All Roads Lead to Ian Somerhalder


I started three different articles today but they all led to Ian Somerhalder so in the end I gave in….

I have worked with media in some form for my entire career. And trust me, gorgeous people often don’t translate across various mediums. Sportsmen (particularly muscly ones) usually look like poetry in motion when doing their sport but often look awkward and uncomfortable in magazine spreads or television interviews. Even lithe footballers like Steven Gerrard and Christiano Ronaldo look less than perfection off the pitch – they look stiff and awkward no matter how expensive the clothing they wear. David Beckham is good in most mediums except radio. Models usually look plastic in live interviews whereas character actors’ mobile facial expressions can make them look lopsided in still photographs. Child actors and models usually can’t make the crossover into adult work (Macauley Culkin is an example of this). People who are famous for being beautiful tend to tack like yachts when filmed live in order to be filmed from their best side. Julio Iglesias is an extreme example of someone photographed from one side and one side only but most celebs have a good side and stick to it.

Then you have the fact that dyed hair, different facial complexions, make up and colours of outfits can look grotesque against a standard red carpet backdrop. The short, the chubby, the bald don’t come off well in the multi-media environment they are exposed to. Candid fan shots are often less than flattering. So now more and more people in the public eye are resorting to fake tan, fake nails, fake boobs, fake hair, Botox, fillers in lips and cheeks, facelifts and fistfuls of dental veneers. This looks good in stills but in real life the effect is often really creepy. You can see people pouting or opening their eyes extra wide in interviews and it looks weird. Even politicians have stylists now to make them more media-friendly. It’s not for nothing that Tony Blair was mercilessly reamed in media for his fake tan, and that German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder won a court case against a news agency which ran a report saying he dyed his hair. I have a hard enough time looking decent in family photographs – if I had photographers following my every move I would look like a monster. I can more or less control which photographs end up on the internet but celebrities can’t. The candid camera is also cruel – it accentuates every lump, bump and blemish.

I was searching for photographs to illustrate this and I noticed that Ian Somerhalder came up trumps every single time. It is almost impossible to find a bad photograph of him. I managed to find two out of thousands.

On paper this should not translate – he was a child model, a teenage model and is now an actor in a role which requires him to be sarcastic and never smile. He has dyed his hair black for his ongoing tv role, has a less than symmetrical face, acne scars, laughter lines and crooked teeth. He has a very mobile face and is shorter than male models usually are… and yet the man is pure perfection. On television, in videos, in candid shots, on the red carpet. I have long considered him one of the most beautiful specimens of manhood out there – but he has staying power and has had success without resorting to surgery or creating an image in the press. Naturally the fact that he is a very active campaigner for the environment and human rights does make me a little biased. But believe me it is very very unusual for someone to look so good EVERYWHERE.

Anyhoo… here comes pictorial proof. Enjoy!

Cute baby
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Teenage model
Teenage model
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Not many models could progress from this look
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Then we have huge smiles and laughs – notice the crooked smile, crooked teeth, laugh lines and less than perfect nose. Doesn’t that all add up to more perfection than surgical enhancement? How many men could look good against lime green and turquoise backgrounds? And he is not posing.

Totally natural beauty
See? Nose not perfect, crooked smile, laughter lines and one eye smaller than the other but how beautiful is it? Imperfect perfection! No amount of Botox could create this face.
Plain grey t shirt against a lurid green, turquoise and yellow background with vivid text – usually a recipe for disaster. Not for Smoulderhalder!
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Dressed in a brightly coloured superhero costume which was padded and hideous
Bad hair day but wow!
Bad hair day but wow!

And here we have a man who is not upstaged by animals. He is actually very comfortable with them. Even the famous Grumpy Cat did not upstage him! He also talks a lot to fans and lets them take pics with him – once again not a bad one in the bunch. He looks good in every single shot.

Here is a candid photo with a fan. But the photographer is surrounded by other photographers all taking photos from different angles. And all the photos are great.

