I do remember watching other earlier superhero movies, and their bodies are changing to more and more unrealistic expectations. The ‘strong man’ or the ‘hunky’ guy from earlier years is now just an ‘average’ guy. Its gotten so stretched that I have a hard time believing that most of the muscled actors are juicing. The expectations of what leading men, and superhero men, are supposed to live up to are getting crazy. How long before all actors have to be CGI because they can’t make the body changes required?
If its affecting all men and their body image, you can bet its affecting gay men.
By the late ’70s and ’80s, synthetics were booming. Spandex, polyester, and Lycra, which were invented in the late ’50s, had been refined, and had found new popularity in the disco era. With these materials in high supply, supersuits finally started using stretchy material—a development that would lead to an emphasis on heightened fitness. It was during this time that Christopher Reeve was tapped to become the new Superman. Producers, concerned by Reeve’s naturally tall and slender frame, pressured him to wear fake muscles under his suit. He refused, instead becoming an early adopter of a now-familiar routine: He hired a trainer and put on 30 pounds of muscle. Reeve couldn’t change his bone structure, but he managed to gain biceps, strong shoulders, and the outline of abdominals, all of which were accentuated by his skin-tight outfits. Reeve’s Superman represents a male ideal shaped by the ’80s jogging craze and Jane Fonda’s VHS aerobics.
- from theatlantic.com