BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award


Date of Submission



Dr. Ali Gibran Siddiqui, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences


Dr. Naveen Minai, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


Using qualitative content analysis and time series analysis, the paper answers the question of “How and Why does Mr. Olympia influence the U.S. male body?” by quantifying male beauty standards and understanding the changing trends in masculinity. Established as a form of aesthetics of Greco-Roman descent, bodybuilding made its way to the United States in the late 19th century later branded as a sport. With the capitalization of the sport in the 1980’s, bodybuilding became a lucrative profession to not venture into, but to compete as well. Starting the analysis from the 1977 competition with 10 year intervals leading to the 2017 competition, it is apparent that height, Waist to Chest Ratio (WCR) and bicep size played significant roles in determining the winner’s attribute. These attributes were reflected in the movies and magazines with mascularization as the prime feature. The reason for the persistent changes in the competition resulted from the commodification of the male body defined as economic asset. This not only resulted in lower class men using their bodies to earn but formed groupings known as protest masculinity which increased competitiveness and solidarity. With this solidarity only pertaining to straight white men, the influence of Black bodybuilders was impactful in the competition, but displayed less in terms of the movies and magazines. Overall, this paper proved to be successful in linking Mr. Olympia and its influence on male beauty standards.



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