Longevity logo

The Hollywood Illusion: Today’s Naturally Unobtainable Male Body Image

Unnatural is becoming less recognizable

By BurkPublished 5 months ago 4 min read
The Hollywood Illusion: Today’s Naturally Unobtainable Male Body Image
Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

Have you observed the prevailing trend in Hollywood over the past two decades?

Let's take a moment to envision a young Russell Crowe in the 2000 film "Gladiator." Brilliant. Powerful. Muscular.

However, in today's Hollywood, he wouldn't even be considered particularly muscular. To play the same role in 2021, he would have to resemble someone like Dwayne Johnson. And herein lies the problem.

They're lying. Or they're told to lie.

Russell Crowe achieved his physique naturally through disciplined eating, dieting, and training. While he may not have possessed the "perfect" genetics for muscular development, he looked impressive, at least in my opinion.

The unfortunate truth is that most of today's elite male actors in Hollywood, the ones who build incredibly muscular bodies for their leading roles within a relatively short period of time, lie about their exercise and eating routines. Or rather, they conveniently omit crucial details.

I recently came across a remarkable article by Pete Ross titled "Is He Natural?" It meticulously examines several actors and their allegedly natural body transformations for major movie roles. The list includes names like Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Frank Grillo, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. I highly recommend reading that piece.

All these individuals share one common trait: they appeared tremendously muscular and ripped for one or multiple high-paying movie roles in the past. Some have managed to sustain their physiques, while others astonishingly lost their gains shortly after completing their parts.

There are gifted specimens.

Before diving into the details, let me clarify that natural muscular development, though rare, does exist. There's even a genetic feature known as "the Hercules gene." However, this occurrence is exceedingly rare and accounts for a minuscule percentage of the global population. Therefore, it's highly unlikely that the actors mentioned above possess the Hercules gene.

This. Is. Not. Natural.

It's a simple truth. They're taking PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs). I intentionally avoid using the term "steroids" here, as steroids represent only a fraction of the PEDs available. Additionally, they engage in grueling exercise routines and follow extreme diets, no doubt. But that's not the full story.

These types of body transformations cannot be achieved naturally, in most cases. Certainly not in a short period of time like six months, three months, or even six weeks. It takes years or decades of consistent effort. Despite having access to millions of dollars for fitness trainers, equipment, chefs, top-notch foods, and countless hours of exercise, it remains incredibly challenging. Admittedly, these resources greatly facilitate the process. Undoubtedly, being paid millions of dollars to transform one's body is an incentive as well.

However, let's be unequivocal: these transformations are only attainable through the use of PEDs.

The signs of PED use.

Once again, I urge you to read Pete Ross's outstanding article, as it perfectly illustrates why these actor body transformations are not natural, in most cases. Ross presents convincing arguments and concrete facts. I commend his meticulous listing of red flags that help determine whether someone is natural or not:

  1. Rapid transformation: Anything less than a year is highly doubtful.
  2. Age: Being over 40 is challenging, and over 50 is nearly impossible.
  3. Being both lean and jacked: Even with PED use, high-level bodybuilders struggle with this.
  4. The actors' "coded language": Their references to diets consisting of chicken, broccoli, rice, and hours of training only lead to nutrient deficiencies and overtraining.
  5. Really big shoulders: Developing substantial shoulder muscles is notoriously difficult, even with PED use.
  6. Little sleep: PEDs aid in recovery.
  7. Their exercise plans: Claiming to perform 200 pushups and 200 pull-ups is suspect.

Allow me to add another "red flag" to this list:

8. Losing gains quickly after their roles: Naturally, muscle will diminish when exercise ceases. However, losing dozens of pounds almost instantly is highly suspicious.

What people think when they hear PEDs.

The problem lies in people's perception of PEDs or steroids. The immediate mental image that comes to mind is that of hulking bodybuilders with bulging muscles. Undoubtedly, such individuals use PEDs. However, it's worth noting that Lance Armstrong also used PEDs, yet he bore no resemblance to a bodybuilder. He didn't even approach the level of muscularity exhibited by today's actors. Admittedly, Armstrong's training and PED use served a different purpose. The point is that using PEDs will not automatically make you look like a bodybuilder.

Unnatural is becoming less recognizable.

Now, I finally come to the crux of my argument. As male actors in Hollywood continue to acquire increasingly muscular physiques for their leading roles, the line between what is natural and unnatural becomes blurred for the average person.

The muscular physiques displayed on the silver screen in some of the biggest movies of all time deceive millions of young men and women into believing that these body ideals are naturally attainable and, worse yet, necessary to be healthy, fit, attractive, or desirable. This misconception must be rectified.

As a result, many young men relentlessly pursue an unachievable body image without ever coming close to it. This often leads to low self-esteem, mental health issues, overtraining, improper nutrition, injuries, or even resorting to PED use. This cycle must end.

These Hollywood celebrities would be just as handsome without their drastic body transformations. Most of them were already muscular enough to begin with. However, Hollywood continually pushes for greater muscular development each year, making it increasingly challenging for actors to keep up with these standards. So, how are "average" men supposed to catch up?

The unfortunate truth is, they're not.

This is precisely why the use of PEDs in teenage boys and girls is on the rise.

This is why the use and sale of PEDs in gyms are consistently increasing. This trend must be halted.

This must stop!

Navigate the online world with me. Subscribe to my newsletter! It's free & priceless!

weight lossfitnessdietcelebritiesbodybeautyathletics

About the Creator


Dad of 5.

Full-time writer from Germany.

Read more from me

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.