Meh, I've only ever understood the 'tough act' as a good way to keep trouble off of your back. I can do tough and manly well enough, as long as you don't actually sit down and talk to me, then the illusion will vanish. But tough and manly is just an illusion in the first place. I've never seen any connection between how likely you are to be punched and how tough somebody looks. But, I have seen the connection between how tough somebody looks and how vulernerable they feel.
So, if ladies like that image, that's really no skin off my back. It's just a matter of preference. The image may or may not mean substance, though, FYI.