Male Body Image in Modern Television and Film

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RDreamer

RDreamer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,414
the upside is that the people who work at their bodies are revered and respected more than they would be if these hyper fit body standards weren't as prevelant and important as they are today.
This makes literally no sense whatsoever.

Prevalence of something normalizes it and makes it seem less remarkable than it really is. People in this very thread are downplaying the crazy work it takes to get a body like Justin Theroux. Oh that's just normal. No, it only seems normal because we're seeing people like Helmsworth and others everywhere. And on top of that they're dehydrating and doing reps between takes to overinflated that, so others who put in the hard work look less so.

Do you really think that if we saw less dudes with super hero-esque bodies on the screen we would care less about our friends, family, and others who accomplished amazing things with their body?
 

Lundren

Member
Oct 27, 2017
881
People in this very thread are downplaying the crazy work it takes to get a body like Justin Theroux.
Is he even doing anything special? I stopped drinking soda and only eat half a dozen donuts rather than the baker's dozen per day I was eating and sit around arguing on Era. I look way better than this actor who refers to a boxing gym as his second home, does 40 min of sparring followed by 20 min of lifting, ab work or circuits every day.

Totally doable to look like this at 45 years old by not doing anything special. That isn't messing with people's heads when they actually do something special and don't get the results they expected.
 

-COOLIO-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,079
This makes literally no sense whatsoever.

Prevalence of something normalizes it and makes it seem less remarkable than it really is. People in this very thread are downplaying the crazy work it takes to get a body like Justin Theroux. Oh that's just normal. No, it only seems normal because we're seeing people like Helmsworth and others everywhere. And on top of that they're dehydrating and doing reps between takes to overinflated that, so others who put in the hard work look less so.

Do you really think that if we saw less dudes with super hero-esque bodies on the screen we would care less about our friends, family, and others who accomplished amazing things with their body?
i hear what you're saying, but i think the chiseled phsyque is made to be more attractive because all of our heroes and idols have it. if it's common in the media with the characters we like and want to be like, it becomes more attractive. if it's common in everyday society, then it becomes less attractive. it's currently prevelant with the former but not the latter.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,720
Just a small note I wanted to add to the thread:

Yesterday I took my niece and nephew to go and see Spider-man FFH (its good, I recommend it). Very low / no context spoilers — there is a scene where Peter needs to get changed from his regular clothes into a Spidey suit and is briefly topless. Tom Holland is obviously in pretty good shape as a lead character in an MCU role, but after the film when the kids were talking to each other about which parts from the film they thought were best (comedy, action, drama etc), this scene came up and my nephew (who is like 10/11yr) mentioned that he didn't think Holland "looked that big" physically.

Now part of that is obviously youthful naivety on actual fitness knowledge, but it was something that stuck with me having had this thread in mind. If you see FFH, you'll know what scene I'm talking about and will know that Holland is definitely in great shape (much better shape than a 16yr old kid like Peter would be without super strength etc) and that I guess this counts as a real world perception of how the body image views are distorted.
 

Roygbiv95

Member
Jan 24, 2019
837
Is he even doing anything special? I stopped drinking soda and only eat half a dozen donuts rather than the baker's dozen per day I was eating and sit around arguing on Era. I look way better than this actor who refers to a boxing gym as his second home, does 40 min of sparring followed by 20 min of lifting, ab work or circuits every day.

Totally doable to look like this at 45 years old by not doing anything special. That isn't messing with people's heads when they actually do something special and don't get the results they expected.
Congrats on the fast metabolism and inherent Mesomorph body shape bud *applause*

Also it will depend on how heavy you are before the weight loss process. Ever seen someone who's actual torso looks like a hoodie with a bunch of shit stored in the front pocket? That's leftover fat and skin and it's tricky to get rid of it without surgery.

EDIT: Assuming you're being being sarcastic, if so nvmnd ^___^
 
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Westbahnhof

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
4,912
Austria
Congrats on the fast metabolism and inherent Mesomorph body shape bud *applause*

Also it will depend on how heavy you are before the weight loss process. Ever seen someone who's actual torso looks like a hoodie with a bunch of shit stored in the front pocket? That's leftover fat and skin and it's tricky to get rid of it without surgery.
Isn't Lundren's post like, 200 proof sarcastic?
 

JoJoDentCo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
646
Congrats on the fast metabolism and inherent Mesomorph body shape bud *applause*

Also it will depend on how heavy you are before the weight loss process. Ever seen someone who's actual torso looks like a hoodie with a bunch of shit stored in the front pocket? That's leftover fat and skin and it's tricky to get rid of it without surgery.
It's obviously sarcastic.
 

Fallout-NL

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,895
What if I really like admiring Theroux's physique and don't really feel pressured into trying to look like that myself?
 

