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 Post subject: Re: Body trends
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:34 pm 
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Why ancient armor had awesome abs
by Phil Edwards
August 5, 2015

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This sculpture from the first century BC depicts a fifth-century BC warrior's amazing abdominal armor. Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Why did Greek warriors have awesome abs and pecs hammered into their armor?

We know from ancient texts, pottery, and archaeological evidence that some ancient Greek warriors — like the citizen-soldier hoplites — wore uniforms that had the same aesthetic as a nippled Batman suit. And it's pretty clear that subsequent armies often worked off the buff Greek template.

Just take a look at this Greek cuirass (that's the name for the breastplate/back protective armor below). It's more than 2,000 years old, and you can still see the buff outline of nipples and well-defined abs:

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Ancient abs can inspire us all. We don't know the exact date of this cuirass, but it's probably from 700 BC. Leemage/Getty Images

It's not just a historical phenomenon, either. This ripped armor has bled through to our pop culture, as well — Disney even gave its Hercules, the strongest man ever to live, a ripped breastplate just to drive the point home:
Hercules: you never knew he was strong until you saw his super-ripped armor.

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Disney via Wikia - Hercules: You never knew he was strong until you saw his super-ripped armor.

Greeks had stylized chests, toned shoulder blades, amazing abs, and even shin plates that showed off their calves. They designed their armor to portray a type of "heroic nudity" — but why?

To find out, I asked Hans Van Wees and Lee L. Brice. Van Wees is a professor of ancient history at University College London and the author of Greek Warfare: Myths and Realities. Brice is a professor of ancient history at Western Illinois University and the editor of Greek Warfare: From the Battle of Marathon to the Conquests of Alexander the Great. They shared what we know about why, from roughly 750 to 350 BC, Greek armor looked the way it did.

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Possibly from the 6th century BC, this pottery shows a battle full of impressive ab-accentuating armor. DEA/G. DAGLI ORTI/De Agostini/Getty Images

It was mostly aesthetic: The introduction of toned armor seems uniquely Greek — and the reason is more aesthetic than functional. There was no structural reinforcement that came from having six-pack outlines or little stylized nipples. "All the abstracts were for show," Brice notes. That's not limited to the cuirass — the crest on the helmet made a warrior look taller, but also made him look good. "It seems possible," Van Wees says, "that even when thoroughly covered up, they liked to appear as naked as possible." There's also evidence that sometimes the cuirasses were painted, since archaeologists have found traces of red paint.

It may have intimidated their enemies: The ancient historian Thucydides mentions cuirasses, and we can piece together more information from plays and works by Spartan poets like Alcman and Tyrtaeus. But the best evidence as to their purpose may come from Herodotus, who wrote glowingly of fighting "men of bronze." That hints at the impression Greek warriors might have given — they weren't just wearing bronze armor. In fact, it seemed like they were made of bronze themselves.

But that intimidating armor wasn't a given for all soldiers — you only looked ripped on the battlefield if you had the cash. Hot armor was for the rich. The rest had linen and a shield.

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An illustration depicts soldiers fighting in tunics that fail to show off any fake abdominal muscles. Print Collector/Getty Images

"For the upper classes, the cultivation of a muscular, athletic body was a matter of status and prestige," Van Wees says. "Wearing bronze body armor was also for the elite only."

We can guess that those buff bronze cuirasses were mostly reserved for wealthy soldiers. The data's thin, but one ancient historian tells of a man who armed his forces with just one cuirass for every 10 soldiers. That's backed up by the archaeological evidence we've found in ancient temples. "There are about 10 times as many helmets as pieces of body armor," Van Wees says.

So what did poor soldiers use? Probably linen tunics, which haven't survived in the archeological record. It sounds pitiful compared with bronze breastplates, but both Van Wees and Brice note recent experiments reconstructing ancient linen body armor, and those experiments show it would have been surprisingly effective.

The cuirass was second to more important military innovations: The aspis, the wooden circular shield that you see in the pictures above, and the spear were crucial to Greek military success. That explains the coverage of the cuirass — for the most part, Greeks were protected by their shields. The shield was the key Van Wees says, "and the rest of the armor is on top of that." Some wealthy Greeks had arm or shoulder guards, but these probably served more of an ornamental than functional purpose.

"All the armor we regularly think of was protective," Brice notes, "but could also display wealth and prestige."