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Then we have a gallery from the 2013 Peoples’ Choice Awards. Against a standard backdrop in a beautifully fitting suit. No makeup marks on the white shirts so if he is wearing any it is subtle. And he looks perfect from every angle in photos taken by many different photographers – that is rare. Have a close look at the pics and see what I mean. He is not self conscious or posing yet he is a vision of beauty.

He is also still comfortable in modelling photoshoots. At 5ft 9.5in he is much shorter than the usual male model yet look how clothes hang off his body. He is also in his mid-thirties but looks ageless.

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A screenshot from an impromptu interview on set
Candid interview shot

And finally, sarcastic arrogant and hilariously funny quotes from The Vampire Diaries, including blooper clips from filming. How on earth does he do it?

Oh and PS yes I think he should be Christian Grey

This photo is probably the least flattering one I could find – the outfit is not stellar but look at that face and body!


Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

14 thoughts

  1. It’s his skin and eyes and eye brows for me as guy. You couple change his jaw and cheek bones and he’d still be stunning. He’s so stunning that he seems unreal. Even Brad Pitt looks tired and has bad days. Ian can be drunk and hopped on pills and still look like a statue of a Greek god. Ifa absolutely insane. I think he is his on league. I wonder how he feels when everyone goes on about his looks wherever he goes. But I disagree on one thing with you. He totally poses. He totally does. I think he’s developed this character that he shows us. Watch him when he was younger. He seemed different like he didn’t really know his effect on the public. Now he seems to be aware of it. He seems shallow in some interviews like he isn’t showing us who he really is.

  2. I love this blog post and agree with you 100%! Ian is definitely on the TOP of my top ten list of perfect men! But, alas, yes, he is small, as is most of the hunky Hollywood actors 🙁 And I am a monster at 5’10” oh well.

  3. Well…if we are basing this 100% on looks…you can’t call a male specimen ideal when he is barely over 5 feet 8 inches… That’s like saying a person is a beautiful female specimen…if only for her face…

    Sorry, height is a HUGE factor in being an idealized male specimen.

    Again, this whole conversation is just for fun…

    I have noticed that “prettier” guys tend to be very very short…I think it’s because their faces get less distorted via growth spurts. But, dating/sleeping with a guy who is 5 foot 8 is simply not “idealistic.” If we are being completely shallow, ideal male specimens are at least 5 foot 11 inches and preferably not taller than 6 foot 3 inches… at least that’s what most surveys show here in the USA.

    1. Ha ha yes true! They say the average height for men in Hollywood is 5ft 7inches so there must be many who are really really tiny! Many famous actors and politicians are also short. Ian is also very slight so he must look even tinier in real life, though I reckon he wears hats and boots so much to make himself look taller I have never minded too much but I am 5ft 7.5 inches and 6ft in heels with very broad shoulders so I feel like a huge hulking giant next to smaller men.

  4. I love Ian and I think he is a stunner, however, I think he had something done (like Botox or a face lift) between season 2 and season 3 of The Vampire Diaries. I watched them one after the other and there was a distinct almost plastic look about his face. I was shattered. He’s so beautiful he doesn’t need all that stuff. IMO .

  5. I saw several video interviews with him and I was surprised how unsure of himself he was. He looked like a regular boring man. And I do “love” him.
    Have you read “50 shades”? I agree, he’d be perfect for the role. I saw a fan-made movie trailer with him in this role, and I just aanted him right away!

    1. Yes I have read them and he is perfect for it.

      He’s a bit too flirty in interviews for my liking but there is no denying he doesn’t have a bad angle!

    2. Yes I have read them all and I think he would be perfect for it!

      He is a bit too flirty in interviews for my liking but the man does not have a bad angle!

      1. I’ve just listen to a half of the book, and didn’t like it at all. Standard characters, a lot of sex based on hormones, maybe the book is interesting for teenagers, not really interesting for me.

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