Society Is Prejudiced Against Men With Muscles (or: The Sociology of Bodybuilding)

Society is prejudiced against bodybuilders. Oh, sure, we hire them for our beach-oriented reality shows. But the medical profession, the computer industry, and even the world of finance are sorely lacking in musclemen. America's universities are producing the next generation of lawyers and accountants and CEOs. But America's gyms are just churning out professional wrestlers.

Most guys want to become musclemen, mostly so that other guys will look at them and say, "That dude has big muscles." But, yet, there aren't many advantages to being a muscleman. You don't even get to play the Hulk anymore; that's all CGI now.

Women aren't particularly attracted to musclemen. Think of the male movie stars and rock stars that society deems desirable: Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Levine, all those Biebers. They might be fit, but they don't have the giant, veiny muscles like those guys who spend all week lifting weights except for the two hours on Saturday between 10:00 p.m. and midnight when they walk around nightclubs wearing tank tops, in the hope that smaller men will think, "That dude has big muscles."

And beautiful women, especially, aren't interested in musclemen. They prefer rappers. You don't see many supermodels or famous actresses with muscle dudes. You know who dates musclemen? Porn stars.

Even most professional athletes -- the ones men have totally nonsexual crushes on -- aren't particularly muscular. Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, Kevin Durant: their physiques are more of a normal-size. And those little horse jockeys are less muscular than a typical man, although their horses are usually pretty buff.

Even our superheroes have toned down. Spiderman keeps himself svelte. Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man looks like a regular guy. Okay, Captain America has a lot of muscles, but not ridiculously so. Henry Cavill, who plays the new Superman, is very muscly, but for no good reason. Superman can lift giant boulders because he's an alien from a different planet, not because he works out. Heck, even the lazy, out-of-shape Kryptonians can bend steel bars.

And having huge muscles is not particularly "healthy." You'll live a longer life if you eat nutritious food and you move around a lot, not because you have bulging quads. Musclemen enlarge their muscles because they think it looks better that way. If you go to a gym, the people running on the treadmills are watching TV. The people lifting weights are watching themselves- in the big mirror. Why is it vain for a woman to get Botox but not for a man to get muscular? Seems kind of sexist.

And historically, America has looked down on musclemen. Think about our nation's greatest leaders. We've had fat presidents, thin presidents, tall presidents, and short presidents. We've elected a black president, a disabled president, and we've even elected an ugly president (though I'm referring more to Nixon's personality than to his physical appearance, which oozed a subtle but raw sexuality). But we've still never elected a muscular president... which is a waste because the White House has dumbbells! (cue Joe Biden joke)

No, America wants a president with whom they can share a beer, not someone who needs a spotter. A muscleman president would make Americans feel bad about their own physiques. We want someone with a big gut, someone who never gets off the couch, someone with their hand in a bag of nachos. That is a leader we can trust.

Fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger want to change the Constitution so that he can run for president. It won't matter. Americans won't elect a muscleman to our highest office. Mark my words. MSNBC will do everything it can to prevent Schwarzenegger from becoming President, just like it did to prevent Hillary Clinton from winning the Democratic nomination in 2008... because she's a woman. Just sayin'.

And muscles really don't do much for your overall strength. The world's strongest men, those lunatics who pull buses with their teeth, tend to be more "bulky" than muscular. I mean, yeah, musclemen are stronger than ordinary people. But the difference in strength, relative to the thousands and thousands of pounds that make up earth, is barely measurable. Both the strongest muscleman and the weakest elderly lady can lift a pebble; and neither of them can lift a truck. So strength-wise they're about the same.

And musclemen carry with them the unfair stereotype of not being smart. There's even a cruel word for it: lunkhead. Oh, by definition, lunkheads aren't necessarily big and buff. But let's get real; there are no scrawny lunkheads.

It's unfair. Yeah, Gold's Gym might not be the epicenter of intellectual thought, but let's face it, neither is grad school. And at least at the gym, nobody asks me to proofread their horrible, worthless doctoral thesis. Buddy, you're thirty-one; it's time to leave school.

And to be a muscleman must be physically uncomfortable. I mean, your giant muscular thighs are touching each other. That must chafe. And what the hell is coming out of your neck? Is that a bone? Why is it pulsating? Doesn't it hurt?

And musclemen get accused of taking steroids, which doesn't seem fair. And musclemen are not allowed to tell jokes. Nobody wants to hear a muscleman try to be funny. Hey, that reminds me -- Honey, don't forget to pick up the Carrot Top show tickets for tonight. And it must be hard for musclemen to maintain a relationship. Who has time for marriage counseling when all your time is spent lifting barbells... which, in fairness, is probably about as effective in saving a marriage as is marriage counseling. And nobody takes muscleman sports seriously. Would it kill ESPN to broadcast the Mr. Universe competition earlier than two in the morning? OK, so maybe greased up muscle guys posing to techno music isn't the most entertaining sport on TV? But it's still more bearable than watching the Little League World Series. And musclemen have the worst magazines. Have you ever paged through a muscleman magazine? It's basically like a gay porn mag, but with a lot of ads for protein shakes.

I fear for the future of our nation's bodybuilders. The cards are stacked against them. They must suffer through one unfair disadvantage after another. Oh, they might be muscly, but that doesn't mean they don't have feelings. Musclemen have enjoyed a wonderful history, from Lou Ferrigno to Arnold Schwarzenegger to... well, I can't really name any others. But the other night, I was at a bar and three guys wearing tank tops walked by and, man, did those dudes have really big muscles... and also a desperate sadness in their eyes. I wanted to go over to them and say, "Muscle dudes, society might not accept you anymore. But there are still compassionate, tolerant people in your corner -- people like me." I wanted to say that, but I didn't. Because as they were walking by, one of the musclemen knocked me out of his way.