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A modern monument to Leonidas, the famous Spartan. Note the embellished cuirass. PHAS/Getty Images

So if linen got the job done, what's the point of all the armor? These Greek soldiers were frequently amateurs — farming was their main gig. "They were often physically fit," Brice says, "but not always as expert in fighting as those who could afford to train often (like the Spartans)." We can only speculate about the psychology behind Greek armor, but it's a fair guess that there was an aspirational element to the cuirasses — they were about preparing both the soldier and his enemy for epic conflict.

Ancient abs also reveal a lot about Greek values, including how much Greeks idolized the upper body. A toned torso symbolized the ideal in daily life, and that made it the ideal on the battlefield as well. So ideal, in fact, that soldiers made sure their armor had perfect abs, pecs, and nipples that we can still see today, more than 2,000 years after the fighting has ended.

Source: Vox.

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 Post subject: Re: Body trends
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:48 pm 
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Body-building supplement overuse signals new male eating disorder
By Patricia Reaney
6 August 2015

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A man competes at the Muscle Beach Independence Day bodybuilding contest on Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California, July 4, 2013. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Low-self esteem, poor body image and a perception of not meeting the modern ideal of masculinity are driving more men to consume over-the-counter body-building supplements, constituting what researchers believe is an emerging eating disorder.

Supplements such as whey protein, creatine and L-cartinine are used to improve athletic performance and physique and are sold in grocery stores, vitamin shops and online. The products are popular among gym members to increase energy and build lean tissue mass. But researchers at Alliant International University in Los Angeles said overuse is increasing and dangerous.

"Men are using the supplements in a way that is risky both to their physical health and their health in terms of relationships and their own emotional wellbeing," said Richard Achiro, of the California School of Professional Psychology at the university. "It is an expression, or variance, of eating disorder behavior in these men."

Unlike anorexia or bulimia in women, which result from a desire to be thin, men are aspiring for a physique that is both lean and muscular, and are using supplements to achieve it. Achiro said overuse of the products, which are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, can cause diarrhea, kidney disease and renal failure. "Taken together low self-esteem and gender role conflict, which is an underlying sense of insecurity about one's masculinity, contribute more to the overuse of these products than body dissatisfaction alone," he explained.

Achiro, who presented his research at the American Psychological Association convention in Toronto on Thursday, found in a study of nearly 200 men who took supplements in the past month that 29 percent expressed concern about using them. Eight percent admitted their doctors told them to cut back or stop and 40 percent said their use had increased over time. Achiro said he and his co-author, Peter Theodore, showed statistically that the excessive use of the supplements was a form of eating disorder. "The way in which men's bodies are being objectified by the media is catching up rapidly to what has been done to women's bodies for decades," he said. "It makes sense to believe that as that occurs men's mental health and emotional issues are going to be expressed more and more in eating disorder behavior."

Source: Reuters.

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 Post subject: Re: Body trends
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:35 pm 
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One cosmetic surgery every two minutes for Brazil men: report
November 1, 2015

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The most popular operation for Brazilian males is breast reduction with 80 percent of surgeries performed on adolescents, followed by liposuction and eyelid procedures, according to SBCP (AFP Photo/Michael Buckner)

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Once taboo, cosmetic surgery for Brazilian men is advancing at a rapid pace, with one male going under the knife every two minutes, experts said in an article Sunday.

Plastic surgery quadrupled among men from 72,000 to 276,000 operations annually from 2009 to 2014, a study by the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery said. That's an average of 31.5 operations per hour, according to an article on the study in the newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo.

The main reason for the change is cultural, with a lowering of bias against men undergoing these procedures, S.P Luiz Henrique Ishida, director of SBCP, told Estado. "Additionally, in Brazil, cosmetic surgery is seen as a popular process and the country is a world leader in this field," he added.

Last year, 712,902 cosmetic procedures were performed across the country, with participation by men climbing from 12 percent of the total in 2009 to 22.5 percent in 2014. The most popular operation for males is breast reduction with 80 percent of surgeries performed on adolescents, followed by liposuction and eyelid procedures, according to SBCP. Most patients are between the age of 20 and 50, but a larger portion of seniors still in the workforce may be contributing to the rise.

"A tired look is seen as a negative thing in the labor market," said the director of SBCP, which comprises some 5,800 surgeons. "There are patients who are 70 who have operations because they have an active social life or to appear more compatible with their partner" who is younger, he said.

