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The work that women are expected to put in to chasing the ideal is expected to be invisible.
The “cool girl” rant from captures the dichotomy perfectly – they should be drinking beer and eating steaks yet look like they exist exclusively on salad. Men need to be muscular but lean, able to party hard and guzzle booze and beer like their bros on The Jersey Shore or The Only Way Is Essex but still maintain those perfect abs.
Yeah, you can #eatclean and #gopaleo – manly ideals those – but too much talk about salad and you might as well be checking into a pilates class.
In his quest for ultimate male beauty, Olesker has to eat and work out on a schedule so rigid that he’s forcing himself to scarf down chicken breasts on the bus as he scrambles to make it to the next work out.
Over the last couple of weeks, some news stories were brought to my attention that illustrate a problem I’ve been observing for a few years now.
The first was the latest in a long line of Photoshopping scandals.
And of course, it’s supposed to be Yeah, you can post your Cross Fit workout to Instagram with inspiring-yet-still-aggressive hashtags like #doyouevenlift, #brosdon’tletbrosskiplegday and #noexcuses, but talking about your diet?
Well you better not get specific bro, because that gets too close to being a chick.
The other was an article in Esquire UK, where the author decided to spend three months in a quest to become – in his words – “totally ripped”.See, despite what we tell ourselves, the male beauty standard isn’t about what The ideal man – the peak of male beauty we demand others conform to – falls in line with the tropes of hypermasculinity and traditional gender roles.You have to be tall – short men aren’t “men” after all.To many men, the lean-yet-jacked look has become de rigueur – the In what seems like a sick parody of gender equity, men hear more and more about fitness “success” stories from other men.Hugh Jackman tweets his workouts to get into superheroic shape with “fitspo” slogans like “if the bar ain’t bending, you ain’t lifting.” Chris Pratt – having gone from chubby schlub to wash-board-ab-bedecked guardian of the galaxy – gets asked over and over about how he achieved his transformation.
What made this interesting was that rather than some already-stick-thin female model being slimmed down even further or women of color having their skin lightened or their features made to look more caucasian, the subject in question was Justin Bieber.