Sunday, September 6, 2009

Body of Work.

I was watching "The Ten Commandments" the other day (don't ask) when a friend pointed out to me how unfit all the male stars were.
I turned around to take a closer look at Yul Brynner and Charlton Heston, the film stars, and had a hard time understanding what he was talking about.
He remarked how the high waisted skirts the men wore stuck tightly to their fat rolls. Again I didn't see it.
But in the end what he was talking about makes sense; they didn't have six packs.

People usually complain that women were the ones who suffered the most from the changes in beauty appraisal (the curvy shapes of classic Hollywood are obese by today's standards) but few people have given the same consideration to the guys.
When, and why, did six packs become the epitome of male beauty?


Anonymous said...

I don't remember Yul Brynner or Charlton Heston being unfit or fat in The Ten Commandments or in any other film they did, they were very very very HUNKY men in their day. They were really fit and muscular and they both had great pecs, six pack abs, you name it. They both were known not just for being good actors but also for their impressive physiques.

Kelsy said...

I don't know. Yul Brynner looks pretty good right there.

These guys are like normal-guy fit. They're obviously in-shape, but by today's standards they don't look as in-shape as possible.

Possible theory: 80s action movies may have been the starting point. I can't think of movies before then that glorified the overly-fit male body quite as much.

Jose said...

I know, and don't get me wrong, I have never thought of classic actors as anything less than beautiful.
But the glorification of the six-pack really seemed to have turned these precepts around. Same with skeleton-like figures on women (a tragedy sparked by the fashion industry).
I think people started obsessing with lack of any fatty tissue in male stomachs when Brad Pitt did his thing in "Thelma & Louise". My point was that more people object to these points of view in women and nobody talks how men too suffer with extreme societal parameters which are pretty hard to live up to.

Michael Parsons said...

I blame Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise.