So usually I try to give you three thoughts from my head, but I’m grappling with one that has me quite perplexed at the moment. This week you just get one big thought, and I want your feedback and musings in return.
1) We know that it used to be considered attractive for women to be a bit plump, all you have to do is look at historical art to know that fat chicks used to be all the rage. I’ve been told this is because having some extra pounds was a sign of wealth and health. Of course we can all have a big discussion about how looking like you might die any second has become all the rage (although I sense the pendulum swinging back… oh please, let the healthy Cindy Crawford look come back in), but I’d rather talk about something else.
Actually – the historicity of men’s bodies.
Here’s what happened that made my thought gears click. I was watching a random movie set in a historical time and Mr. Dude Man was totally buff. And sure, he looked great in his breeches and all that, but I had to think… were guys really built like that back then? I mean… honestly.
My thoughts – anybody who was wealthy and healthy probably didn’t do a lot of physical labor. Sure, some leisure sports might have kept the protein-fed in some semblance of shape, but not the finely-cut look that we’re told is attractive these days.
Anybody who wasn’t wealthy and healthy probably didn’t have a fantastic diet. Men that had high labor jobs probably didn’t have huge amounts of muscle-building protein in their everyday fare so what are the chances of them having bulging muscles? Furthermore – even those who did do a lot of physical labor – for example, a blacksmith – probably had one set of big muscles, but that’s it. In this case I’m seeing a dude with great arms from manning the forge all day but a little paunchy and with chicken legs, because it’s not like he’s going for a five mile run after work to make sure he’s well-honed all around.
So I have to wonder – did anybody (aside from The Strong Man at the circus tent) look like this dubious cinema god in breeches back then? Are we being fed 21st century sexuality along with a dash of our history lesson when we watch a movie like this?
What was considered hot for dudes, historically?
And hey guess what – I’m giving away another Dark Days tour mate book! ASYLUM by Madeleine Roux!