How Men’s Perfect Body Types Have Changed Throughout History

How Men’s Perfect Body Types Have Changed Throughout History


When the media talks about looks, it’s usually
about women. But men have been pressured to work that sexy
physique too. When you find out how much the ideally hot
male body has changed, you’ll find that — just like for women — “perfect” is in the eye
of the beholder. “Hello ladies. Where can you go when your man smells like
me? Close your eyes and I’ll show you.” To start, let’s take it way back — all the
way to the Neolithic Era. Fat and happy From around 12,000 to 8000 BC, humans were
passing on that hunter-gatherer life, and switching to agriculture. Growing food, instead of stalking buffalo
all day? Yes please. Peter Janiszewski, PhD, co-creator of Obesity
Panacea, says the ideal man at the time was heavy. Agriculture allowed those with power over
the land to have huge feasts and, yes, gain a few pounds. A bigger dude was seen as well off and more
appealing than his skinny counterparts. Hot and Greece-y Back in 800 BC, the ancient Greeks were very
particular about their bods. According to The Guardian, the ideal man was
muscular and lean. So yeah — they looked a lot like the hotties
in GQ. If any of those Greek statues came to life
and auditioned for the next Marvel film, they’d at least get a callback. Though there were specific ratios for Greek
beauty, they weren’t completely realistic. The Guardian says, “They have muscle groups
that mortal men can’t ever achieve: you could go to the gym every day for a year and you
wouldn’t acquire an Apollo’s belt like these statues boast.” Even now, some guys are still trying to slay
those V-shaped “Apollo’s belt” abs. Original normcore “Welcome to Medieval Times, I’ll be your serving
wench, Melinda” The Ohio State Research News reported on a
study done by Professor Richard Steckel about the height and health of humans around 800
AD. Studying thousands of skeletons from the past
1,200 years, he found that there was a growth spurt in the Middle Ages, with considerable
shrinkage by the 1700s. According to Steckel’s study, “This decline
of two-and-a-half inches substantially exceeds any height fluctuations seen during the various
industrial revolutions of the 19th century.” The reason height is so important? Tall meant healthy. But was a tall body “perfect”? Certainly the days of Adonis were long gone. Art of the time depicted men as healthy-looking,
average, and — sorry gals — not much more. Heavenly body In the 1400s, Leonardo Da Vinci knew “hot”
when he saw it. With his drawing of the Vitruvian Man he showed
exactly how the perfect Renaissance-body should look — and it’s all about those perfectly
sexy proportions. Plus, that circle and square. According to Toby Lester, author of Da Vinci’s
Ghost, “The circle, since ancient times, connoted, you know, things divine and cosmic. It’s the perfect shape, that all of its points
on its circumference are equidistant from the center, and it was the shape that governed
all of the supposed concentric fears that made up the cosmos. And then you’ve got the human element of things,
the square, where you bring things down to Earth and make sense of them, set them right.” That’s right. The Vitruvian man wasn’t just a hot bod. He was heaven and Earth. Mac-n-cheesy In the 1700s, the “Macaronis” were young Brits
who went abroad, and fell in love with Italian cuisines and European style. According to historian Geri Walton, these
guys would even order macaroni to show off that they recently visited Italy. They wore fashionable and slightly feminine
clothes, with layers clinging to their trim figures. Sound familiar? They should, because basically, they were
the hipsters of their day. Eventually, their look became too extreme
with their huge wigs, heavily made up faces, and ornate and ridiculous accessories. The style fell pretty far out of favor — hard. By 1775 the Oxford Magazine said, “There is
a indeed a kind of animal, neither male nor female, a thing of the neuter gender, lately
started up among us. It is called a Macaroni.” Dad-bod If you’re into “dad bod,” then the late-1800’s
Gilded Age would have been your jam. Fat was back in, signifying that you were
makin’ it rain, and didn’t need to work for it. According to the book Looking Good, a big
bod was so cool, they had “Fat Men’s Clubs” for guys pushing 200 pounds. There were even competitive weigh-ins to celebrate
who was the biggest. Of course, fat women weren’t desired, just
fat men. But, those big ol’ bellies would soon go out
of style… Hollywood icon As Hollywood films blew up in the 1920s, the
entertainment biz single-handedly shaped the ideal standard of beauty for everyone. Sure, women have long been fat-shamed in Hollywood,
but the same thing happened to men. According to Looking Good, people appeared
about 20 pounds heavier on film, so directors preferred leaner actors. Plus, movies back then had men riding horses,
sword fighting, and doing a number of physically intense stunts, so men had to be in shape
to do their jobs. As more people watched the movies, the standard
for men’s appearance was raised to match. Old-fashioned fitspo Slim was in, but in the 1930s, the world’s
first fitness guru, Charles Atlas, was bulking guys back up. Smithsonian Magazine profiles Atlas as a 97-pound
weakling, as Atlas described himself, who got tired of getting bullied. So, he hit the gym, came up with isometric
exercises he called “Dynamic Tension,” and eventually Hulked-out. “And Hulk… smash” Harvey Green, author of Fit for America: Health,
Fitness, Sport and American Society, told the Smithsonian that Atlas’ solution to the
Depression and World War II was, “be bigger than everybody else. Then nobody would mess with you.” This launched the fitness movement and began
the trend towards men wanting to build up their physiques. Exec bod In the late ’50s, men were slightly less concerned
with “strong,” and more focused on “big.” Enter the “Executive look,” where men aimed
for large, imposing figures. Suit jackets and overcoats had large boxy
shoulders and a much looser fit than we’d see today. Sure they wanted a trim waist. But broad shoulders on a tall bod was even
better. Bond guys In the ’60s, suave, stylish men were en vogue. As GQ confirmed, the look was clean, and the
suits fit close. It was a corporate guy who maintained this
buttoned-up style, while rock stars and younger men went more bohemian. The ideal body? Basically, 007. He was trim, but didn’t have a lot of muscle,
and did have a lot of chest hair. Men had broad shoulders and a flat stomach,
but shredded biceps and a six-pack were definitely not required. Staches and androgyny In the late ’60s and ’70s, androgyny was the
rage, especially for rock stars like David Bowie and Mick Jagger, who according to The
Guardian enjoyed playing with looks that were both masculine and feminine. Professor Jo Paoletti said in her book Sex
and Unisex, “Part of the appeal of adult unisex fashion was the sexy contrast between the
wearer and the clothes, which actually called attention to the male or female body.” Muscles and glam rock In the ’80s, men’s style totally diverged. First, there were the hard-bodied action heroes,
like Schwarzenegger and Stallone. In her book Hard Bodies, Susan Jeffords wrote
that action films of the time, mixed with Reagan’s “return to values” perfectly defined
the masculine ideal of the ’80s. And on the complete other side of the spectrum? “She’s my cherry pie, cool drink of water
such a sweet surprise.” Hair metal songs like “Talk Dirty to Me” and
“Unskinny Bop” might not seem to challenge gender roles. But the fact that these hyper-masculine bands
dressed in a very feminine way was brand new and totally ’80s. Smokin’ These days, anybody who plays a “hot guy”
in movie has to be cut. Just being thin or athletic isn’t good enough. Ever since the ’90s, that smokin hot look
has only become more extreme. The Telegraph even suggests action figures,
and the unrealistic proportions they reinforce, may be giving boys body image issues. And Alpha Magazine that found that men were
more anxious about their bodies in 2015 than they were five years before. The Boston Globe reported that male body-shaming
is on the rise with sites like TMZ dedicating whole sections to “Livin Large,” showcasing
bad shots of famous people who’ve gained weight. Though this is something women are beyond
familiar with, men are now receiving near equal media pressure to attain un-attainable
bodies. The perfect man What’s been considered to be the “perfect
male body” has so drastically changed over the years, it only goes to prove that trying
to live up to any ideal is a total waste of time. To all the fellas, take it from the ladies:
here’s hoping one day “perfect” will be whatever body you rock. Thanks for watching! Click the List icon to subscribe to our YouTube
channel. Plus, check out this other cool stuff we know
you’ll love too!

100 Replies to “How Men’s Perfect Body Types Have Changed Throughout History”

  1. Oh my fucking god. Why did you make this video about woman, and why do you only make points that makes it seem that women have it way worse. Fuck off.

  2. When I was a kid most of older dudes had chest hair , nowadays the overwhelming majority of guys are “ hairless “ ? Evolution of involution ? 😂

  3. Something about a mans shoulder, neck & upper back area is so sexy to me like the men at 05:43 – 05:47 😍😍😍

  4. The amount of times I’ve heard girls talk about guys and how they have “dad bods” is incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever heard one of my guy friends openly make fun of a woman’s image

  5. lol i like how men and young teen boys go and body shame thin girls and call them flat or toothpicks for not being curvy or “thicc” but then they come to a video about them and bitch about women being shallow wanting them to be muscular and fit but were u just telling us to lose weight if we r big or to tone up if we r thin? 🤔

  6. Men of today are The Greek Gods of Yesterday-every guy in the gym seems to emulate an Action Hero Figure-work out in any gym-and youall know what i mean!

  7. You forgot that they usually need a hot face, which is my problem im working on getting a sixpack and really toning my muscles (except just to the point of "you can see them but they arent in your face") but my face, if i have any facial hair, one bit of acne at all, aswell as if my hair isnt doing what i want it to even i dont find myself attractive. And i get no attention from girls which makes me wanna work even harder to get to my desired body faster except i csnt go much faster with my schedule.

    Idk about y'all but i just want a healthy, nice, smart, average looking girl but i cant get them, yet ive put off nearly 25lbs to get them and they still dont notice me uggghhhh!!!!!

  8. Man its getting worse and worse. I don’t feel masculine enough at all and I hate it. I’m 14 and very fucking short even though I have tall genes. I recently started working out and it has honestly only made me feel worse. Even girls my age want a boy to look lean, musculair and tall and I’m clearly not good enough no matter what i do.

  9. There is one thing tha most people do not know about Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man. These proportions do not exist in nature. This figure is eight head lengths tall, from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet, with the center being at the crotch. Leonardo did this on purpose, for esthetic reasons. He wanted to fit the body into the Pythagorean Law of Octaves . He knew full well what he was doing. He wanted to make his figures larger than life. In contrast, the adult human figure is seven and one half head lengths tall, with the center being about two finger widths below the navel. These proportions exist across ethnic groups. May disagree. I say to that: MEASURE. It may not seem so, but our brains are easily fooled by human projection. Likewise, Leonardo’s figure sports an arm spawn equal to its height. This is also not seen in nature, no matter what you’ve heard. Human arm span has more length than human height. Some here may disbelieve this, preferring what they have heard. I say measure Don’t measure photos, they can be altered. Measure real people. These proportions work for adults in their prime. There are exceptions. Among these are children of course, adolescents, little people, and older people who lose some height as they age. If you decide to do this measurement thing, a hundred would be good. Fifty might be adequate. Don’t believe me. Measure.

  10. Body image anxiety? Fuck no. Slight difference to toys but when I would watch boxing or wrestling as a boy. It made me think if I worked out, I could look good. I remember at like 9 or 10 I was doing sit-ups in the living room haha

  11. the ideal body has pretty much always been low body fat with decent muscle mass and broad shoulders coming down to a narrower waist.

  12. Hunny – you need to study the 20th century from 1900 to 1970 two world wars and world depression with poor eating habits and food shortages, diet unavailability of fresh produce all account for why men had smaller builds.

    Then after the 2nd world war from the 1960s men's build started to increase in body size again (as I am that generation and have the first-hand knowledge) with access to better nutrition. I have been studying the habits of men for more than 50 years and know I am correct I DID my research on this subject – did you? Or are you merely copying what someone else has written that is what it sounds like?

    Your video is typical "American Propaganda" more fiction than fact

    Did you include in your study into Developing Countries – Nutrition and lack of clean water and food, lack of sanitation etc and a host of other things like tropical diseases, access to health care and so on

    I suspect you did not I did watch most of the video and concluded it was "more bullshit than fact" and gave you Thumbs Down for an incomplete study depends on whether you are making a serious study to educate people

    or present any old rubbish to make a few quick bucks in click-through's then who cares if the facts are accurate?

    Which is it?

  13. My boyfriend has a beautiful body. He is on the shorter side, white pale skin and he’s covered in gorgeous freckles and beauty marks. He’s got a muscular back and arms and a tiny lil tummy chub and he is perfect to me. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  14. All a guy needs to do to be attractive is work out. And they dont even have to be super ripped just like some abs and slight biceps is enough

  15. woman only have to not eat like fucking hippo where as men have to go to the gym daily and do intense workouts. so women do not have impossible body standards men do but not women and this is not sexist but there will be a few people who will say this is.

  16. Masculinity is overrated. Gentle, sensitive men are most attractive and best for long-term relationships.

  17. Shows Vin Diesel
    "…unobtainable…"

    Lol, dudes can look like Vin Diesel by just hitting the gym hard maybe 4-5x a week. Now, The Rock, THAT requires dedication and anabolic assistance…

  18. I’m too lazy too make five paragraphs about why this is stupid and what the truth of all this stuff is. So instead I’ll just do it in my head. 😃

  19. Leonardo da Vinci cracked the code. The flesh and muscle fat contours over the skeletal frame perfectly and isnt hard to achieve as the portions dont cut into a convex shape. This diagram followed by the 8 head height ratio fits perfect to height and length to the human body.

  20. I'm naturally tall, yet im lanky. It saddens me that people of my build aren't considered attractive as much as a shredded guy. Girls just don't know how easy they have it when it comes to being pretty, us guys have to religiously work hard just to get likes…. But y'know, Patience and Perseverance right?

