Male Body Image in Modern Television and Film

RDreamer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,380
Maybe it's because Superhero films and shows are all the biggest rage now, so maybe that's skewing a lot of things, but is it just me or is men's turn for massive body image issues with portrayal in film and television nowadays?

I understand that the super heroes themselves are going to look like gods and be portrayed as a pretty unattainable standard, but I feel like every part has some massively ripped dude in it now. There's almost no variety. It looks like every one of them is competing to be super man or something now.

I was googling a bit and came across this list of most illogically ripped TV characters and it is pretty hilarious.



I love Leftovers, but the main character's a fucking mess, except he also looks like he spends hours upon hours at a gym every day.

Personally I'm in really great shape now. Probably the best I've ever been, but I'm definitely not a 6-pack or yet or maybe ever. I wonder if it's the amount of crazy ass work I put into looking like this that has me kind of hyper aware that seeing everyone look like they spend even more time than me and/or get really strict with diet while portraying people from every walk of life is kinda... weird.

Anyone else notice this?
 

Rendering...

Member
Oct 30, 2017
7,606
I'm pretty sure this is a documented thing. As in, academic literature and slew of articles and such. It's certainly affected my body image.

That aside, as a gay man with tragically conventional tastes, I am so into this trend of ridiculously fit men in visual media.
 

dark_prinny

Member
Oct 26, 2017
754
I'm a regular person and I'm way fitter than him. What is really the problem here? I don't get it.
 
OP
OP
RDreamer

RDreamer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,380
I'm a regular person and I'm way fitter than him. What is really the problem here? I don't get it.
You can be a regular person and be ripped. It's that every regular person isn't ripped. It's also extremely hard to be that buff, especially while competing with complete and utter mental breakdowns plus vices like alcohol, etc like that specific person is dealing with.


That aside, as a gay man with tragically conventional tastes, I am so into this trend of ridiculously fit men in visual media.
I'm straight, but even I'll admit it's visually appealing. It must be nice nowadays for people actually attracted to men.

Still feels like there should be a bigger variety of all body types, men and women obviously.
 

Holyoneturtle

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
305
I'll be honest, I don't feel like I stand a chance in the dating world unless I look like this. It affects me even more so when I see my lady friends dating app and I see my "competition". So I think a part of this has affected me.
 

Vermillion

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,965
Maybe it's because Superhero films and shows are all the biggest rage now, so maybe that's skewing a lot of things, but is it just me or is men's turn for massive body image issues with portrayal in film and television nowadays?

I understand that the super heroes themselves are going to look like gods and be portrayed as a pretty unattainable standard, but I feel like every part has some massively ripped dude in it now. There's almost no variety. It looks like every one of them is competing to be super man or something now.

I was googling a bit and came across this list of most illogically ripped TV characters and it is pretty hilarious.



I love Leftovers, but the main character's a fucking mess, except he also looks like he spends hours upon hours at a gym every day.

Personally I'm in really great shape now. Probably the best I've ever been, but I'm definitely not a 6-pack or yet or maybe ever. I wonder if it's the amount of crazy ass work I put into looking like this that has me kind of hyper aware that seeing everyone look like they spend even more time than me and/or get really strict with diet while portraying people from every walk of life is kinda... weird.

Anyone else notice this?
I mean, as someone that was kinda gifted with abs (fuck you, aging) previously with nearly ZERO gym time, I can say it's definitely not impossible.

That said, with things like "dad bods" still being prevalent, and overweight guys still getting shine, why NOT let some more guys be more physically gifted?

It's not like we're only being shown one type of body.

That said, my understanding is that it's way different in the gay community, so.
 

maxxpower

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,296
California
The problem is the dehydrated look, which is what you mostly see and what the guy in your picture did. You dehydrate yourself to look as ripped as possible and you do a few reps between takes. Hugh Jackman talks about how he always had headaches during shooting because he was so dehydrated. Nobody looks like that 24/7.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,553
The worst thing for me is teeth. What the fuck is with everyone having straight as fuck gleaming white teeth in every scenario, including apocalypses? Fucking stupid.
 

HStallion

Member
Oct 25, 2017
28,289
The trend gets hilarious when you have characters with defining traits like being a long time alcoholics who are ripped and sporting chiseled abs instead of a beer gut.
 

Masoyama

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,183
Hot cop in the leftovers was actually always exercising in the show. I feel the other characters were in shape but not that much, which is totally fine. I know tons of people that are in as much a shape or better than him, its not that distracting to be honest.
 

dark_prinny

Member
Oct 26, 2017
754
You can be a regular person and be ripped. It's that every regular person isn't ripped. It's also extremely hard to be that buff, especially while competing with complete and utter mental breakdowns plus vices like alcohol, etc like that specific person is dealing with.
Oh ok, thanks for explaning. I wasn't aware of the character background once I don't watch the show. In that case, yes, you're right. Is not that easy to have that body when dealing with that kind of problems, that for sure. It takes works and dedication.
 