Westbahnhof

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
4,912
Austria
Maybe! Is it wise to assume questionable takes someone typed on the internet that you hear non-sarcastically often are always sarcastic?
I mean, sometimes people aren't that obvious with it, but this specific post, especially towards the end, is dripping with sarcasm.
I'd bet my left nut on that one.

Edit: to be specific, the last sentence only makes sense for the purposes of sarcasm, as in a non-sarcastic comment, it would've been irrelevant. He's basically adding criticism against the type of comment he's parodying, so in a serious statement, the line would be absent
 
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Roygbiv95

Member
Jan 24, 2019
837
I mean, sometimes people aren't that obvious with it, but this specific post, especially towards the end, is dripping with sarcasm.
I'd bet my left nut on that one.

Edit: to be specific, the last sentence only makes sense for the purposes of sarcasm, as in a non-sarcastic comment, it would've been irrelevant. He's basically adding criticism against the type of comment he's parodying, so in a serious statement, the line would be absent
I would bet my middle nut that a lot of opinions similar to the one in his post are said without sarcasm. You see, sarcastic humor becomes dry wit when either the joke itself is crafted in a way that reveals with relative certainty to someone who would laugh with it that the person saying it doesn't believes what they're saying, OR it's intentionally ambiguous, in which case the funny hinges on knowing the person themselves well enough to be sure they are in on it. Since Lundren's comment, joke or not, is very similar to ones I've read that are based in genuine ignorance, and since I don't recall reading their posts before that one, it's debatable that either style of dry sarcasm was communicated clearly in their post, hence the ambivalence in my reply ^__^

EDIT: Rob McElhenny knows what's up.
 
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Rampage

Member
Oct 27, 2017
939
Metro Detriot
This reminds me when Warcraft was introducing Blood Elves back in the day. I like the first, slimmer version of the males. But there was such a community backlash, they made them beefier. It is messed up.
 

MajesticSoup

Member
Feb 22, 2019
500
There is quite a lot of misconceptions in this post. Yes Rob McElhenney did this but that’s very extreme methodology and a very short timeframe. Most guys that are big are not doing this, especially if tall.
You say its extreme but every second person in every diet thread is recommending a calorie counting intermittent fasting keto diet. Probably more of the norm at this point.
 

CKDexterHaven

Member
Nov 26, 2017
122
Media has no influence on how I perceive body image. I workout because I feel better for myself in my day to day.
 

GC-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,509
You say its extreme but every second person in every diet thread is recommending a calorie counting intermittent fasting keto diet. Probably more of the norm at this point.
Perhaps. Can’t really say much for the diet fads as it’s something I don’t really follow. Only time you see that sort of advice in fitness, sport and bodybuilding is for bodybuilders after a heavy bulk and want to get down to competition weight which nobody in their right mind would want to be doing unless competing because it fucks up your sexy drive, makes you feel like shit, and completely unsustainable.
 

KingM

Member
Oct 28, 2017
847
You say its extreme but every second person in every diet thread is recommending a calorie counting intermittent fasting keto diet. Probably more of the norm at this point.
That's how dieting fads work. People have, or see, short term success and then begin reccomending it. Happened with Atkins, low-fat in the 80s and 90s, all types of juice diets, etc. Then eventually the majority of the people on them find the diet unsustainable for a variety of reasons.
 

Bman94

Member
Oct 28, 2017
745
How is that at all a modern thing? Ripped dudes has always been a trope, 80's action movies was filled to the brim with them. I'm the same token, fat dudes were always comic relief, none of this is new.

Also, what's the problem with it? Those are some serious goals and I would live to look like some of these guys. It's some serious motivation to get your shit together, ESPECIALLY, when you have people in your personal life that don't look too far off from these guys.
 

KingM

Member
Oct 28, 2017
847
How is that at all a modern thing? Ripped dudes has always been a trope, 80's action movies was filled to the brim with them. I'm the same token, fat dudes were always comic relief, none of this is new.

Also, what's the problem with it? Those are some serious goals and I would live to look like some of these guys. It's some serious motivation to get your shit together, ESPECIALLY, when you have people in your personal life that don't look too far off from these guys.
The 80s era is seen as the start of the modern era. It has been heavily explored in research and popular culture since then and before.
The problem is, much like with women's body image, the pursuit of a certain physique can lead to an unhealthy obsession that when the average person is unable to reach an unattainable, or sustainable, image in their head they spiral down. Similar to the issues with young girls who pursue being thin over everything else. It is body dysmorphia fuel for basically.

The goal being an old one doesn't mean that it is good. Tradition is not always good afterall.

