It is a known fact that girls face a lot of pressure to have the perfect body. From the media constantly shoving that ideal into our faces, to our own peers treating us like we're "less than" if we don't fit their mold, it is no surprise that some girls are literally killing themselves to achieve the perfect body. But do boys face those same problems on the same scale? I know that there is also a male ideal body that's perpetuated in our society but I never really thought it was that big of a problem.
My perspective changed after i watched Buzzfeed's video by the Try Guys called "The Try Guys Get Photoshopped With Men's Ideal Body Types". All the men talked about being "riddled with body insecurity" and wanting to be more muscular because that somehow equals to being more manly.These 4 men that I've always found attractive because of how nice they seem and their sense of humor talked about themselves in such a negative way and it completely broke my heart. I never realized how ridiculous the standards for men have gotten because I didn't think being muscular was that important.
Talking to a few of my male friends about it shed some new light on this issue for me. A friend of mine who's a part of the gay community tells me that there are different degrees of pressure depending on the community. In the gay community, there's definitely a huge pressure to always look perfect. According to him, "you can't be an ugly, fat gay". Another friend explained to me that it is easier to lose weight and be skinny than to build a muscular body. Getting six-pack abs and pecs takes constant physical training that not everybody can endure. Some men even resort to taking steroids and ignoring the risks to achieve that ideal body.
Why do we as a society tell men that they have to be muscular to be manly and attractive? Why do we even have to define what is and isn't manly? In reality, most girls I know don't care that much about that. It's mostly the media that keeps reinforcing what "perfection" is, knowing that the masses will do anything, no matter how dangerous it is, to achieve it. I'm certainly guilty of seeing male celebrities and thinking they're so hot because of how chiseled their bodies are, but the older I get, the more I realize how truly irrelevant that is when it comes to genuinely liking someone.
I know it isn't going to change anytime soon, but I wish we would focus on more important things than what someone's body looks like. There are so many funny, smart, genuine men out there that don't realize how truly great they are because they're so stuck on having the perfect body. Some men do want a muscular body just for themselves and not just to attract their preferred gender. However, we shouldn't make it a standard in our society. People should be able to feel healthy and comfortable in the bodies they're in.