Men are subject to it as well – body shaming. The latest victim is Fast and the Furious star Vin Diesel who was photographed shirtless on his hotel balcony in Miami.
It’s easy to dismiss this kind of criticism and say ‘well at least it’s not a woman for once’ but in reality, male actors (especially action stars) are subjected to torturous routines to maintain a certain look for film and then judged when they go back to living normal lives off-screen.
“My personal experience has been to work on phenomenal jobs in which the men are objectified as much as the women,” said Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer.
Her co-star, Kit Harington, is open about his own experience with objectification.
“To always be put on a pedestal as a hunk is slightly demeaning,” Harington told Page Six. “It really is and it’s in the same way as it is for women. When an actor is seen only for her physical beauty, it can be quite offensive.”
The actor who plays Jon Snow has to face similar demeaning questions that women face in press interviews.
“It’s not just men that can be inappropriate sexually; women can as well. I’m in a successful TV show in a kind of leading-man way, and it can sometimes feel like your art is being put to one side for your sex appeal. And I don’t like that,” he said. “In this position, you get asked a lot, ‘Do you like being a heartthrob? Do you like being a hunk?’ Well, my answer is, ‘That’s not what I got into it for.’”
This kind of sexual objectification is promoted by the production teams who urge their stars to cut weight, even if it’s unhealthy.
“My Magic Mike body . . . lasts for about five days, like when we’re shooting. You time it until that day and then you lose it immediately,” Channing Tatum revealed.
So no, his body does not usually look like this. Only when he works out a ton and only eats chicken. Just like how Photoshopped magazine covers influence female beauty ideals, impractical workout regimes and extreme dieting influence male beauty ideals. Someone with a nine to five can’t maintain a Magic Mike bod, it’s just not going to happen. But men today have this kind of ideal to live up to, and it’s causing young men and boys to have serious self-esteem issues.
It has been reported that over 40 per cent of boys in middle and high school start regularly exercising in the hopes of increasing muscle mass. Also, 38 per cent of boys in that age category start using protein supplements, and six per cent admit to trying steroids to achieve a more muscular look.
While it may seem trivial at first to talk about how male stars are body-shamed in the media, it affects their young fans who idolize them. We can learn to treat everyone with a little more respect.
Image credit: YouTube, Magic Mike