Do Guys Have Body Image Issues?
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Health and Wellness

Do Guys Have Body Image Issues?

Dude, it's 2016— Dad bods are in style.

Do Guys Have Body Image Issues?

Did you know, according to National Eating Disorder, “20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder?" As a female, I constantly feel objectified by society about how my body should look. A few years ago thigh gaps, rib cages and bulging hip bones were considered sexy. Society has slowly transitioned to appealing to “thick women." Those with meatier thighs, slim waists and a big ole booty are in it for the win. With the help of powerful movements like Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, the social media crusade of #fatkini, and I suppose Victoria’s Secret's attempt with their "The Perfect Body” promotion (even though plus size to them is a size five), we have sluggishly been accepting the idea that a steak with no meat is unappetizing. However, what about the other species that create this population? The ones who are trained from a young age to get your boots dirty, to not match your clothes and essentially never grow emotions – males. Do you wonder how they feel about their body? Should we wonder how they feel about their body? Are they allowed to “feel” about their bodies? My curiosity got the best of me and I found some brave souls to open up and discuss their self-image. Three interviews in and I realized they are just like us. They hate, love and want to change their bodies. They have insecurities in some areas and confidence in the others. Below are the questions they were asked and I summarized the majority answers. Overall, males and females aren’t very different after all. One gender is just more expressive (whoa, big shocker).

1. Do you feel that your own body image compares unfavorably with the media’s portrayal of the male body?

My favorite answer was from an aesthetically above average guy who told me “Nah, it’s 2016 – Dad bods are in style these days.” (Dies of laughter then realizes it’s basically true.) For the rest of the interviewees, the answer wasn’t that simple. A few did state that they are in control of their body and didn’t see the media as a huge threat, but the overall consensus was that the media idealizes men to be chiseled and fit, but “big guys” aren’t necessarily celebrated.

2. How far would you agree media pressure makes body image exist?

Nine/10 answers explained that it is apparent for men, but not nearly as severe as women. Without even putting the opposing gender into their mind, they all decided it was worse for us women. One of them not only stated that the media gives body image pressure, but also rivaling females. He stated, “The pressure is there, but it definitely isn't as harsh as it is on women. Men aren't as objectified as women, but more importantly, men don't shame other men the way women shame each other. It's brutal.” Great Point. Why do we do that? We know how it feels to hate yourself, so why give that hate to another female? Girls attack one other; women empower each other.

3. What is the main point of exercising for you?

#getswole #gainz #gymlife -- In reality, most of them just do it to keep healthy rather than to get shredded and ripped. However, there will always be that one guy on your Instagram timeline that takes all of his selfies at the gym, without a shirt, flexing his right arm and hash-tagging the phrases above. Shout out to the ones who aren’t on roids.

4. Which of these statements relates more to you?

1. I don’t really care what I look like.

2. I put some time and effort into the way I look.

3. I put a lot of time and effort into the way I look.

As a chick, I can attest to the alarm going off an hour and a half or more before you have to leave, giving you time to get those lashes blasting to the sky, foundation blended more than ice in a margarita and eyeliner looking so winged it could fly right off your pretty eyes. But for men, they need 10 minutes to SSS (urban dictionary this). Overall, the consensus was, “I put some time and effort into the way I look.” Their definition of “some time” will have to be explained in a deeper article because that is foreign to me. I’d guestimate like 20 minutes?

5. On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your body satisfaction? One being dissatisfied and 10 being extremely content.

Thankfully, no one ranked themselves a one, otherwise I would have to be doing some damage control in the form of beer and pizza (men and women are really not that different). The average rank was a seven with the exception of my lovely above average participant who called himself a narcissist and gave himself a nine. Look at you Glen CoCo, you go Glen CoCo.

6. If you could change any part of your body, what would it be?

There was no consensus for this one. Though it is my favorite question, the answers varied from height, to abs, to butt, all the way to the tool the Good Lord provided only the male species with.

7. Do you have any insecurities?

Had I been interviewing the ladies this article would be a tad bit longer. However, to my surprise, the guys actually opened up and shared some of their insecurities with me. They each had diverse answers and even some unexpected characteristics, but the overall agreement was the beer gut. Now of course, my above-average guy told me, “Not really, my body is the shit.” According to question one, Dad bods are in. So to my participants who fear the gut —don’t. Most ladies prefer something soft and cozy to snuggle with.

Lastly, this was a great topic of conversation that brought some insight about the male perception. It’s unfortunate that men feel the need to hide their emotions and feelings, because it would be viewed as weak and emasculated. Discussing this with a variety of body sizes, races, backgrounds and cultures really shows that we all have feelings and uncertainties. You start to realize that stretch marks are beautiful on him just as much as they are on her. I am a firm advocate in the belief that all bodies are beautiful and I hope some of you can relate to that idea after being revealed to this information. At the end of the day, I want to take Seth Rogen home to Ma instead of Chris Pratt, because who wouldn’t want to die of laughter while eating dinner? After all, Dad bods are in style.

*Huge shout out to the great guys who participated in this interview. Thank you for sharing something so personal with me!*

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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