Home Additional Reading How the ‘ideal’ male body has changed throughout history

How the ‘ideal’ male body has changed throughout history

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Often in the media, when body shaming is mentioned, it is negatively focused around the female body. It is often overlooked that men are also affected, they have pressures to meet the required look and their mental health can be severely affected. This has been the case throughout history, although the ideal body shape has drastically changed throughout the ages, body shape has always been an important factor in society. Men face issues such as hair loss, weight obsessions and other health problems which mean creating the ˜perfect' body image is almost impossible. 

Chemist Click has recently created a timeline, which looks through the ages at how the ideal male body shape has changed and adapted from the ancient Greeks to the present day. 

Ancient Greece: 800 BC – 146 BC

Strong and muscular figures were seen throughout Green mythology, stories of the gods and brave men shaped the beginning of the ˜ideal' male body. Although these images and sculptures we see in history books are false imagined images, as it would have been almost impossible to achieve that level of fitness back then.

The Gilded Age: late 1800s “ early 1900s

The ˜ideal' body in the Gilded age, was desired to show power amongst men. They were required to have much larger figures and stomachs, which symbolised wealth and a higher status authority. This body type was also popular in the United States for the same reason, they opened ˜men's fat clubs' as exclusivity.

The Age of Counterculture: mid-1960 “ 1970s

The age of the counterculture began with music icons in the 1960s such as The Beatles and Elvis Presley being at the forefront of the industry and media. Creating a new ˜ideal' body, the new body type was a thinner and more slender body shape. 

The Rise of the Millennial: 1990s “ 2000s

The 1990s saw a much more relaxed ˜ideal' body type, TV screens were filled with young male actors such as Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio, who held a lean and slightly toned frame. Although as the media industry started to widen, one type of ˜ideal' body was a thing of the past. More shapes and sizes became accepted and style started to evolve.

In today's society, the ˜dad bod' trend is celebrating a wider but healthy figure. More actors and musicians have adopted this shape, relieving pressures on men as this image was much more achievable and became the new normal. Due to this change, the media and society are now writing about mental health support and body positivity, which was desperately needed.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, if you want to see more about the campaign head to social media and search #NoTypicalMan.