If you’re interested in discovering how societal views on male bodies have changed over time, continue reading. Especially if you’re interested in how the portrayal of the ‘ideal’ male body in the media, has placed pressure on men to look a certain way Chemist Click has great information. In order to be accepted as men just like women, have been subjected to changing beauty standards and body standards throughout history.
From 800 BC to 146 BC the ideal male body was muscular, thin waisted and lean and being fit and healthy was prized by the ancient Greeks. If you take a look at Greek art such as Greek sculptures you’ll see that muscles and abs were fashionable in ancient Greece.
In Elizabeth England beauty ideals for men had changed and chiseled abs and strong biceps were no longer in fashion. Especially as the wealth elite, did not want to appear as peasants. Who often had strong upper bodies, due to working in labor extensive jobs.
Just as women were worried about their appearance in Elizabethan England men also conformed to beauty ideals of the time and often wore long curly wigs. Which they’d fix to their heads using wax. Men also curled their wigs using hot irons, much like women use modern hair curlers to style their hair.
The late 1800s to the early 1900s:
During this time, having a large stomach showed the world that you were wealthy enough to afford an abundance of food. You may be surprised to read that during this particular time period fat man clubs gained popularity in the United States. More shockingly membership to such clubs were restricted to men who weighed over 200 pounds.
The 1920s to the 1950s:
Due to the rise of Hollywood stars, body ideals for men changed yet again. From the 1920s to the 1950s the ideal man’s body was athletic, fit and clean cut. Due to the fact that cameras made actors look larger than they actually were so fit, lean actors were the norm. Some examples of men who were seen as idols at the time include Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant.
The mid 1960s to the 1970s:
During this particular era slender, slightly androgynous male bodies were prized. Thanks to cultural icons such as Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and David Bowie. All who rose to fame during this particular era.
During the 80s men worked hard pumping iron to try and achieve a body builder style body. Thanks to popular action stars of the time such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. As for hairstyles, mullets were popular during this era.
The 1990s to 2000s:
During the 1990s and 2000s fit yet lean, obtainable bodies were the norm. Instead of ultra chiseled bodies, fat bodies or slender bodies. During this time body standards for men were less extreme than in the past.
The current day:
Today dad bods have become more popular. Bodies that are fit and that the average man can obtain, without too much effort. Which aren’t too fat or too thin.
However, expect men’s body standards to continue to change over time. As during each era a new beauty standard and body standard rises for men. Which is influenced by society’s shifting perceptions and values and the media.