It was bound to happen, something women have grappled with for eons, the objectification of the male body. No longer is it enough for a man to be perceived as a good catch based on his earning potential (who are we kidding when us men complain if only women could just love us for our souls), now a man has to pass muster in the physical department and how. Never has the benchmark been higher. Call it women’s revenge, call it clever marketing of marketer’s playing into men’s inertia of self-image or just call it the sign of the times that a man can only be considered desirable if he resembles the image of a some prodding Brad Pitt look-alike.
Adding to the inertia is the ubiquitous journal Details which caters to the everyday man when it recently came out with what it terms men’s growing obsession with body image.
The article features a slide show compendium idealizing the male form, some household names (entertainers) and the surprise addition of political leaders like Barack Obama (has anyone ever noticed that even Russia’s President Putin has begun giving interviews bare backed?), fashion designer Marc Jacobs (although the celebration of homo-eroticism in fashion has been with us for a while, but it now seems to be increasingly marketed to women and not just men).
On some level we shouldn’t be surprised, after all the ancient Greeks championed the male form in all its glory, but at the same time it also awarded high marks for intelligence and mythical status something men are being asked to aspire to if we are to believe marketer’s claims that will make them invincible and highly desirable. Excuse me, what ever happened to having a beer belly? A nice cute one that is…
Yet the ascent to heaven it seems isn’t necessarily going so well. With the pressure more than ever to seek and show perfection (yes we guys will soon be resorting to all sorts of maddening ploys to make the new purported nirvana) signs are starting to appear that us men aren’t having a good time of it, not that women have ever really had a good time of it either (but at least they’re sure to blame us men for their misery, something no man ever dare do for fear of being emasculated).
According to one recent article, the condition known as manorexia has been on the rise, a condition which has seen an increasing number of men experiencing eating disorders in their wish to replicate the perfected male image that so many marketers and women are unabashedly demanding from potential male suitors. In fact, we can add exercise addiction to the menu as well, but frankly I am of the opinion one can never exercise enough at least that is natural and a sign of a healthy disposition, assuming of course it’s not predicated on an unreachable ideals to score the fancy of society.
In fact so heightened has the demand for men to show the heightened aura of male perfection that body hair (something that you would think qualified a man’s masculinity) being denounced in countless ads and magazine spreads, with the plethora of men being depicted assume the quasi guise of a 21 year boy with