'Have we pushed too far?' This choreographer is exploring the dark side of male body image

Shay Kuebler is using dance to talk about the Adonis complex — when men are never able to feel big or strong enough to live up to body image standards.

Shay Kuebler is using dance to talk about what happens when you can never feel big or strong enough

Shay Kuebler is using dance to talk about what happens when you can never feel big or strong enough. 3:37

When choreographer Shay Kuebler started going to the gym to help recover from some dance-related injuries, he began to notice that gym culture comes with some extremes.

People were using methods from weight lifting to body building to more drastic measures in order to achieve a "perfect" physique. These observations led to Kuebler creating his latest solo dance piece called "Feasting on Famine", an unrelentingly physical performance and a critical look at the ethics of health and fitness as business.

(CBC Arts)

In this video, Kuebler opens up about his perceptions of the health and fitness industry where men are bombarded with messages to be bigger and stronger (and targeted with products to help them achieve these goals). The unattainable standards can lead to body image issues where pursuit of the pinnacle of advertised male health can actually become damaging.

Follow Shay Kuebler here.

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 12:30am (1am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.

About the Author

Lisa Wu

Lisa Wu is a filmmaker and photographer on the unceded, occupied territories of the Coast Salish peoples. She’s interested in stories that show the intersection between art and social change. Working to keep B.C. beautiful, she’s part of a movement to #stopkm and to #protectourcoast.


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