Male beauty ideals around the world
2nd April 2015
It isn't only women that are held to demanding ideals of beauty - men are also held to certain physical standards, which vary as you travel around the world. American male celebrities are the most influential at defining beauty standards worldwide. A US study found that while US women are under pressure to be slim, men face similar social pressure to be muscular. American media sees the ideal male body as having broad shoulders, biceps, and pectoral muscles.
When it comes to male beauty, most countries strongly favour a muscular body and Australia is particularly insistent that men should be as beefy as possible. In Brazil, while less than half the population is white, there's also a prejudice in favour of lighter skin. The 'ideal' man's hair is seen as being straight and fair, but it's also important to have a tan and be muscular.
In Nigeria, there's a bias in favour of sturdiness and strength. Over in Turkey, there's a lot of interest in male hair removal and the ideal man's chest is generally seen as being hairless. Head to Britain, however, and it's very acceptable to have facial hair - as well as tattoos.
Several countries demonstrate a bias towards lighter skin, with places such as India often encouraging men to lighten the pigment of their skin in order to achieve what that culture considers to be a higher standard of attractiveness. Skin lightening products are also popular in South Korea, where men are also under pressure to have surgery if their eyelids don't fit what's considered the ideal.
It seems the world generally thinks that men need to be muscular, but there's also pressure to conform to different beauty standards, such as for skin colour, depending on where you are in the world.