The normalisation of muscular physiques as a hallmark of desirable masculinities is impossible to deny. It’s in our magazines, movies, sports—and thanks to the proliferation of gyms and supplement stores, it’s a ubiquitous presence in our suburbs, too. But men haven’t always been this muscular, and masculinity certainly hasn’t always been associated with muscularity.
So on this episode of the podcast, we in the Homer editorial team sit down for a discussion about the rise and rise of muscle as an indicator of a good, desirable or healthy masculinity in our times.
Where do we find muscle, what does it signify, where does the urge to have it come from and what has our personal relationship with it been? In answering these questions, we found ourselves moving between the worlds of Marvel movies, men’s health magazines, gym culture, gender roles—and perhaps most surprisingly, what muscle has to do with a feeling of existential insecurity.