How the “Ideal” Male Body has Changed Through History
Over many years of history, the percieved “perfect” male body has changed several times. It’s usually women that get the dirty end of the stick when it comes to body shaming, but it can affect men too.
This can obviously lead to people becoming very self-conscious, which in turn can develop some pretty nasty self-esteem and mental issues. There has always been a considered “perfect” body type for blokes, and it has changed a bit throughout time. It’s only recently that we’re starting to realise body-shaming isn’t cool.
Way back in ancient times, before Christ was even born, it was often thought that men should be huge and muscular. Depictions of Greek Gods such as Zeus were often chiselled and beefed up with a thin-waisted body and long hair tied back with a headband.
Most men would find this sort of look desirable, but it probably wasn’t really possible for most of them. It was probably extremely difficult to get into that sort of shape in ancient times.
As time went on, it was no longer considered “perfect” to be a beef-cake like the ancient Gods. It actually became associated with peasants and possible a lower state of intelligence. Showing off your manliness would instead be through strong calves and strong legs.
Jumping forward to the 1800s, the need for any muscular arms or strong legs was all but replaced with a wide wait and generous sized stomach. Back then this was a sign of a man’s wealth and social status because it meant you could afford to keep yourself well fed.
There was a few changes during the 20th century and they were all pretty close together. As soon as Hollywood came along, people realised the camera made you look a bit bigger so the athletic and lean body type was the “perfect” look to have.
During the 60’s and 70’s music icons such as The Beatles and David Bowie set a trend of carrying little muscle tone and just keeping things simple. Thin arms and legs as well as a slender chest was the way forward. However, jump forward a decade and bodybuilder looks became a big deal – likely due to icons such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone becoming huge hits on the cinema screen.
By the 90’s, body standards became a little bit more “relaxed” and there seemed to be a less obvious “perfect” male body type that everybody was supposed to desire.
2010’s and Onwards…
Guys nowadays don’t tend to worry too much about it, and they really shouldn’t. The “dad-bod” emerged in recent years and it was more to make a point of not worrying about having a chiselled or defined body – as long as you’re happy and keeping healthy then that’s all that matters!
Seeing how the “perfect” body has changed over years just goes to show there is no such thing. Men and Women have been put under pressure through the years to look “perfect” but as long as you’re happy with yourself, you’re already perfect.
Say no to Body Shaming. Love yourself and don’t feel pressured by standards that society and media are setting.