People Are Talking About Unrealistic Body Expectations For Male Actors

It’s common knowledge that actresses are expected to have idealized bodies—they have nutritionists, personal trainers, plastic surgeons, and expensive beauty products at their disposal.


But it’s a lot—and it creates unrealistic expectations for “regular” folks who are struggling with body image issues and serious illnesses like anorexia and bulimia.

Male movie stars are also susceptible to body image issues—and people are finally talking about their concerns more seriously.


Sparked by a 2015 comment that Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer made about male standards of beauty and fitness, folks are talking about the unrealistic expectations we place on actors and how that harms everyone.

“My personal experience has been to work on phenomenal jobs in which the men are objectified as much as the women. Actors suffer from it, too,” Dormer said. “We’re not just talking about being slim here. We’re talking about character actors with big eyes getting typecast in the ‘friend’ role.’ It’s not just about bed-ability: it’s about your physicality more generally.”

On Tumblr, folks were discussing the Dormer quote again recently, commenting on how she was definitely onto something.

They brought up Hugh Jackman’s “Wolverine” performance and how in order to achieve that look, he had to become dangerously dehydrated.

They also talked about Chris Hemsworth as Thor:

“Okay, so Chris Hemsworth is an absolute god of a man, but Hollywood says ‘that’s not good enough’ and for the Thor movie he has to spend several days having the juice squeezed from his body until he loses about a gallon of what’s supposed to be in him so that he can do two days of shooting scenes without his shirt, after which he has to have recovery time before he is hospitalized because I am not joking about ‘one day away from organ failure.'”

And Channing Tatum in Magic Mike:

And Chris Evans as Captain America:

Obviously, we need to see representations of actual human bodies on screen, not just idealized or seriously controlled ones—for both men and women.

Featured Image: Tumblr

Patricia Grisafi

Patricia Grisafi, PhD, is a freelance writer and educator. Her work has appeared in Salon, Vice, Bitch, Bustle, Broadly, The Establishment, and elsewhere. She is passionate about pit bull rescue, cursed objects, and designer sunglasses.