Susie Orbach on the "femininization" of the male body image:
Men's magazines today resemble Cosmopolitan of 20 years ago. They encourage guys to reach for the same rotten solutions to the problems of living that have been endlessly proffered to women. Transform your body, use male moisturiser, make up, get rid of those man boobs, see yourselves as a diminutive pouting strutting yet vulnerable boy/man whose ideal body is ever shrinking. Aspire to that and distinguish yourself by your ability to sculpt a body as the fashionistas imagine it. Separate yourself from the diverse physicalities so magnificently captured by Spencer Tunick in his bodies of flesh. Make a new body. Make a new self.
It's working. Boys, young men, men of all ages are being captivated by the new visual grammar which pushes men to pout and posture. The more it is there, and the more we succumb, the larger will men's girths become and the bigger the profits of those companies praying on transforming men's bodies. Don't do it, guys. Reject this new uniformity. Dare to be as physically robust and varied as you always were. Don't fall into being the latest bait in the breeding of body insecurity.
In short, skinny, when it comes to both genders, is the old and the new black. The necessary conclusion here is that the gender works because it is marketable and that societal norms when it comes to women and men subsist when they are not in conflict with the market.