Graphic artist Nickolay Lamm has used photos from as early as the 1870s through the present to re-create the ideal of the perfect male body as it evolved over the last 150 years.
The video shows that the evolution has actually been quite large. In the late 1800s, it was obesity that represented social status, because those who didn’t have money, didn’t have access to much food. In fact, there were even popular “fat men’s clubs” that celebrated weight and girth.
Then in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, Hollywood actors started to set the precedent for slimmer bodies and muscle tones. But then the rebellion started and men started to grow out their hair and stopped going to the gym as much.
Well, until the 1970s and 80s when exercise became key, with hulking, muscular men like Arnold Schwarzenegger making body building popular.
Lean, but not overly muscular, became the trend of the masculine vision of the male body in the 1990s, and has stayed popular through the present.