America's New Male Body Obsession

It's official: The male gaze has turned upon itself, and American men are focused on their physiques as never before. From Marky Mark's abs and the transformation of Marc Jacobs to the rise of Abercrombie & Fitch and the fall of Anthony Weiner, here are the 41 moments that changed the way we look in the mirror.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Look around. Everywhere you turn, the male form is being idealized, commodified, fetishized. On TV screens (the ripped vampires of True Blood), in Hollywood (Ryan Gosling's toned torso lifting Crazy, Stupid, Love to the top of the box office), and on billboards (towering images of chiseled men in briefs), laptops, and smartphones (the appendages of Weiner and Favre). Now look in the mirror. (And we know you do.) We've all become body-conscious to the core (not to mention conscious of our core). Working out more, eating better, dressing in slimmer clothes, getting the hedges trimmed (and maybe even a nip or a tuck). Because, in the end, we all want to look as good as David Beckham does in briefs. Have we entered a grand age of self-improvement? Or is it narcissism? Or homoeroticism? It's all those things, and more—41 in all. These are the moments that changed the way we see the male body.

41. Ryan Gosling's Crazy, Stupid Body

"Seriously?!" Emma Stone shrieks upon seeing Ryan Gosling's ripped torso in the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love. "It's like you're Photoshopped!" He was soon getting the same enthusiastic response from theatergoers: "Holyshit
RyanGosling'sbodyholyshit!" Not a bad review—even if you can't put it on a poster. For Gosling, it was a watershed moment: The guy who'd made his name in controversial indies playing a Jewish neo-Nazi, a crack-addicted teacher, and a misfit in love with a sex doll finally got to show his range—as a big, beautiful piece of meat.

Photos: From Crazy, Stupid, Love

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