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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 Post subject: Re: Body trends
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 5:00 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Body trends
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:26 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Body trends
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:55 am 
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People are now covering their beards in glitter for the ultimate Christmas look
by Francesca Kentis
23 November 2015

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People are now covering their beards in glitter for the ultimate Christmas look
Sparkly (Picture: The Gay Beards/Instagram)

You might have seen that people are now painting the roots of their hair with glitter, but we’ve found a Christmas look to trump that.

A beard full of glitter is now the ultimate festive statement. Men (and even some women) are getting into the Yuletide swing of things by decorating their facial hair/chins with a glittery sparkle. There is one problem: we can’t help thinking how unpractical this look is.

Glitter is the bane of the craft world, creeping into every crevice, still lingering 20 showers later.

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blaurent: My 23rd birthday was everything I wanted and more.

So a glittery beard would probably be quite rubbish at a Christmas party, sneaking into your drink and inevitably slipping into your mouth with every bite of mince pie. But if you’re happy to keep your mouth firmly closed, or don’t mind accidentally ingesting chunks of glitter, it does look kind of epic.

Warning: glitter gets everywhere

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brandonxjames

But it does looks damn good in gold

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shannawherry

And remember merman hair? You can combine the trends and do a glittery mer-beard

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gracegormanmua - We turned our stage manager into a mermaid glitter beard God.

Blending different colours adds a certain pizzazz

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backstage_panda - A slightly better picture of the beard I did for Halloween.

And adding matching eye shadow really makes it pop

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romancingromeo - Glitter beard portraiture

You don’t have to have beard, or be a guy, to get on board

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irissgermanotta - Man, or woman, or... BEARD

But the general rule seems to be: the more glitter the better

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thegaybeards - Glitter Beards!! If you are curious how we did these, check out the link in our bio

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Source: Metro UK.

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 Post subject: Re: Body trends
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:13 pm 
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Like women, men are now suffering in their pursuit of the ‘perfect’ body
The obsessive quest to achieve a physical ideal is taking a needless toll on male health
By Barbara Ellen
11 November 2018

Is it progress for women if men are increasingly encouraged to hate themselves too? Consumer research from Mintel found that 42% of younger men (16-24) now remove their underarm hair (a rise of 26% from 2016), while 46% of all men remove body hair (up from 36% in 2016). Which means that young men are removing body hair almost as frequently as young women (29% of men v 34% of women). The rise is thought to be fuelled by shows such as Love Island, as well as pop stars, sportsmen and social media.

Clearly, I’m out of the loop, because my first reaction to this was: “Men like creepy smooth Ken dolls – really?” Apart from that, one could ask: why does the idea of men removing their hair automatically make it more interesting? Women have long felt pressured to remove their body hair. In fact, shorten that: women have simply long felt pressured. While it has become more fashionable for women to keep armpit and other body hair (admittedly, this may be truer in more woke circles), women are still way out in front in terms of both grooming and myriad other, more serious issues relating to body image.

Nevertheless, rising levels of male hair removal could be significant. Time was, there would be the occasional magazine article challenging men to undergo waxing “to see how they liked having their hair ripped out by the roots”. Now, it seems that, like it or not, a lot of them are doing it, or at least removing hair somehow. Nor could all of this be put down to innocent fashion trends –wet-look hair gel, half-mast trousers, fake tan – or even a healthy urge to compete for sexual attention. In recent years, anorexia in boys and men has been on the rise, and, while food disorders (and the reporting of them) are as serious and complex in males as they are in females, unhealthy body ideals and poor self-image seem to be playing their part.

It would seem that younger males especially are being bombarded with hyper-idealised images of not only what females “should” look like, but also how they themselves “should” look. By watching those fit, hairless (but presumably sexually successful) specimens on television programmes or on social media, it’s as if the famed “male gaze” is being savagely and pitilessly turned back on themselves.

In this way, it’s almost as though a twisted form of gender equality is being achieved via the unexpected medium of equal opportunities body issues. However, was this ever the plan? Away from the most rabid (and generally mythical) feminist agenda, was this state of what could be termed equality of anxiety what anybody wanted to achieve? Surely, the aim was for girls and women to be put under less pressure by societal and commercial norms, not for boys and men to be put under more? Somehow, instead of body image pressure easing on females, it’s rising in males. Far from equality, it looks like a disaster.

Source: Observer UK

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