Aesthetics, attractiveness, and confidence are high on the minds of many men today.
While ideals of the masculine body continue to be refreshed through media — particularly movies, advertisements, and social media — it’s arguable that the ideal male body has persisted for millennia.
“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”Socrates
In other words, that which was beautiful to our ancestors 3,000 years ago was also likely beautiful to our ancestors 300,000 years ago. Yet, the beauty of a man does not solely rely upon his mere, “being,” rather the beauty of man combines a great many traits including the soundness of mind, body, and spirit.
While we can appreciate the visual and superficial attributes of modern pretty boys and male models, we don’t actually want to be those people because deep down we understand that their narcissistic tendencies are of little value to society. Digging deeper, one can also perceive that narcissistic beauty may actually be hurting people.
Are standards of beauty harmful to modern men?
In ways, there is no question that standards of beauty can be detrimental to mental health. Extremely physically attractive men almost always have had to work very hard to achieve an aesthetic — even the ones who shortchange their own health by taking shortcuts in the form of chemical assistance (more common than you can possibly imagine).
If you look at the picture above, many people would assume that those physiques were earned just by genetics and from, “working harder than everybody else.” While these physiques are aesthetically appealing, they are not indicative of health either internally or externally. As a result, this is not true fitness even though they exist in the fitness space.
If longevity and disease prevention are of importance, one should strive to stay drug free and natural.
It should recognized that there really are no situations in which having a healthier, fitter, and more capable body is actually a bad thing. Take any man and improve his fitness — there can only be benefit so long as he keeps his ego in check.
Male beauty for the sake of beauty alone lacks virtuosity.
If becoming a perfect male specimen in order to attract attention is the only goal, then there is very little value to society. Male beauty for the sake of pleasure and sex to the exclusion of other values is characteristic of the unevolved man.
Don’t get me wrong — attracting partners is a huge reason why people exercise and if that is what helps people become healthier, then I support it. However, there is so much more to life than sexual appeal, especially when it comes to self-actualization and the ultimate goal of complete transcendence of the self (which resonates with universal wisdom, infinite love and radical acceptance of all living beings).
What are the benefits of promoting the male physical ideal?
Quite frankly, a society which encourages their men to become strong, healthy, and capable is a society which is always at the ready. As long as the route towards male beauty involves a transformation of the mind, body, and soul, there will be more common good to share with the community.
The male physical ideal should be healthy and inspirational. You can be healthy at many different sizes, but you cannot be healthy through years of chronic inflammation, which causes the body’s immune system to attack itself. Adding on to that, the microbiome of obesity perpetuates imbalance and can spread from human to human.
Moreover, the actual obesity epidemic is hazardous to more than half a billion people as well as their children and society as a whole as it relates to disease and resources wasted on symptom management (as opposed to actual healing). We shouldn’t just allow people to remain ignorant to the effects of chronic inflammation and excess visceral fat surrounding the organs and damaging the body through dysfunctional endocrine action.
Is the male ideal caused by external and socially communicated ideas or does each man have an inner knowing as to what he perceives to be beautiful?
To me, the answer is clearly both. It’s the old argument of nature vs. nurture which can never be quantified. That being said, it’s also obvious to me that each individual has their own perception of aesthetic and that many ideas of aesthetics are overlapping.
Why is a mountain with trees, snow, waterfalls and dramatic peaks so much more aesthetic than a dry, desolate, and ragged range?
Does society tell us that one is more beautiful than the other or is it simply clear to the human eye?
There is so much more beneath the layers of human consciousness that is taken for granted. What happens if we actually listened to those internal voices instead of spending energy on hyper-stimulating vices such as alcohol, drugs, pornography, video games, social media likes, and more?
People seem to also waste energy on manufactured outrage just so that they can feel something compelling, even if it’s anger.
Male beauty is rare because it is difficult to achieve and because our understanding has been tainted by the supraphysiological.
Society gives us unrealistic expectations of what is actually possible to achieve as it relates to the physical body. Supraphysiological doses of testosterone and other performance enhancing lab-created substances have altered our perception of what is achievable, normal, and ideal.
You don’t have to look like The Rock in order to be a mature, masculine man. Let him remain in the realm of superhero fantasies — far away from reality.
Steroids and other performance enhancing drugs are prevalent in Hollywood, all levels of sport, and in social media.
“Up to 12% or more of high school boys have admitted to using anabolic steroids.”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6125030/
That is the problem with male physical standards. People take shortcuts which are damaging because they perpetuate unrealistic expectations and disappointment in being unable to achieve that elusive, powerful, manly physique. Or they blast testosterone for the rest of their lives and will most likely have heart disease on the horizon.
Let’s also remember that all performance enhancing drugs have side effects, including addiction — because you feel like a shell of your former self when you stop taking the drugs.
There are literally 20 year old’s who have abused their body with PED’s so bad that they have to take Testosterone Replacement Therapy for the rest of their lives. Take this as a warning for you or your loved ones.
Who really knows how manhood is earned nowadays without elders guiding us through rituals of spiritual growth? I don’t think most boys realize that manhood is better earned through hard work, struggle, and overcoming mental obstacles over years and years. It is because our role models of mature masculinity are obscured by society’s fear of mentally sick men.
Our society does not know how to deal with toxic masculinity and so it attacks all masculinity instead of promoting the virtuous, mature, masculine found in both man and legend.
The ideal male physique is NOT hyper-masculine.
Let’s be clear about something. Those massive, ripped, shredded physiques that you see in the movies and social media ARE NOT IDEAL. Certainly, they are impressive and grandiose, but they are not the ideal.
Just take a moment to appreciate the direction of the female gaze and you can see that male vanity is often met with disgust in the eyes of woman.
While we often assume women to be more noble in their evaluations of the opposite sex, it should be noted that woman are also not immune to lusting over beautiful men. However, women typically do not objectify the average man because the average man has little to objectify. Furthermore, women almost never present a physical threat to the subjects of their lust because women are not violent in that way.
Male power is not inherently dangerous, but male power does hurt women around the world every day. It is the responsibility of each man to stand up for himself and not tolerate corruption from within or corruption from others. Each man should treat others with respect and honor the inherent beauty of all women.
If the corruption has reached the point of no return, the evolved, masculine man must protect those less fortunate than himself… at any cost.
The ideal male body is sculpted as a RESULT of the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, and virtue.
The men who are willing to go through self-sacrifice and rituals of ego-death are the men who have the intelligence, precision, and discipline to exert the will of the Infinite and the Absolute and shall naturally transform their outer bodies. It doesn’t have to be at the gym and while the gym is a convenient place to engage in transformative activities, it is through intentional movement and overcoming the unknown that one transcends.
Running. Lifting. Jumping. Carrying. Pulling. Pushing. Stretching. Swimming. Revolutions. Hills. Mountains. Self-Defense. Balance. Stillness. Awareness. Consciousness. Spirit.
Recover your body through balanced, life-promoting nutrition. High quality protein. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Plethora of antioxidants, spices, and herbs. Fibrous and fermented. Raw and cooked. Diverse, yet consistent.
Study the wise men of today and yesterday. Accept your purpose. Say yes to the journey.
Release yourself from the outcome and submit yourself to the process. Fall in love with failure. See the beauty in fate.
Be who you were destined to be.
Who are you?
I am that I am.
Thank you for reading.
Yours in health,
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