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)
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)