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Ripped off: how bulky bodies took over Hollywood—and ordinary men’s lives

It's not just celebrity body types that have changed. Increasingly, ordinary men are emulating them

By Caspar Salmon  

The central character of Alan Hollinghurst’s most recent book, The Sparsholt Affair, is first seen lifting weights. The year is 1940, and weightlifting is seen as something fantastical and alluring: glimpsed in a window across an Oxford quad, “the source of the shadow moved slowly into view, a figure in a gleaming singlet, steadily lifting and lowering a pair of hand-weights.” David Sparsholt immediately provokes a collective passion among the homosexuals on campus—but he…

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