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Relationships_heartthrobs_intro-card_heartthrob_v011 of 15for heartthrobs
Paul Newman2 of 15
By Natasha Burton
THE BABY BOOMERS: "Strong and protective" were essential traits of Boomers' heartthrobs, says trend forecaster Irma Zandl of The Zandl Group. This draw to a "real man," like total dreamboat Paul Newman, may be a product of the gender-specific roles of the times.
Clint Eastwood3 of 15
These heartthrobs were adventuresome with a whole lot of swagger, according to Zandl and her team. Clint Eastwood is a perfect example of the rugged masculinity that made women of this generation wish for their own showdowns with Dirty Harry.
Jimi Hendrix4 of 15
THE LOVE GENERATION: It was about "bad boys" for these women, according to Zandl. That meant against-the-grain heartthrobs who rocked out on guitars, grew out their hair and personified the carefree movement. Jimi Hendrix set the tone by putting his female fans in a "Purple Haze."
Jim Morrison5 of 15
A desire for bad boys "tends to kick in when girls are 15, 16, 17 and they all tend to like different ones," says Zandl. Good thing there were plenty of options for this generation, like The Doors’ Jim Morrison. (He could so light our fire.)
John Lennon6 of 15
Of course the big question for these women was: Do you crush on free-spirited, imaginative John Lennon and remain loyal to The Beatles, or ...
Mick Jagger7 of 15
... do you prefer The Rolling Stones’ gravelly-voiced, affected rocker Mick Jagger? We’ll take both, please!
Tom Cruise8 of 15
GENERATION X: In the '80s, the "pretty boy" reigned. These clean-cut crushes arguably had more mass appeal than their counter-culture predecessors. Ladies, gaze upon Tom Cruise in his Risky Business days.
Johnny Depp9 of 15
While Zandl notes that The Love Generation’s edgy guys weren’t so marketable, Gen X had a little taste for danger, too. 21 Jump Street made Johnny Depp a teen idol, but he apparently rebelled in his off-hours.
Ethan Hawke10 of 15
Gen X also swooned over "the pretty boy gone grunge," Zandl says. Which wasn’t all that hard when those ladies had Ethan Hawke’s slacker character in Reality Bites spouting lines like, “Honey, all you have to be by the time you're 23 is yourself.” Sigh.
Leonardo DiCaprio11 of 15
GENERATION Y: These women took to crushing on the "metrosexual," an amped version of Gen X’s well-kept lads. "Groomed and styled" mark the metros' traits, Zandl says, and they don’t get much better than on tux-donning Leonardo DiCaprio circa 1998. A very good year, indeed.
Justin Timberlake12 of 15
Zandl says Gen Y ladies gravitated toward well-dressed dudes like JT, and we guess it’s because their generation was raised to believe that men and women are equals in all areas — meaning fashion and beauty, too. (We can’t help but wonder what Clint Eastwood and company would think about male waxing and the like.)
Justin Bieber13 of 15
THE MODERN TWEENS: Today, girls go ga-ga over “really pretty boys [who], ironically, look a little like girls ... They're cute, sweet and clean, but you don’t think about [having] sex with them,” says Zandl. Exhibit A: Baby-faced sensation Justin Bieber.
Taylor Lautner14 of 15
Somewhat reminiscent of the Beatles/Stones showdown, today's tweens are faced with a heartthrob challenge of their own: Team Jacob or Team Edward? Taylor Lautner, of the former, is the more muscular choice for Twilight aficionados.
Rob Pattinson15 of 15
Team Edward pines for the edgier, undead-boyfriend-playing Rob Pattinson. While he gives off that emo vibe, Zandl says he doesn’t "seem dangerous in any way, and that’s a really big part [of the appeal]." His troubled-in-a-good-way persona on- and off-screen sucks those tweens right in.