Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser
BoredPanda Add Post

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

This Is How Male Body Ideals Have Changed Over Time
119points
User submission
568.2K
History5 years ago

This Is How Male Body Ideals Have Changed Over Time

The ideal male physique of today’s modern man might be all about bulging biceps and rippled six-packs, but as you can see from this fascinating series of images, the ideal body wasn’t always like this.

They were made by a Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and researcher called Nickolay Lamm, who also makes a range of ‘standard human body proportioned‘ Lammily dolls designed to challenge the unrealistic proportions of Mattel’s Barbie. For his latest project, the artist used 3D computer modeling to show how the ideal male body has changed over the last 150 years. Taking into account several variables such as changes in culture and availability of food, and influenced by various images that Lamm collected from each decade he focused on, the results are often surprisingly different from what you might expect.

In the 1870s, for example, wide waists were all the rage because they symbolized wealth and prosperity. There was even a Fat Man’s Club in Connecticut for people who weighed at least 200lbs. However, the club closed down at the turn of the 20th century because public perception about body image began to change, especially with the dawn of Hollywood. Actors had to be lean in order to compensate for the fact that the camera would often make them look bigger than they were, and this trend culminated in the 1960s when skinny became the most desirable body type for men. This all changed again in the 1980s though when the rise in popularity of gyms and health clubs saw the ideal male physique begin to bulk out with muscle. This was also influenced by a growing interest in bodybuilding inspired by actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Scroll down to learn more about how the beauty standards for the male body have changed over time and see what it looks like today. Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.

More info: Lammily | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

1870s – The Fat Man’s Club

“Today, obesity is often associated with poor economic status, but before people had easy access to food, plump figures were considered attractive because they suggested upper-class status.”

1930s –  The Muscular Mesomorph

Clark Gable

John Wayne

Charles Atlas

1960s – The Lean Rocker

Mick Jagger

John Lennon

“In the 1960s, beautiful bodies hadn’t been very important. Young Americans, and some not-so-young ones, relied on dramatic clothing and masses of hair more than perfect measurements to express individuality and sexuality.” — Lynne Luciano

1980s – The Muscular Man

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sylvester Stallone

“In the 1970s, instead of being expressed through political activism and protest as in the 1960s, youthfulness would be projected by the body – a body that was as sexy, fit, and lean as an eighteen-year-old’s.” — Lynne Luciano

1990s to present – The Everyman

Brad Pitt

“He looks great, but he’s not massive. He’s just got really good abs, good arms, nice muscle tone, and an alright chest. And that’s what people want: to be lean, have a six-pack…It used to be bodybuilding…but that looks unattainable — you have to take steroids. With physique training, instead of spending ten years trying to build mass, you just get really lean.” — Esquire

568Kviews

Share on Facebook
Popular on Bored Panda
Hey pandas, what do you think?
Katie Smith
Community Member
5 years ago

I just like a man who looks like he takes care of himself.

Aurelia Grey
Community Member
5 years ago

I appreciate a man that wears pants/jeans that fit! If they don't, uses a...a...belt! Doesn't have to let the world know what brand of underwear he's wearing! I appreciate a man that knows how to wear aftershave/cologne. If I can smell a man approaching from 10 miles away, yeah, that's a bit f a problem.....

Load More Replies...
djinnjeannie
Community Member
5 years ago

Brad Pitt's cut form in Fight Club is the "everyman"?!? Where and how fast can I get there?

Matleena Korhonen
Community Member
5 years ago

Yeah, talking about impossible beauty standards! How is that "everyman"??

Load More Replies...
Daria B
Community Member
5 years ago

The title is a wee bit misleading (it's not "over the last 150 years" if you skip so many timelines), but the article is interesting and informative otherwise.

Марко Миловић
Community Member
5 years ago

Actually, It's not. Those were the moments when the idea of what is a desirable male body type changed.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Katie Smith
Community Member
5 years ago

I just like a man who looks like he takes care of himself.

Aurelia Grey
Community Member
5 years ago

I appreciate a man that wears pants/jeans that fit! If they don't, uses a...a...belt! Doesn't have to let the world know what brand of underwear he's wearing! I appreciate a man that knows how to wear aftershave/cologne. If I can smell a man approaching from 10 miles away, yeah, that's a bit f a problem.....

Load More Replies...
djinnjeannie
Community Member
5 years ago

Brad Pitt's cut form in Fight Club is the "everyman"?!? Where and how fast can I get there?

Matleena Korhonen
Community Member
5 years ago

Yeah, talking about impossible beauty standards! How is that "everyman"??

Load More Replies...
Daria B
Community Member
5 years ago

The title is a wee bit misleading (it's not "over the last 150 years" if you skip so many timelines), but the article is interesting and informative otherwise.

Марко Миловић
Community Member
5 years ago

Actually, It's not. Those were the moments when the idea of what is a desirable male body type changed.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Popular on Bored Panda
Popular on Bored Panda
User Submissions
Also on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda