Everyone has their own perception of the perfect body. It is influenced by a a number of trends, changes in culture, and even the availability of food.
Artist Nickolay Lamm, who brought us the realistically proportioned Barbie, wanted to see how the ideal had changed over time. So he collected reference photos for what was considered among Americans as the “perfect man” from each decade since the 1870s, then sculpted 3D models.
In the late 19th century, for example, the Dad-bod was the perfect-bod. Having a large waist and chubby cheeks was a sign of wealth and social class.
As with all generalizations, this will not be “perfect” for everybody — Lamm’s study is only interested in body shape and does not take into account skin tone for example — explaining the white-wash. But the illustrations give insight into how pressures around the male ideal have changed so dramatically over the past couple of centuries.
in 1866 a 'Fat Man's Club' was founded in Connecticut, which became popular and spread across the US -- its members had to weigh at least 200 pounds. Heres's a photo of that same club from 1894.
In 2012, a study from the Institute of Neuroscience used 3D visualisation software to estimate our preferences for both male and female bodies.
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