I first realized I was a million years old when a woman in her 20s asked me if the guy I had been dating was attractive and I said, "I think so. I mean, he's no Tom Cruise..."
It was like immediately after it left my tongue, a giant pink hand of oldness just came down from the sky and slapped me across the face. I just used TOM CRUISE as the cliche stand-in hunk of the day, when he hasn't been that for what? 25 years? I just asked my research assistant (boyfriend) when Tom Cruise was a hunk and he used his IMDB page to calculate his peak hunkiness at 1993.
I know Brad Pitt was a cliche hunk of the day for probably a good decade -- in 1998, Shania Twain was using him as such in "That Don't Impress Me Much," with the line "OK, so you're Brad Pitt." And yes I also LOVE 90s Mom Country, but I will never update that.
More recently, Ryan Gosling definitely had his turn as the token "hot guy" reference, but sadly, I think his time has also come to an end. I never "got" him anyway. To0 pretty.
So who is the cultural stand-in for generic hot guy today? I know we all love that Hunksaurus Sex Chris Pratt, but I don't think he's hit peak mainstream appeal. Maybe it's Channing Tatum now? Doesn't seem like he'd fit that well into a Shania Twain song lyric, but a lot of people seem to like him. (Also can we bring back calling them "hunks" or "studs"? It just really makes me laugh.)
Please cast your vote for current platonic ideal of sexy male actor (Ooooh maybe it's Idris Elba?) in the comments. Also, let me know what weird celebrities you're attracted to. I'm really into Dr. Drew and Ben Folds. With a side of Sam Rockwell. And any guy in a french fry costume.