Friday, 2 November 2012

The Shadow Man

The shape of what is considered the male 'body beautiful' in normal societies has changed over the years .... but in general its been the Greek Olympian ideals as symbolised by the figure of Michaelangelo's 'David' (even with the prudishly little weiner). Of course that has been debased occasionally, notably by the 'heroic' sculptures of the Nazi / Communist groups ..... and the occasional African dictator,

Portly Epitomes of North Korean Manhood

..... but where it reached its zenith in human physical terms, was the late Victorian era in Europe, and again in Nazi Germany in the late 1930's - where physical perfection for either the ruling caste (in the case of the Victorian public schools system), and the master races mass physical exercises (see the movies of Leni Riefenstahl such as 'Triumph des Willens' and 'Olympia').

However, in the Victorian UK and US, the fad for the male body beautiful, as well as a certain type of voyeurism for men with an interest in that sort of thing, and women generally (as they couldn't normally see or touch semi clad males), led to the rise to the stardom of one 'Eugen Sandow' - a man whose physique was considered to be the epitome of male perfection in the late Victorian era. Although not tall at five foot nine, (certainly by modern standards), his rippling musculature was exhibited on stage to mass adulation.

Eugen Sandow - Victorian Body Beautiful

His vital statistics were much admired ....
  • Height 5ft 9in 
  • Waist 29in 
  • Chest 48in (62in when flexed) 
  • Neck 18in 
  • Biceps 19.5in 
  • Forearms 16.25in 
  • Thighs 27in - same as Chris Hoy
  • Calves 18in 

'Ladies', and some 'Gentlemen', would pay a surcharge to attend private viewings backstage, where they were encouraged to fondle his muscles, and squeeze the object of their desire, and although this led to some dark hints as to sexual misconduct by a some men with Mr Sandow for money, there is no evidence of any immodesty taking place, and he was happily married (These hints may be more homoerotic wishful thinking than anything else).

Daniel Craig aka 'James Bond'

Nowadays, Daniel Craig aka 'James Bond' is probably the current ideal body shape for a western white male, for non whites, the role model may vary, but essentially, its also a taller, more lean model that is the ideal .... Mr Sandow has been relegated to a historical footnote, but for one brief moment in time he was the male ideal.

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