BigWinnie1

Member
Feb 19, 2018
2,504
I'm a regular person and I'm way fitter than him. What is really the problem here? I don't get it.
I'm gonna be honest with you I'm built like Sig Curtis from Full Metal Alchaemist brotherhood so I have no Idea how you people get abs because I've only had something resembling a abs when I was just a boy in high school Other than that no exercise ever gave me that so I just went with more effective strength training and endurance training.
 

Rendering...

Member
Oct 30, 2017
7,606
I'm straight, but even I'll admit it's visually appealing. It must be nice nowadays for people actually attracted to men.

Still feels like there should be a bigger variety of all body types, men and women obviously.
I'm of two minds about it, because while I know that promoting body positivity is vital, and media can seriously affect people's self-esteem, I get a nice warm feeling from turning on the TV and seeing gorgeous hunks left and right.

I guess we could chalk it up to the latest instance of a very long trend. Human civilization has been venerating physical beauty in men and women throughout recorded history.

But anyway, yeah, it's important for media that portrays reality to have realistic body diversity.
 
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Raguel

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
1,511
Maybe it's because Superhero films and shows are all the biggest rage now, so maybe that's skewing a lot of things, but is it just me or is men's turn for massive body image issues with portrayal in film and television nowadays?

I understand that the super heroes themselves are going to look like gods and be portrayed as a pretty unattainable standard, but I feel like every part has some massively ripped dude in it now. There's almost no variety. It looks like every one of them is competing to be super man or something now.

I was googling a bit and came across this list of most illogically ripped TV characters and it is pretty hilarious.



I love Leftovers, but the main character's a fucking mess, except he also looks like he spends hours upon hours at a gym every day.

Personally I'm in really great shape now. Probably the best I've ever been, but I'm definitely not a 6-pack or yet or maybe ever. I wonder if it's the amount of crazy ass work I put into looking like this that has me kind of hyper aware that seeing everyone look like they spend even more time than me and/or get really strict with diet while portraying people from every walk of life is kinda... weird.

Anyone else notice this?
That doesn't take hours to accomplish. Its basically a good diet and cardio with some calisthenics. Literally anyone can do that. It's not hard.

As for the current trend, I both support and dislike it. Support it in a way that it encourages people to be more fit and healthy. Dislike it in a way that it presents all the troubles of body image, shaming, and roid abuse.
 

Pau

Self-Appointed Godmother of Bruce Wayne's Children
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
2,012
The problem is the dehydrated look, which is what you mostly see and what the guy in your picture did. You dehydrate yourself to look as ripped as possible and you do a few reps between takes. Hugh Jackman talks about how he always had headaches during shooting because he was so dehydrated. Nobody looks like that 24/7.
This is a practice I wish would stop for male shirtless scenes in movies. It's completely unnecessary. If men want to do this in specific instances like body building competitions, that makes sense. But it bothers me when something this artificial is sold as realistic. There's usually no narrative reason for a character to be dehydrated like that.
 

Pusherman

Member
Oct 27, 2017
269
I definitely have serious body image issues (haven't taken my shirt off around others since 2011, not even to have sex or to go for a swim) but I've personally never really felt like they were connected to what I see on TV or in films. But it could have something to do with it.
 

TickleMeElbow

Member
Oct 31, 2017
1,711
I watch a lot of European shows and they seem to be a lot more reasonable with this sort of thing.

I've noticed a lot more balding men on European shows as well.
 

Subpar Scrub

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
2,499
Lol basically. I tend to feel like a slovenly mess because I don’t have a 6 pack and big striated shoulders and stuff. It feels like it’s expected of you sometimes. Oh well.
 

Hyun Sai

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,803
Maybe it's because Superhero films and shows are all the biggest rage now, so maybe that's skewing a lot of things, but is it just me or is men's turn for massive body image issues with portrayal in film and television nowadays?

I understand that the super heroes themselves are going to look like gods and be portrayed as a pretty unattainable standard, but I feel like every part has some massively ripped dude in it now. There's almost no variety. It looks like every one of them is competing to be super man or something now.

I was googling a bit and came across this list of most illogically ripped TV characters and it is pretty hilarious.



I love Leftovers, but the main character's a fucking mess, except he also looks like he spends hours upon hours at a gym every day.

Personally I'm in really great shape now. Probably the best I've ever been, but I'm definitely not a 6-pack or yet or maybe ever. I wonder if it's the amount of crazy ass work I put into looking like this that has me kind of hyper aware that seeing everyone look like they spend even more time than me and/or get really strict with diet while portraying people from every walk of life is kinda... weird.

Anyone else notice this?
I see what you're trying to say, but it's not the best example as Kevin is always seen exercising in the serie.
 

modestb

Member
Jan 24, 2019
224
Two problems with this article:

1. When discussing Andy from Parks and Rec
"Andy was suddenly all chiselled and no-one said anything... "

It is brought up the first episode of season 5 after he lost the weight. "All you did was stop drinking beer..? How much did you drink?!"

2. The forgot Chidi from The Good Place. He's a mild-mannered intellectual professor. He is never mentioned to be physically active or work out. Here's what he looks like without his shirt on:

PHEEWWWWWW
He's shredded like a julienne salad.
 

kmag

Member
Nov 5, 2017
1,332
That doesn't take hours to accomplish. Its basically a good diet and cardio with some calisthenics. Literally anyone can do that. It's not hard.

