Sunday, 25 July 2010

My MANy Bags News #249

Below: Model Davo who is 6ft 1in, with a 35in chest and a 29in waist. Photograph: Levon Biss for the Observer

The Perfect Male Form Now... Thin Is In? Or Six Pack To Stay?

Came across this interesting article discussing the present trend of perceived ideal male physiques. Most prevalent in these kinds of discussion are often directed at the fashion/entertainment industry where physical perfection is the cornerstone of the business.

So is thin really in as what the article has observed? Are we still adoring the traditional athletic male forms where muscles and optimal physical health have always been the basis of attraction?

Good read. Food for thought. The section on Burberry casting a model for their mannequin is enlightening. And women's ideas on what they truly appreciate about the male physique.

(Interestingly, this article came at a time when the fashion industry starts to place emphasis on natural, fuller female forms instead of the usually favoured waif-like ideals. Ironic?)

Much as I like to see androgynous male forms (me belonging to the slim brigade and I am not ashamed of it) parading the runway with more edgy looks, in real life I still prefer guys who have more muscles than bones. I think I am traditional in that sense. What about you? Are you guilty of pursuing the slim brigade? Or we should embrace diversity when health is not a concern?

Excerpts from the article (for full article, click here)

Thin is in: in search of the perfect male body

The well-built man, complete with six-pack and muscular shoulders, is no longer the ideal male body shape. But when did men start aspiring to be thin? And should we worry?
(Polly Vernon, 27 June 2010)

Are men more body conscious now than they were 10 years ago? Apparently yes. Infinitely more. They're certainly subject to increasingly proscriptive and exaggerated notions on the physical ideal. Rootstein's spindly Homme Nouveau shop window mannequin (27in waist, 33in chest), and Burberry's fit model, cast according to the equally slender proportions of male model Davo, are merely the latest, most headline-grabbing manifestations of the mounting pressure on men to be a certain – diminished – shape. Consider, for example, that the average British man has a waist size measuring 39in, and yet American Apparel – spiritual home of anyone hoping they might be even the teensiest bit hip – doesn't sell its signature Slim Slack trouser with a waistband larger than 30in. Consider a significant proportion of contemporary male cultural icons: Russell Brand, Pete Doherty, Matt Smith and David Tennant, Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, Johnny Borrell of Razorlight, nearly all of the Kings of Leon, Nicholas Hoult, any one of the men with whom Kelly Osbourne periodically dallies… Thin, thin and thinner.

Do men – normal, non-celebrity, non-model men – care? Well, yeah – apparently they do. Incidences of eating disorders in men are on the rise. In 1990, 10% of people suffering from anorexia or bulimia were estimated to be men; today it's more like 25%. Figures for women have remained steady throughout that time. Two out of five binge eaters are men. More and more teenage boys say they are dissatisfied with their bodies. The male segment of the plastic surgery market is booming – moob jobs are proving especially popular; in 2009 there was a 44% year-on-year increase in male breast-reduction procedures. So yes, men want to be thinner. Actually – men want to be thin.

And yet traditionally the male physical ideal is the opposite of skinny. It is athletic, buff, big shouldered, capable. It has pecs and guns and ripped abdominals. Until relatively recently, thin men were ashamed, or assumed to be ashamed, of their bodies. They were considered less masculine by dint of their thinness; the rare thin male cultural icons – Morrissey, Jarvis Cocker – made thin part of their shtick, an expression of how disenfranchised they felt, how removed from the cultural mainstream.

But now thin is the cultural mainstream. Thin is desirable. Men want it – men diet for it. They go under the knife in pursuit of it. (To be continued here)

Source: The Guardian UK


jy88 said...

in my humble opinion, i think an ideal form for men is the muscular and lean look, not as bulky as those bodybuilders though, more of the physique of a footballer or a swimmer. personally, i think guys being too thin is not a bonus to his attractiveness and might give others the impression of being weak. further more, being fashionable doesn't mean that we have to be thin. metrosexuality should not violate musculinity. maybe i'm kinda traditional on this view as well =)

i do agree with the writer mentioning about men are influenced by movies and advertisements showing perfect male bodies, in fact, i have to admit that this is the main reason of my starting to workout, not gonna lie...;P

Anonymous said...

totally agree with jy88

Jay Strut said...

i dont know its hard to say, I do enjoy a bit of both.. The runway's really do detail these moments for us.. When you compare models from Burberry to models from Dolce & gabbana.. I guess it depends on preference.. Me, ill take whatever haha!

p.s. loveee my MANy bags <3

ushi sato said...

well said jy88...idealistically speaking...more natural form is more sexy looking than having forced bulks. Personal perspective is more important in ruling yourself in case of valuing your look, and it always varies in your lifestyle.
And I also believe that fashion plays a big role in giving new visions for most men, specially on how they look at themselves in the mirror..or how they want others to look at them whenever they're on the street. Before, most men are unconscious about their builts, but radically speaking more often men are conscious on their machismo thing, secondary whether they're bulgy, hunky-ish, or stick-ish

RoyalRj said...

The way I see it is, you can either use models that benefit your brand OR models that well... don't. Each brand has a body type that it focuses on. Personally I feel as though slimmer figures accentuate a brand more. Instead of focusing on someones swollen pecks you're loving that scoop neck t-shirt he's wearing.

I guess I'm saying... I'm pro-hanger.

jy88 said...

thx guys ^^
i also agree with ushi sato saying that the view varies in our lifestyle and also demographic distribution. Models appearing on the runways of paris fashion week are different from those in rome fashion week. french designers love to use skinny models while italian designers like dsquared, dolce&gabbana prefer models with lean muscles. so, i guess im on the italian designers' side, haha =)

wecouldgrowup2gether said...

have u seen this brand of jewellery, i beleive its from japan, which they make bracelets our of pieces of thin shredded fabric with a tiny vintage skull charm holding it together. or a lapel pin with a vintage looking ribbon, and then a tiny skull charm in the middle? dang, i forgot the name of the brand

Kevin @ myMANybags said...

Oh Kwannam, I think I have seen them before!

Don't know the brand, but here in SG, there's a store that sells them. I will check for you:-)


wecouldgrowup2gether said...

that lil string of cloth bracelet is like 110us$ a pop! man!

Nico said...

i think its one of those trends. generally, men dont even bother what shape they are in. muscular looks will never wane. but having an alternative gives breathing room to the 'prefect' standard.