Edit: here's a more thorough start

 
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Bman94

Member
Oct 28, 2017
745
The 80s era is seen as the start of the modern era. It has been heavily explored in research and popular culture since then and before.
The problem is, much like with women's body image, the pursuit of a certain physique can lead to an unhealthy obsession that when the average person is unable to reach an unattainable, or sustainable, image in their head they spiral down. Similar to the issues with young girls who pursue being thin over everything else. It is body dysmorphia fuel for basically.

The goal being an old one doesn't mean that it is good. Tradition is not always good afterall.

Edit: here's a more thorough start

While I'm not saying kill yourself in the gym or take steroids, many Americans live completely unhealthy life styles and I see this as positive motivation.

I'm overweight at 248 pounds at around 6"0. To even put on noticeable muscle mass right now is a huge fitness goal for me. If this "unrealistic male image" promotes people to learn to live a healthier life than do be it.

Because of this "unrealistic male image" I'm not taking food at face value anymore. I'm starting to pay attention to calorie counts, the amount of fried foods and red meats I consume, healthy food alternatives/proteins etc.

If we can at the very least normalize healthy eating patterns and regular fitness (which most Americans have no idea how to maintain or even start) then hopefully the male body in media can be a jumping point.
 

#1 defender

Member
Oct 27, 2017
654
Just a small note I wanted to add to the thread:

Yesterday I took my niece and nephew to go and see Spider-man FFH (its good, I recommend it). Very low / no context spoilers — there is a scene where Peter needs to get changed from his regular clothes into a Spidey suit and is briefly topless. Tom Holland is obviously in pretty good shape as a lead character in an MCU role, but after the film when the kids were talking to each other about which parts from the film they thought were best (comedy, action, drama etc), this scene came up and my nephew (who is like 10/11yr) mentioned that he didn't think Holland "looked that big" physically.

Now part of that is obviously youthful naivety on actual fitness knowledge, but it was something that stuck with me having had this thread in mind. If you see FFH, you'll know what scene I'm talking about and will know that Holland is definitely in great shape (much better shape than a 16yr old kid like Peter would be without super strength etc) and that I guess this counts as a real world perception of how the body image views are distorted.
It's possible there was a slight disconnect in semantics between you and your nephew. Not to say that Holland's look is easily attainable at all, he's absolutely ripped/chiselled, which is a great look for a younger Spider-man, but when i hear "big", i think of packing on a lot of muscle mass, like his MCU co-stars Hemsworth, Evans and Pratt regularly do. So i would agree that Holland doesn't look big in that sense, but that doesn't diminish the extraordinary effort one would have to put into achieving a physique like his.
 

Zoe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,534
I thought of this thread as I was watching Bad Times at the El Royale the other day. Hemsworth had more of a Fight Club physique than Thor and looked much better for it, IMO.
 

Joeytj

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,092
Is he even doing anything special? I stopped drinking soda and only eat half a dozen donuts rather than the baker's dozen per day I was eating and sit around arguing on Era. I look way better than this actor who refers to a boxing gym as his second home, does 40 min of sparring followed by 20 min of lifting, ab work or circuits every day.

Totally doable to look like this at 45 years old by not doing anything special. That isn't messing with people's heads when they actually do something special and don't get the results they expected.
Yeah, you’re not normal. I mean, you are, but I mean you’re not carrying around the average metabolism. You also have to look at your general diet, family and maybe you’re a lot more active than you think.

My boyfriend can do 0 exercise and diet for a year and can look the same as I do, while I’m going to the gym at least three times a week, eat way healthier than him, and walk a lot more.

But, he has a better metabolism than me, so he can eat less every time he grabs a bite, but gets hungry more often. A kid at work is even more of a metabolism Superman. He’s incredibly thin for someone who eats the same things as everybody else in the office.
 
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Sulik2

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,193
I mean I'm a guy and felt like I looked like a deformed monster most of my life. So men absolutely have body image issues and the incredibly fit look now in media doesn't help. That being said, I wish healthy fit was the trend not the impossible for normal people bodies Hollywood is pushing now. Henry Cavill in Superman is not a body normal people can get who aren't working with personal trainers and chefs eight hours a day for months at a time.
 

IanGrag

Member
May 1, 2018
282
It’s always been hard for me, because I feel like I’m an awkward weight where I look skinny with clothes on but chubby without them. In the past I’ve been straight up fat. I don’t mind seeing ripped people in movies too much, but it is hard when I hear girls talking about how they want a guy that looks like Chris Hemsworth. I’m not that, I’ll never be that, and when I see other boys who do look like that, I can’t help but think “why would anyone choose me over them?”
 

Blacki138

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,443
Kinda lttp to this thread but as a huge dude with a dadbod I'm starting to notice these extreme beautiful people in tv shows and movies. It's getting rather annoying tbh because people just don't look like that for the most part. It's why I appreciate the German Netflix show Dark so much. People just look fucking normal.
 

