The Mr. America Contest, which once epitomized the aspirations of tens of thousands of weight trainees, was premised on adherence to time-honored values of health, fitness, beauty, and athleticism, while Americans -- and especially bodybuilders -- became obsessed with appearances and engaged in training practices and lifestyles that often subverted those ideals.
By the end of the century, physique competitors and promoters seemed perplexed about what constituted a perfect specimen of manhood. Reckoning with these cultural questions became the foremost concern in modern bodybuilding not only in the United States but worldwide, since the Mr.
America title, at least from the s to the s, was, like other aspects of American culture, a global icon. It's interesting to see just how much these perceptions of pure fitness have changed over the past years, thanks to advances in supplements, workout equipment and our understanding of how the human body works.
It seems people push these limits harder and farther every year, and when you look at the following pictures of guys at peak physical fitness over history from a guy who looks like Vladimir Putin sucking in his gut in to the sinewy muscles on show in , you'll see just how much things have changed. News U. HuffPost Personal Video Horoscopes. Newsletters Coupons. Follow Us.
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A bodybuilder known as Mr. Eggleton, the manager of Sandows physical school in In his bodybuilding career, Atlas pioneered an early form of isometrics and became known as the " World's Most Perfectly Developed Man. General Photographic Agency via Getty Images. Charles Atlas flexes his bicep while posing in a leopard print swimsuit on a rock by the water's edge. Or an even earlier upheaval - receding now into the distant past - in which theology, and thereby Latin, was displaced for the equally rigorous study of the classics and Greek to be followed by what was considered a strangely arrogant and upstart proposal: that English literature was a suitable course of study for an aristocratic education, and not simply morally instructive fodder designed for the working classes.
The Chaucer Society was founded in , four hundred years after Chaucer died. It has a more strenuously argued and felt defense and a more vigorously insistent attack. And both defense and attack have spilled out of the academy into the popu - lar press. Resistance to displacement within or expansion of a canon is not, after all, surprising or unwarranted. And the question of whether there should be a canon or not seems disingenous to me - there always is one whether there should be or not - for it is in the interests of the professional critical community to have one.
Certainly a sharp alertness as to why a work is or is not worthy of study is the legiti - mate occupation of the critic, the pedagogue, and the artist. What is astonishing in the contemporary debate is not the resistance to displacement of works or to the expansion of genre within it, but the virulent passion that accompanies this resistance and, more important, the quality of its defense weaponry.
The guns are very big; the trigger -fingers quick.
But I am convinced the mechanism of the defenders of the flame is faulty. Not only may the hands of the gunslinging cowboy -scholars be blown off, not only may the target be missed, but the subject of the conflagration the sacred texts is sacrificed, disfigured in the battle. This canon fodder may kill the canon. There must be some way to enhance canon readings without enshrining them.
What if Broch, Kafka, Musil - all that reading - had never been a part of his education, or had entered it only as exotic, alien presence? The confidence of an exile who has the sentimental education of, and the choice to become, a European. The word is informative here and I do mean its use. A powerful ingredient in this debate con - cerns the incursion of third -world or so -called minority literature into a Eurocentric stronghold.
When the topic of third -world cul - ture is raised, unlike the topic of Scandinavian culture, for ex - ample, a possible threat to and implicit criticism of the reigning equilibrium is seen to be raised as well. A few comments on a larger, older, but no less telling aca - demic struggle - an extremely successful one - may be helpful here. However, Millard decided to "help" in a different way than planned.
He performed what Korean academic journals say was the first recorded double eyelid operation in South Korea. Millard's reasoning was that creating a more Western look would help Asians assimilate better into an emerging international economy. The surgery quickly caught on. Its first clientele were Korean prostitutes who were trying to appeal to American soldiers.
Surgery for beautification purposes worked its way into mainstream culture. It became commonplace for Korean women to have eyelid operations to give themselves the Western crease, or "double eyelid. The first cosmetic surgery clinic opened in Korea in , and year on year, the numbers of women undergoing cosmetic operations doubled and then tripled. Double eyelids are still today the most popular procedure.
Asian rhinoplasty -- a nose job -- is second. It extends and shapes the nose, to make the Asian profile "less flat. These two procedures have led to questions of whether Korean women were trying to look Western.
If you inspect some Caucasian celebrities, you find many examples of prominent jaws and high cheekbones. But if you inspect Asian celebrities, they all have small jaws and cheekbones. Park said that changes to ethnic features are the main reason patients come to him.
Jaw reduction can make their face smaller, slimmer, and nicer.
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This perspective ties into what Dr. Eugenia Kaw calls the "self-racism subtext. It's insidious -- not like women who opt for surgery out of empowerment and choice. Kaw's background is in anthropology and her paper has been established as one of the first discourses on Asian American surgery.
Two decades later, much of her research is still highly relevant. She wrote that the "alteration of Asian American women of facial features is less of a transforming process, and more of a normalizing one, "to allow them to fit in with their Western peers. While this might be true for some procedures -- such as rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery -- the V-line face is unique to Asians.
It stands out rather than conforms to American sensibilities of beauty. Kaw is unfamiliar with V-line surgery. Helping the rise of V-line surgery is the laissez faire attitude about recovery implications. This is due to the relatively short recovery time of nose and eyelid surgery, traditionally viewed as operations with minimal side effects. These surgeries are so common that patients rarely take more than a day or two off to recover. The same can't be said for the V-line surgery, but not everyone is aware of that. Typically, a surgeon will make a three-centimeter incision through the mouth, and then insert a three to six millimeter saw or rasp.
This is done under general anesthesia.
Parts of the jawbone may be removed and the remaining jaw slid backwards or forwards, depending on the agreed-upon outcome. The jaw may then be fixed into place with a titanium plate, using titanium screws or gauge wires. Side effects vary from bleeding and infection to hematoma and facial nerve palsy.
What is considered a heavy-duty operation in the maxillofacial dental world is considered a common everyday, operation in Korea, and t he altered face shape has created a distance between the women and their ethnic background.