I really should be working on my presentation for MAsT coming up, but I find I can’t. Not yet anyway.
I’ve been having a rough week self-esteem wise.
No longer working (Got fired from a rather Homo/Transphobic place I spoke up about [they, of course, found a reason to fire me]). Not really having much of a support system/friend base here at home, and my manageable but still present depression, has created a fairly impressive “low” for me.
Something I have been mulling over recently, and for quite some time, is not really a double standard, but perhaps more of something that slips by marginally unnoticed for a few reasons. I hope to shed some light on it, as well as perhaps put my own mind at rest, or even just catharsis through putting it all on “paper”.
Male body image issues.
All the time you see Female body image empowerment. This is a fantastic thing! people should be comfortable with who they are and celebrated. I do have a caveat for this for both men and women, though – As long as you are healthy! Not to say we need to look like the preconceived images of modern day Adonis or Aphrodite, far from it, but one should not be a walking time bomb of health issues either.
From BBW dance nights(which I enjoy going to immensely btw), to support groups, meme’s, and all manner of other empowering supports. They’re everywhere, which as I said is fantastic!
Women are constantly held to a perceived standard by media: Kim Kardashian, Ruby Rose, