Straight Men Copy Gay Men, Says
BY Jeremy Kinser
October 20 2011 6:58 PM ET
Gay porn, gay gyms, and underwear ads have inspired straight men to be more body conscious, according to the new issue of Details magazine.
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that the straight-male-body ideal runs five years behind the gay one," writes the popular men's magazine in a cover story titled "America's New Male Body Obsession," and featuring new photos of renowned model David Gandy.
The magazine looks at the 41 moments that changed the way men look in the mirror. The following text next to a photo of a Speedo-clad Ricky Martin puts it all in perspective: "'It starts in gay porn, moves to gay gyms, underwear ads, and then the mainstream,' says David Barton, owner of the eponymous gyms in New York, Miami, and, soon, Los Angeles. In the eighties, when gay men jacked their bodies to ward off suspicions that they were AIDS victims, the typical straight guy was soft and shlubby. By Y2K, after a decade defined by South Beach gym culture and Calvin Klein underwear hunks, he had transformed into a gym-going body-dysmorphic dude with tribal tattoos encircling over-pumped biceps. Sensing that their cartoon-superhero look had gone mainstream—and turned on by Fight Club's Brad Pitt, whose taut muscles looked more serrated than inflated—gay men pared back, on a new wave of swimming, yoga, and Pilates. "I got a lot of requests for Keith Richards–type bodies that looked like they happened from playing guitar in a bar all night," Barton says. The triumph of lean, mean muscle was cemented in 2005, when pictures appeared online of Ricky Martin and a friend playing beach games and executing yoga moves in tiny swim trunks in St. Barts. Their muscles were sensual, their bodies slim. Six years later, trend-attuned straight men in New York and L.A. walk around weekend mornings toting yoga mats, not weight-lifting belts."
- Multiple Attacks on Gay Men in NYC, Hours After Rally
- A Reason for Pride: Gay Parents Are Changing the World
- Op-ed: Adopting the T in LGBT
- Donald Rumsfeld Isn't Sure, But Marriage Equality Might Lead to Polygamy
- Father of Teen Facing Felony for Lesbian Relationship Says She's Been Targeted Before
- Rising Above the Down Low
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Sports Water Polo Player Addresses WeHo City Council in Speedo May 22 2013 10:00 PM
- Comics and Graphic Novels This Gay Superhero Comic Is So Super Duper May 22 2013 9:00 PM
- The End of Bullying Could Video Games Be a Cure for Anti-LGBT Bullying? May 22 2013 8:15 PM
- Women Kaitlyn Hunt's Lawyer: Possible Plea Deal, But No Felony For Same-Sex High School Relationship May 22 2013 7:03 PM
- Military Donald Rumsfeld Isn't Sure, But Marriage Equality Might Lead to Polygamy May 22 2013 7:01 PM
- Internet WATCH: The First AIDS Generation in Giant Town Hall May 22 2013 6:16 PM
- Politics Joe Biden Praises Jewish Leaders for Marriage Equality May 22 2013 6:09 PM