swift’ or Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson’s infamous jibe battle – Hiddleston’s polite demeanour is refreshing and most welcome. His wisdom is inspiring and encourages thoughtfulness before rash actions like throwing one’s self into another public demonstration only to be victim of more front lining media storms. A man that has severe respect for reflection and deliberation before action? It’s every woman’s fantasy right now in a world wrought with a lack of chivalry and manners – bring on the gentlemen. And who seems to fit that role better than Mr. Hiddleston with his mature consideration, served with a smile.
This is not to say that Hiddleston is against fighting for rights: he has actively stated: ‘I am a feminist’ as well as actively campaigning for charities. The fact that we see Hiddleston energetically involving himself in publicity, sketches and media launches with endless charities like UNICEF, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Save the Arctic, ‘#HeForShe’, ‘Living Below the Line’ and many more, is a refreshing light in the sea of media turmoil. Like Jennifer Lawrence with her ‘Equal Pay for Women’ speech, Hiddleston is taking action for those concerns he truly believes are worth something, not merely donating a large sum to say he ‘did something for charity’. Tom Hiddleston is doing something. Not simply to boost his own personal profile and career but to improve the lives of those he believes are suffering. Hiddleston is doing this because he is kind. What’s sexier than kindness?
You may not be familiar with Tom Hiddleston, or you may even be a firm Hiddlestoner like myself, but one thing is for sure: the affection and respect that is being gained from the quirkier modern celebrity is not without cause. This generation is leaving behind fantasies of rough manly-men that could pick you up with their hairy pinky. There’s a new sexy in town, and it’s chivalric, charming and kind.
Edited by Sarah Holmes