Men, too, are working out to sculpt and power-up their bodies. Having muscles is no longer a sign that you are a jock or a manual laborer. It doesn't just connote physical power, it connotes personal power, discipline over the self. This new glamorization of discipline--to strenuous workouts, to building muscles, to burning away every spare ounce of fat--reflects our turning to the body to achieve the sort of control we no longer feel we have over other parts of our lives.

I don't see the person who tries to conform as a mindless fool. But I do see the fact that the culture requires such conformity as tragic, and a waste of human resources.

We present ourselves to the world through our bodies. We show ourselves--to friends, lovers, employers--and ask to be acknowledged, accepted, loved, desired. And so, the body is where popular culture has its greatest effect, especially on teenagers, who want desperately to fit in.

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To inquire about this project
in video, and printed formats,
send an email to project creator Dan Habib.

All photos ©2010, Dan Habib