When I first started writing for LaineyGossip back in 2010 (oh my God—it’s been three years?!) I had a big Freebie Five crush on Chris Evans and Lainey gave me sh*t all the time. But then he got super jacked for Captain America and I wasn’t feeling it as much, as beefcake isn’t my favorite flavor. At the time, I complained about him not being as hot, thanks to all those new muscles. Looking at these new photos of Evans, he’s clearly less crazily jacked for Captain America 2. Which means there was a conversation about exactly how built he had to be for the sequel.

Hollywood isn’t just hard on women, it’s hard on men, too (not as hard, but still). Chris Evans’ body gets discussed by a lot of people in very frank terms, usually right in front of him. How Captain America looks is a major component of these movies, from the size of the shield to the brightness of costume to the precise circumference of Evans’ biceps. For the first Captain America, he went for the strapping hunk of the comics but even in The Avengers, filmed just a year after Cap 1, you could tell he wasn’t as muscley. And he’s even slimmer now. I’m sure the definition is still there—gotta work those shirtless scenes, after all—but at some point Marvel and Evans made the decision to trim down Cap’s physique.

What does that conversation look like? How is it for dudes? What is it like for a guy who works his ass off for six months to reach the pinnacle of physical perfection and then be told that it wasn’t good enough? Chris Evans thinnified. And I feel kind of…bad. It’s similar to the squicky feeling I got from Henry Cavill’s interview when he talked about his past as a chubby kid and how that’s maybe messing with his head as an adult. Cavill turned himself into a beast for Man of Steel, and I don’t think he’ll have the luxury of recalibrating the look like Evans has.
Superman is just so iconic. Captain America is nobody’s favorite character, so there’s some wiggle room. But people are already having (hilariously) deranged arguments about Cavill and Man of Steel—they can’t waste what considerations they do have for #2 on screwing with Cavill’s body mass index.

I’m having a brief moment of sympathy because body issue sh*t is not gender exclusive. And I am totally part of the problem, because I complained that Evans was less hot after he gained all that weight, and now he looks different. The decision to make that change comes after some pretty brutal discussions of just how you didn’t quite measure up with audiences and what you have to change to make them like you more. But…

But. Evans has a six picture deal that puts him in one of the biggest franchises of all time and will make him millions. Ditto for Cavill. They’re not immune to the body issue mindf*ck, but they are very well compensated for suffering through it. Actresses however get put through this wringer for every project, regardless of how big the movie or paycheck. Hell, Ashley Greene did it for a role she didn’t even get. I know of a producer who ends every meeting with “lose ten pounds”, even if the actress has already lost the ten pounds he told her to lose at the previous meeting. Actresses’ compensation is decidedly less than, and that’s not even getting into the massive imbalance that exists for us civilians in the real world. It’d be easier to be truly sympathetic if there was more equality across the board.

Attached – Evans arriving on set yesterday and at the Beyonce concert the other night with Minka Kelly, so that’s still happening.