His brown, hardening body lived naturally through the half-fierce, half-lazy work of the bracing days.

from F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (Chapter VI) on Rap Genius

Meaning

Although Fitzgerald doesn’t directly point to the advantages of certain appearance in this sentence here, it is evident throughout that Gatsby’s appearance and aura definitely improved his chances at success in America. Whether it was his breathtaking smile, the brown, hardened body, or his unfailing feeling of hope, Gatsby shows readers that appearance was important even in the 1920’s. For Gatsby, Dan Cody suits him up as he accepts him into the entourage. Just before Gatsby could be seen wearing a torn green jersey and a pair of canvas pants.
The picture below represents a later version of Gatsby, showing how his appearance over time evolved. Fitzgerald along with Alger understood the important of appearance.

Author Horatio Alger explores this notion as well in his novel Ragged Dick where a suit coat is imperative to Dick’s success.

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “The Great Gatsby (Chapter VI)” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and leave a comment on the lyrics box