  21. wow you would make the perfect Chippendales dancer! cool documentary on the Chippendales men! enjoy! https://itunes.apple.com/ca/movie/chippendales-off-the-cuff/id1453075425

  22. im 6ft 175-180 lbs. never hit the gym, lean healthy athletic and an active/hard working THIS IS THE PERFECT MAN!!! a fit healthy rock star body without the excess ;p;p;p you dont need the extra muscle.. the extra weight… you dont need to do repetitive motions over and over to bulge out a specific muscle out of sync with the rest of your body….. just work hard and take care of yourself… only exercise i ever do is skipping and pushups/situps THATS IT!!! you'll be beautiful YOUR WHOLE LIFE!! not just for 5 years or so.. cuz age will always catch up to you if your not respecting your body…and that extra muscle will turn into fat… good and correct change is slow and steady, so that your body can "adapt" and always "maintain" your level of fitness… you should not aspire to getting big overnight…. and btw YOUR HEART IS A MUSCLE TO!!!! what do you think supplies all this extra muscle??… the bigger its load the more stress it is on your heart… how do you think it reacts unnecessary and quick gain?? or steroids?? or even supplements???… JUST BE NATURAL!!! FULL BODY WORKOUTS!!! WORK!!! ACTIVITY!!!! youll be stronger than any body builder!!! ;p;p;p;p you will be your "perfect" self. the way God intended you to be ;p;p;p;p;p;p!!!!!!

  23. I believe body image issues stem from poor reception of one's own attempt at comparing oneself with an ideal. A better way to recieve it is to set goals to acheive it until you come to realize not everything you idolize is realistic.

  24. Men have always been objectified like women. It's evolutionary. The only difference is, women just love to play victim.

  25. A dude can be any size to me and still look sexy as hell….it's all about persona. That sounds cheesy but I literally care THAT little about body because persona is what attracts me. Some guys can be a beautifully wrapped box of shit so…I just dgaf anymore. Once I love you, I'll love ONLY you. I can never look at another person once I love somebody. Period.

  26. I have to comment because this comment section and people watching this video it's disappointing truly as a human and as a health enthusiast fitness/ nutritionist expert though I do not have the credentials by degree. That being said it is disappointing as a human being to live your life looking for a body to impress others no your sole purpose in any endeavor you should be to better yourself as a human being humanism become healthier for yourself because at the end of the day not all girls are into muscular men and not all girls are into weightlifters bodybuilders etc I don't really think you could put a general consensus on the type of men women everyone's different also that being said it's deeper than just that do not live for the justification of others but for the justification of yourself be your only competitor and strive to be better than the day you were before my reason behind my training is martial arts because I believe with a strong body and trained muscles I have an added benefit which is grip strength forearms my back so my punch comes back to me faster my triceps so my punch traveles faster the list of reasons goes on you get the idea and the fact that I'm really vain 😂.

  27. So basically a broad, muscular physique has always been considered attractive in a men regardless of certain trends throughout history.

  28. I’ve never worked out in my life, (like doing ab workouts and going to the gym), but my dad always took me working ever since I was young and my mom always fed me healthy food. Also I rarely eat any chips or go to fast food to save money on useless stuff. And I’ve never noticed it until few years back I was lean ass fuck and had a 6 pack, I still do but damn it took years without even noticing.

  29. I am short & fat & average looking, and have done everything to get the adonis bod. However I have a very large schlong and women adore me, I've yet to figure it out

  30. www.jewishcircumcision.org

    www.littleimages.org

    Boycott the MY BODY = MY CHOICE rant… Most of these HYPOCRITES do not or will not hesitate to deny their sons, nephews, grandsons and girlfriends sons the right to bodily autonomy.

    They will submit any male infant or male child to the medically unnecessary circumcision procedure despite the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association and American Cancer Society recommending that the male child be left intact for the decision of circ to be made by the person who is attached to the penis after HE turns 18.

    These same HYPOCRITES will also body shame an intact boy/man and demand that he get circ'd. The teenboys/men who give in to that body shaming and get circ'd then end up vehemently regreting the mutilating cosmetic surgery. These HYPOCRITES do not promote, endorse or respect HIS BODY = HIS CHOICE.

  31. Fat-shaming isn't bad .
    Fat Shaming should be done in any way possible because being fat is fucking unhealthy. I myself was fat and just because I realised that I was fat and it is unhealthy is the reason why I started trying to loose weight . You stop fat Shaming and people will stop caring about being fat and will remain unhealthy throughout life and will die like a beef both life expectancy and weight wise

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