As for the current trend, I both support and dislike it. Support it in a way that it encourages people to be more fit and healthy. Dislike it in a way that it presents all the troubles of body image, shaming, and roid abuse.
In your early 20's maybe into your 30's yep it's doable if you're strict about diet and do the work. In the show the character in that photo was meant to be 43 (which was the age of the actor). You're not looking like that at 43 without putting in a ridiculous amount of work, winning the genetics lottery or doping through the gills. Metabolism slowing is a bitch.
 
Oct 26, 2017
8,962
a lot of men are fit. not super dehydrated 6 pack fit but fit enough for a muscles and tight core. it's easily achieved with eating in moderation and exercise.
 

Kill3r7

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,910
Main characters (if not most characters) in TV/Movies are fit and good looking or at the very least striking. It makes sense in certain contexts but I suspect you would be hard pressed to find many top actors today that do not fit the bill.
 

kmag

Member
Nov 5, 2017
1,332
This is a practice I wish would stop for male shirtless scenes in movies. It's completely unnecessary. If men want to do this in specific instances like body building competitions, that makes sense. But it bothers me when something this artificial is sold as realistic. There's usually no narrative reason for a character to be dehydrated like that.
It makes sense for super heroes I suppose, I mean they're literally meant to look superhuman.
 

Hyun Sai

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,803
In your early 20's maybe into your 30's yep it's doable if you're strict about diet and do the work. In the show the character in that photo was meant to be 43 (which was the age of the actor). You're not looking like that at 43 without putting in a ridiculous amount of work, winning the genetics lottery or doping through the gills. Metabolism slowing is a bitch.
I'm past 40 and have no problem being fit with at max 3 sessions per week, and, the most important part, healthy diet. But perhaps even that is ridiculous, I don't know.
 

i-Lo

Avenger
Oct 31, 2017
9,499
Not America
Well I have been sold by hollywood that fit men get dem women and given my 5'3.5" barefoot stature, I have to go to the gym every other day to not break apart physically and emotionally.

As a heterosexual guy, I do admire well defined men's physique despite questioning the realism within the context of the shows, which OP's link sums up quite well.

Personally, the most realistic proportions for the job were David Harbour as Jim Hopper in Stranger Things and Keanu Reeves as John Wick in the three namesake movies when it comes American media.
 

Raguel

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
1,511
In your early 20's maybe into your 30's yep it's doable if you're strict about diet and do the work. In the show the character in that photo was meant to be 43 (which was the age of the actor). You're not looking like that at 43 without putting in a ridiculous amount of work, winning the genetics lottery or doping through the gills. Metabolism slowing is a bitch.
I'm 36 and bigger than that guy. I only work out 3 times a week and 1.5 hours those three times.

That's less than 5 hours a week.

Era seems to have a lot of misconception about fitness and going to the gym. It's a lifestyle change, yes, but it's not difficult if you're consistent and mindful.

And this is coming from a guy who is extremely lazy. Like, I'm so lazy I don't like watering the plants.

At 43 I hope to be better looking body wise than that guy
 

teague

Member
Dec 17, 2018
681
This is a practice I wish would stop for male shirtless scenes in movies. It's completely unnecessary. If men want to do this in specific instances like body building competitions, that makes sense. But it bothers me when something this artificial is sold as realistic. There's usually no narrative reason for a character to be dehydrated like that.
Yeah, this is the one thing that I think is maybe getting kinda close to how bad it is for women, and also maybe everybody being waxed top-to-bottom. I'm fairly fit but in a cyclist kind of way, so I have abs but not "the six-pack" everybody on tv has... for about 1 hour every day, right after I work out and before I eat breakfast. People on tv don't like, get bloated and shit. Also I had to work really, really hard to lose an amount of weight where I had any abs at all and have struggled with body dsymorphia for a long time, so I don't mean to be one of the (many) posters here who are going "I look like this and all I do is ..." Fact is, I don't look as "good" as this, because this is a body type you can only get when the #1 thing you're going for is looking exactly like this. That's why actors all have personal trainers and do all the same exercises, because they're going for this crazy artificial ideal instead of even what an actually very fit person looks like.

Those of you who look like this and are referring to it as "fit" as if there's one way of being fit as a man, go look at some Olympica athletes and how different they look depending on what sport they do.
 

maxxpower

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,296
California
2. The forgot Chidi from The Good Place. He's a mild-mannered intellectual professor. He is never mentioned to be physically active or work out. Here's what he looks like without his shirt on:



PHEEWWWWWW
He's shredded like a julienne salad.
Even for that scene the Chidi actor said he had to go on a rigorous diet of low carbs and dehydration for just that scene alone, after which he went back to his usual diet. I mean I'm sure he's ripped but not to that extent.
 

Subpar Scrub

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
2,499
The people in here saying that this is “easy” in any way are kidding themselves lol. If it were so easy, it wouldn’t be the desired look. That plus exercising regularly and controlling your diet for a prolonged period of time isn’t something that’s “easy” for a lot of people. Just saying.