Of Models and Men: Expectations and the Other Sex

Photoshopping models has been a hot button topic for as long as there has been Photoshop and models, but here we have a video that explores a less-visited side of the story. How do men feel about seeing their bodies manipulated outside reality?

The Try Guys are four men who do, see, and experiment stuff, all for our enjoyment (and of course, those sweet, sweet monetizing clicks). This video explores men's insecurities in a way that most people either choose to not see or absolutely ignore as a real issue. The Try Guys touch on iconic men in the industry who devote all of their time and resources to create the body that is desired by the media, and therefore, the masses:

I'm of the opinion that these things are attainable if you have the time, and the money, and the team to constantly work out and get 8-pack abs. No one is that rich or has that time except celebrities, actresses, and models. It's not our job to look that good.

As photographers, we have the ability to create magical, fantastical, and out-of-this-world imagery in the way we light, capture, and manipulate our images. We have to keep in mind, that comes with a big responsibility to the public and how we perceive every day, real people. That includes both sexes.



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Sean Molin's picture

Man, you're really simplifying something that isn't that simple for the vast majority of people. If it's easy for you, then you're one of the very lucky few. Abs are certainly "made in the kitchen," but there's a lot more than just "eat less, workout a little bit every day." If you define "a little bit" as "just 2-3 hours," maybe we're getting somewhere. I agree that ANYONE can lose weight, even if some have to work harder than others, but calories-in-calories-out is only a fraction of the equation.

The kind of bodies that human beings get 'shopped into isn't practically obtainable, and without guided diet and serious (we're talking part or even full-time job level commitment) workout regimens you're not going to get close. Even professional models who's JOB it is to look good still get enhanced in editing.

Anonymous's picture

I didnt buy the recent Sports Illustarated Swim Addition because they featured a fat model that had been heavily PS'd to omit stretch marks and cellulite.

Where are the plus sized male models? Let's get some fat dudes on the cover of GQ or I'll whine about sexism.

(Edit: Not sure if you're being serious or sarcastic, so erring on the behalf of the latter because: Internet.) You appear to misunderstand the definition of 'racism' and 'sexism'. Both are indicative of one sex or race having power over others and wielding that power to their advantage in order to maintain dominance. Objectively, neither is ever okay.

"Calories in calories out is all there is to remaining thin and lean. A person could be sedentary all throughout their life and still remain thin simply by not overeating. Excess calories are required to put on weight. Nothing else can do that. Absolutely nothing else."

This is scientifically untrue, and your advice ignores a lot of factors regarding the human body, some of which even doctors are only just beginning to understand: gender, genetics, metabolism, digestion, the effects of different hormones, medications, how the body processes different types food, etc. Also, humans are sedentary mammals by nature, as most mammals are. That doesn't make your statement any more true, however.

"Putting on more than average muscle mass is also as simple as exercising with weights/resistance machines *regularly for the rest of your life.* I started at 15 years old exercising just 30 minutes at a time and I continue with the same routine today."

Not always. See above.

"The problem today is that people have been conditioned to think that it isn't that simple. That's why we have so many fat and unfit people today. The ones doing the conditioning by spreading their misinformation are those that profit from it and those who have long struggled with their weight and fitness. I have known many fat people who tried to explain to me, a life long thin and fit person, how to get thin. Years later they are still fat."

And you're probably thin because you've been exercising since you were fifteen, and your body has been conditioned to operate in a specific way. If you stopped, or changed your diet but kept the same calorie count, it would begin operating in a different way to accommodate. The same thing would happen for a person who decided to start running for fun - they'd be thin, their metabolism would be quite ridiculous, their hormones would be out of whack compared to the average human range, and they'd have a bunch of skeletal and muscular/tendon issues to deal with. If they stopped, the way their body functions would also change accordingly.

"We now also have political correctness contributing to the problem with the acceptance and promotion of fat models."

Probably because those 'fat models' are humans, just like you and me. That's not political correctness. That's humanism.

"The obesity and fitness problem stems from misinformation, ignorance and denial."

I believe you're self-implicating here, despite your attempts otherwise.

I critique your message simply because I am a person who puts time into staying fit, yet I also put time into being informed through data and research. I'd rather tell people, "I don't know how you, personally, can get into shape, but here's whose advice I would seek," before sending them off to speak with their doctor, than giving them a blanket statement about how they're overeating and not exercising enough.

Lukas Juzenas's picture

I agree with you Michael. Again hormonal issues has a lot to do with food, sleep and life patterns, also with what you say to yourself every day. If look for excuses your life will be excuse, Same goes for photography, there are time when you don't want to but you stick to it.

Deleted Account's picture

Sean, I'm in total agreement with you. The sad part is that people in America spend 13 years in public school literally being taught to sit in one place. They are actually being conditioned to be inactive. I appreciate the people that have overcome that kind of programming and have gone on to be physically fit and healthy, but at the same time I think we need to be aware that the environment we're all living in is not conducive to staying in good shape.

One a side note, this is a site about photography and this topic can actually relate heavily to the business of photography. The reason is because a good looking photographer will get taken seriously by clients much more quickly than a worse looking photographer. I wish that talent really was all that mattered, but that's just not how the real world operates. If I were handing out free advice today to aspiring photographers, I would tell them to concentrate on their physical appearance in equal proportion to their photography skills in order to be part of the profession. Life will get a lot easier for them if they take my advice...I promise

Daniel LLOYD's picture

"Anyone" Even the physically disabled?

Daniel LLOYD's picture

Just pointing out the blanking statement.

Also you weren't just referring to keeping thin. I for example am skinny as hell (super fast metabolism) and eat very well. So there's no chance of me gaining a large muscle mass.

But also agree with your rebuttal when disagreeing that only models and actors can have muscular bodies.

Anonymous's picture

It boils down to priorities. If you're fat and you're adding to your Ferrari collection I wont give you shit -- ever. If you're broke as fuck and live with a bunch of roommates that you smoke weed and play video games with... Well, yeah.

The guys that are physical and still shoot have names like Jimmy Chin and they should be our role models. He's "thin" just like you guys -- but he'd kick your ass without spilling his beer.

Put down the camera and get your ass to the gym. I'm a guy in his 30's who can do pull ups. Whoa, imagine that.

chris smith's picture

Women should watch this. It will let em know that men feel the same insecurities about their bodies.

Ann Blake's picture

Awesome work. Totally agree that we shouldn't compare professional models whose idyllic body is their income, so they work on it day and night, with a common man who has many other things to do. Of course, we should pay attention on our attractiveness and appearance, but it's much more important to be sexual for the partner than for the majority. If you satisfy your soulmate, you shouldn't be worried about body imperfections. Here are great advice I found http://potencyup.com/sex-advice-for-men-best-oral-sex-tips-that-you-can-..., take a look and be happy despite of muscles shape.