It's not a question about gender roles. It's rather a question about natural charisma.
Some famous people look simply ridiculous when you meet them for real. And it's even more ridiculous for one of the most feared would-be authoritarian dictator.
And sometimes, you feel the opposite:
I mean, when I met Li Peng (the main responsible for the Tien an Men massacre) face to face, I found this man incredibly more frightening than what his photos might have shown.