Martin Regnen wonders why musicians tend to be skinny:
I got talked into playing a last-minute sub gig yesterday which much to my surprise turned out to be a battle of the bands. That turned out to be an opportunity to do some amateur anthropological fieldwork. A dozen bands were competing, and I haven't seen that many non-orchestra musicians in one room at the same time. There were over 40 of them there, which suddenly made me realize just how different musicians are from non-musicians. I'm not counting myself as part of the sample, of course. Aside from the high frequency of black clothing (there was no band without at least one black shirt) and lots of hair (apparently 5 cm is very short for a male musician), the most striking thing was how skinny the guys were. The sample of women numbered only seven so there's not really much data there - too bad that I couldn't really test the pretty songbird hypothesis. ...
I have no idea why this is, but it's interesting that so many skinny guys were there. Steve Sailer has proposed that rock musicians might be thin because it's easier on their knees in the long run, but only a few of the bands played rock and just about everyone was much too young to have to deal with wearing their knees down. So the explanation has to lie elsewhere. It can't be just that guys who are no good at sports are attracted to music to boost their social standing - if that were it, there should be plenty of fatasses as well. Maybe young guys who spend money on instruments and amps just don't have much left for food? Then again, symphonies aren't really full of fat guys, either.
Does music somehow attract men with faster metabolisms? Or does anyone else have any ideas?
Was it always like this? Or did it change at some point? Was there some first role model of skinniness? Sinatra? The young Elvis? The British Invasion? Perhaps English lads born in the 1940s were undernourished as youths, so they stayed scrawny as young men, and that set a stereotype that has endured.
Or, perhaps there is something deeper here than mere fashion?