In his essay, “Never Too Buff,” Cloud argues that men are becoming more obsessed with their bodies and that “an increasing number of young men yearn for the steroid-boosted and buff bodies typical of today’s action heroes and weightlifters” (Cloud). Cloud effectively supports his argument using the rhetorical appeals of logos, ethos, and pathos. From beginning to end, John Cloud uses facts, statistics, and quotes from experts, which provides evidence that a real problem exists.
It may be already known to you that many women can be unsatisfied with their chest size, concerned about having acne, and are unhappy with their body so they binge eat. But did you also know that “about 40 percent of Americans who go on compulsive eating sprees are men. Thirty-eight percent of men want bigger pecs, while only 34 percent of women want bigger breasts. And more boys have fretted about zits than girls, going back to a 1972 study” (Cloud).
This is just one of the many facts that Cloud presents in his essay, making it very effective because he shows the logic. After reading The Adonis Complex, written by psychiatrists Harrison Pope and Katharine Phillips and psychologist Roberto Olivardia, Cloud uses a lot of their information in the story. This helps the readers see facts and get a better understanding. The author uses ethos effectively by making his essay sound credible. While reading this, I saw a lot of facts and Cloud was backing up everything he said.
At one point he talks about the amount of money spent on fitness, looks, and working out. Cloud backs this up with a fact saying, “Last year American men forked over $2 billion for gym memberships and another $2 billion for home exercise equipment…Men’s Health magazine had 250,000 subscribers in 1990; now it has 1. 6 million. In 1996 alone, men underwent some 700,000 cosmetic procedures”. This shows that the author knew what he was talking about. He did his research and it shows that he is credible.
He also refers to a study that was done in The Adonis Complex. The authors who wrote Adonis developed a computerized test that allowed their subjects to add muscle to a regular type body. They can estimate their own size and choose the size they would like to be. After that, they then choose the size they think women want. Harrison Pope and his colleagues gave the test to college students and found that “on average, the men wanted 28 pounds more muscle, and they thought women wanted them to have 30 pounds more” (Cloud).
Lastly, the appeal of pathos is used well in this essay. The way he connects to the readers’ matters. Cloud talks about how society has such a high image for men. Hulk Hogan admitted to taking steroids and who looks up to him? Children. They wanted to be big and strong like him because he is an idol to them. However Hulk Hogan is not being a good influence. Some fathers even walk in to stores with their 12 and 13 year old sons and want them to gain weight and muscle without the childs consent is basically what it comes down to.
This touches us and we feel emotion because its just a ridiculous thing. Cloud provided a lot of useful information in his essay that kept the audience wanting to read on. It was very informational and it was not easy to forget. It provided a great hook and although lengthy, it was packed with a lot of information. He backed up his argument which helped a lot in the reading because it was hard to doubt what he said when all of the facts were stated right there.