RealSelf Presents New Comic Con Documentary “Superhero Bodies:” The Evolution of the Male Ideal

Jager Weatherby on 7 Oct 2014 at 5:00pm


Superhero Bodies

Whether it’s Kim Kardashian’s backside or Angelina Jolie’s lips, it’s no surprise that millions of American women are searching for ways to measure up to their favorite celebrities. Far more surprising, however, is the growing number of males who are also getting in on the act.

Per RealSelf data, we've seen that interest in male procedures is on an exponential rise. In fact, liposuction and ab-sculpting procedures were the most performed male surgeries of 2013. We couldn’t help but wonder: Are men also being influenced by what they see in pop culture? With the epic rise of action and superhero movies — and the increasingly fit bodies that go with them — RealSelf hit the streets at San Diego Comic Con to see the effects of this new standard at play.

The resulting documentary explores how the changing male body ideal has made business in Hollywood more competitive than ever. It also seems to be driving the average American guy to more extreme tactics in order to achieve the bodies of Ben Affleck, Hugh Jackman, and Chris Hemsworth.



Themes from the documentary include:
  • The evolution of male body ideals: “As the social climates change, we want more out of our superheroes — so that’s why you get to Ben Affleck or Christian Bale — guys who felt like they registered on screen in a way that Adam West didn’t have to.” –Mark Bernadin, Deputy Editor, Digital at Playboy
  • What it takes to get ahead today: “Now you have steroids, you have human growth hormones, you have liposuction, you have advanced workout techniques — so the landscape is very different for the male body.” –Dr. Brent Moelleken, Board-certified plastic surgeon
  • Hollywood’s role and the economics behind it all: ‘’Liposuction is definitely a very big part of Hollywood success.” –Dr. Jay Calvert, Board-certified plastic surgeon 
  • Demands from the public: “A lot of it’s what’s required from the audience — are they willing to tolerate the less-than-buff or do we just need these guys to be terminators?” –Mark Bernadin, Deputy Editor, Digital at Playboy 

Photos courtesy of Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment