simon pegg

If aesthetic standards for women are so high in the film industry, isn’t it time men measured up too?

The ubiquity of Simon Pegg has bothered me recently.

I mean, I didn’t mind when he was doing comedy and all that. Because he has one of those weird, adorable (being generous here) faces that will has the ability to make some people laugh (not me).

But then this weird thing happened.

A Hollywood producer was casting for a romantic comedy called Man Up. And they decided the male lead who would be doing all this love, and sex, and kissy stuff would be Simon Pegg.

Given that I have eyes, and a stomach, there was something that made me feel a bit nauseous about said decision. Just like I felt queasy in 2008, when I watched the gorgeous Kirsten Dunst have to snog Pegg's rodent-like face in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People.

Soz, Simon.

I’m sure you’re a nice guy – although you have been getting a bit cocky in interviews recently – but you’re not what women want. On screen, at least.

That’s why today I was unsettled to see Pegg back across my Netflix homepage, in an advert for his brand new show.

Netflix has never quite got it right with its algorithms. It thinks I am both a lesbian and gay man – all because I once selected that I liked Blue is the Warmest Colour and Ru Paul’s Drag Race. You just can’t win.

But it got it spectacularly wrong in suggesting to me I would want to watch Hector and the Search for Happiness.

After all, I know how to find happiness (at least when it comes to watching TV and films). And it starts with a hot bloke on my screen.

Goodness knows, as a woman I’ve earned the right to be critical of the calibre of men that grace my tele. Hollywood is incredibly tough on femkind when it comes to our appearance, and doesn't show signs of changing. In fact, I think we should celebrate extreme ideals. Beautiful people should be in art, and we should demand more from our male subjects.

Unfortunately, at the moment, we’re getting a rough deal.

It’s not just Pegg. In 2013 we got that rom com – About Time – where poor Rachel McAdams was forced to cuddle up to Domhnall Gleeson. We’ve also had Steve Buscemi play a serial womaniser in Boardwalk Empire, whom I find about as sexy as a trip to Morrisons.

And don’t get me started on the rusty balls contingent. Tom Cruise, Gary Oldman, Johnny Deep, and – yes, even you - Jude Law, are still very much alive and kicking in Hollywood. And we're still meant to believe some of the best looking women on the planet desire their wrinkly faces.

No one wants us when we’re wrinkly. Maggie Gyllenhaal recently discussed in the press how she was deemed - at thirty-seven years of age - too old to play the romantic love interest of a fifty-five year old. And I feel for her, truly.

But I also feel for me, and my eyes and my stomach when this picture comes out. I don’t want to watch a film about the underpant activity of a middle-aged man.

Just like I don’t want to watch films about smoochy Simon Pegg, or anyone else with a Picasso painting face in my rom com selection. He might give some form of hope that the 'ordinary man' can pull Kirsten Dunst. But it's not true, and - besides - films are about the extraordinary.

As women we are always demanding equal pay across the film industry. Perhaps it’s time we demanded equal aesthetics too. We’ve got a pulse – please get it racing, Hollywood.

Follow Charlotte Gill @C_C_Gill