I don’t know if I want to live in a world in which such a sexy explorer could turn into this balding, bloated, pasty-faced dork who couldn’t appeal to any gender or sexual orientation.
The heartthrobs and leading men of the '90s inspired both envy and lust from young men and women across the world. Countless lists have been devoted to their charm, wit, and ability to get the girl. But not all have fared so well into middle age. For every preternaturally young Will Smith, there's a darker counterpoint. In this case, a sadly bloating Brendan Fraiser. So here's a breakdown of some of the most influential faces of that decade, ranked from whose still got it, to those who have fallen from sitcom and blockbuster grace forever.
10. Will Smith
As sick as he looked with his perfectly perpendicular haircut, signature tie die shirts, and baseball cap awesomely worn sideways, Will Smith distinguishes himself as being the only one on the list to actually get better looking with age. With his action figure physique, sophisticated style, and gentlemanly demeanor, he deserves a solid ten.
9. David Boreanaz
Buffy taught us the hard lessons of life, that sometimes the guys you sleep with turn all evil in the morning. Angel was the perfect leather-clad, bipolar, emo vampire for all our high school fantasies, and Daivid Boreanaz’s bod makes me think that maybe the immortal undead really do exist. I take off one point for acquiring the unavoidable “dad” look, putting him at nine.
8. Freddie Prinze Jr.
Mmm, just look at those slightly parted lips and one-eyebrow raise. Back in the day, every socially awkward teenager dreamt of becoming the letterman-jacket-clad popular guy that Freddie so often portrayed. And now? Clearly, he and wife Sarah Michelle Gellar are on whatever elixir of youth Joss Whedon gave the whole Buffy cast.
7. Matthew Broderik
In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, he was the absolute definition of a boyishly handsome charmer. Though his hairline isn’t as resilient as it used to be, he’s still managed to retain the mischievous eyes and impish grin that made you want to play hookie with him in the first place. For keeping his youthful glow (while also kind of rocking the aging college professor look), I give him a seven.
6. Will Friedle
Yes, now he looks a little more like a Persian fortune teller, but he still emanates that warmth and kindness that made TGIF worthwhile, and for that he gets a six.
5. Kid from Free Willy
So he wasn’t exactly a heartthrob, but he could make killer whales jump mathematically impossible distances, which pleased the animal-lovers in all of us. And what is that on his face? A face tattoo? Only the most reckless weirdos alive tattoo their faces, so I have to say, I like this guy. Five.
4. Emilio Estevez
Once upon a time, we all wanted Emilio Estevez to inspire us to believe in ourselves and beat the Russians in the Soviet Olympics, or undergo a change of heart and go for the goth girl in detention. Now he seems to oscillate between resembling a ‘70s porn director or a gender-confused high school gym teacher. For somehow completely changing the shape of his face, I give him a four.
3. Aaron Carter
The '90s was all about the hair, and Aaron Carter, with his silky bucket-cut, was king. His dark, soulful eyes peered right into your being, as if to whisper You’re Beautiful. And he could wear all-white and fall to his knees on the beach from an excess of love with the best of them. He’s looking a bit ghoulish these days, but for keeping his signature locks–despite it giving him the air of a desperate-to-be-youthful thirty-year-old dude who still skateboards–I give him a three.
2. Brendan Fraser
No one could resist the raw masculine energy that Brendan Frasier exuded in The Mummy. He was a hero right out of adventure novels, a man of few words and a lot of action, who would go through all the plagues of Egypt to protect the woman he loved. I don’t know if I want to live in a world in which such a sexy explorer could turn into this balding, bloated, pasty-faced dork who couldn’t appeal to any gender or sexual orientation. For destroying any desire I might have to get married (but at least still managing to squeeze out a smile), I give him a two.
1. Eddie Furlong
This one actually broke my heart. My first real crush was the floppy haired reprobate from Terminator 2. He was so beautiful and so rough around the edges, I wanted to hop on the back of his motorcycle while escaping Alex Mack robots, and then comfort him as he gently cried into my lap after his one father-figure heroically descended into molten lava. Years later, this once adorable delinquent looks more like a meth dealer. For crushing my childhood dreams, Eddie, I give you the top spot.