I care about aesthetics…somewhat. I'm no bodybuilder (never wanted to be one), but I won't pretend like looks have zilch to do with how I train.
I train for the x physique.
And the sport of powerlifting has no bearing on physique. The big three powerlifts weren't chosen with aesthetic output in mind.
Now, most Starting Strength folks despite those (like me) that care about aesthetics and six pack abs. Again, I have nothing wrong with this mentality. Some people don't care. I do. I won't try to explain why, either.
But there are things within Starting Strength that work against those wanting to build a better body.
First being the exercise selection. As mentioned, it's powerlifting based. And the powerlifts are, for all intents and purposes, random lifts.
I can create a sport tomorrow called Fartytarty and compete in the turkish getup, the broad jump, and who can eat the most peanut butter in 5 minutes.
For me, someone that cares about the x physique, the exercise selection within the base Starting Strength program isn't going to do me any favors.
Squats and deads are good exercises, whatever.
The flat bench press is going to grow my lower chest more than my upper, which is a loss.
And then that's it.
Now, there are mutations where back exercises are added. Chin-ups and pull-ups and rows. Maybe even some direct arm exercises, some torso work.
These shouldn't be secondary concerns…