Maxximo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
181
I think there's no problem in showing healthy and good looking physiques in media. My first goals are health and fun, having a good looking physique is just a nice consequence.

I guess I'm lucky I find running and lifting heavy things fun xD
 

Maxximo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
181
Sure, a good diet, some exercise, good sleep, refraining from alcohol and smoking, and good mental health.... all things the character in that show completely and utterly lacks.
Well this is an interesting problem but I would never submit an actor to a body condition potentially harmful for his or her health.
 

KingM

Member
Oct 28, 2017
847
While I'm not saying kill yourself in the gym or take steroids, many Americans live completely unhealthy life styles and I see this as positive motivation.

I'm overweight at 248 pounds at around 6"0. To even put on noticeable muscle mass right now is a huge fitness goal for me. If this "unrealistic male image" promotes people to learn to live a healthier life than do be it.

Because of this "unrealistic male image" I'm not taking food at face value anymore. I'm starting to pay attention to calorie counts, the amount of fried foods and red meats I consume, healthy food alternatives/proteins etc.

If we can at the very least normalize healthy eating patterns and regular fitness (which most Americans have no idea how to maintain or even start) then hopefully the male body in media can be a jumping point.
There is a difference between positive motivation and unrealistic goals though. You mention healthy eating and exercise habits but to obtain those physiques it requires an amount of nutritional discipline and gym time that the average person cannot achieve. Eating healthy and working out is good, but the problem is when people are unable to hit their perceived goal and obsess over the last "few" steps to get Hemmsworth or Rock swole. Afterall the goal of movies and media isn't to promote health it's to sell you junk by any means possible. The same way overly thin models were used to sell clothes in the heroin-chic era. They to could serve as fitness goals for people, but also carried their own problematic elements.
 
OP
OP
RDreamer

RDreamer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,414
Well this is an interesting problem but I would never submit an actor to a body condition potentially harmful for his or her health.
There is a middle ground though that’s very healthy. That’s my issue. I’m not saying actors all should be fat instead of ripped. I’m saying actors can instead merely be healthy rather than the insane pressure that makes them do reps and dehydrate between takes to look even more unattainably muscular than they should be.

A lot of actors don’t like this pressure they have to be bodybuilders to get work!
 

chalkitdown

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,104
Surprised nobody has mentioned Daniels in The Wire. I think it was season 3 when he's first seen shirtless and it's just ridiculous that someone like him is in that kind of shape.
 

Doober

The Fallen
Jun 10, 2018
1,849
There is a middle ground though that’s very healthy. That’s my issue. I’m not saying actors all should be fat instead of ripped. I’m saying actors can instead merely be healthy rather than the insane pressure that makes them do reps and dehydrate between takes to look even more unattainably muscular than they should be.

A lot of actors don’t like this pressure they have to be bodybuilders to get work!
Yeah, I'd like to see a return to the 50s-70s male aesthetic. The poster child for that in my eyes is Charleton Heston in The Ten Commandments: obviously a strong, fit dude, even if there's not a six pack to speak of.
 

Chibs

Member
Nov 5, 2017
963
Kinda lttp to this thread but as a huge dude with a dadbod I'm starting to notice these extreme beautiful people in tv shows and movies. It's getting rather annoying tbh because people just don't look like that for the most part. It's why I appreciate the German Netflix show Dark so much. People just look fucking normal.
I said the same thing while watching that show, it was really refreshing.
Actual human beings with imperfections... who'd have thought those still existed?
 

laminated

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,270
The Theroux physique is something I see quite frequently at my rock climbing gym. Athletes, pro or otherwise, take their sport seriously, and their physique is a reflection of their dedication. If you watch pick up ball, sure you'll see some people with average physiques, but you'll also see people in fantastic shape. Or go to a gymnastics gym. Whether the physique in the OP is common or unrealistic depends on your surroundings and lifestyle. If you're athletic and play a sport where being lean and muscular is advantageous to excel, it's more common, and it has nothing to do with toxic body image.
 

spidye

Member
Oct 28, 2017
573
Kinda lttp to this thread but as a huge dude with a dadbod I'm starting to notice these extreme beautiful people in tv shows and movies. It's getting rather annoying tbh because people just don't look like that for the most part. It's why I appreciate the German Netflix show Dark so much. People just look fucking normal.
What?
Ulrich, jonas, magnus, noah all have perfect model bodies
Especially noah is annoyingly perfect
 

Rendering...

Member
Oct 30, 2017
7,612
Yeah, I'd like to see a return to the 50s-70s male aesthetic. The poster child for that in my eyes is Charleton Heston in The Ten Commandments: obviously a strong, fit dude, even if there's not a six pack to speak of.
This is my nightmare. “Stout” men with vague definition, a few bad months away from a dad bod.

Reminds me of actual dads on the fast track to middle age. Not attractive at all.
 
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