I'd like PD dudes' thoughts here, particularly the older ones who've had the chance to watch the standard change
Sure, here goes.
i'm 33, male , have a potbelly (which is accepted and cherished by my (beuaty of a Rubenesque ) wife)
...never felt like there was a single set standard to body image.
I was never encouraged to live up to a standard, or to maintain a certain weight, or critisized by parents or peers,
i used to excersize/play sports a lot more than i do now, and had a vegetarian diet till i was about 27.
The media-promoted-standard did shift ,..
For a standard i could use/look at the "muscular athletic man" (Swarzenegger/He-man/ B.A.Barakus /David Husslehof in his baywatch days) ,
(These were supposed "standards" -Eighties-)
or perhaps "the basketball player" "Tall lean succesfull businessman who fills out three piece suit perfectly" "Fox Mulder" "johnny Depp"
or "skinnyjeans wearing metrosexual male model" "overgroomed tall and handsome asshat without a grain of fat on him"
(2000 and beyond~ )
i never looked like any of those, at any given time,..
nor did i get the feeling that i would become more acceptable/visually appealing to others if i did look like em.
how body wars affect men
directly, i'd say a whole lot less than they affect women,..
I don't know many men who go to the gym or are on a diet because their body does not live up to the standard.
A lot of men do seem to be influenced by the set standards for women, and knowingly or not help enforce these,.