Greta Gerwig complained about Friedrich´s looks and this is the one thing that most people miss in Little Women. Katherine Hepburn and Paul Lukas from the 1933 film probably are closest to what the characters are written to look like. The whole point of the story is that love beautifies a person. Jo is not written to be beautiful but she finds Friedrich very attractive and he is attracted to her. Louisa was not particularly beautiful either. Even her fans were disappointed when they saw her. There is a hilarious scene in Jo´s boys. There is an adult fan who comes to meet Jo Bhaer. Jo´s and Friedrich´s son, points out the portrait of his mother and this fan is like ”oh no! I expected her to be 15 and pretty and having pigtails. I don´t think I want to see her now, because she looks so mundane”. Laurie is written to be a conventionally good looking character, but his actions over Jo are ugly. Films are sold with beautiful people, but I would be more worried about the way the filmmakers gloss over Laurie´s flaws. Because of her looks, sometimes Jo feels as a freak and that she is not worthy of love. Friedrich basically tells to Jo that it is okay to be clumsy and unconventional and still be worthy of loving.
Check out the full video essay ”Love and Sex in Little Women”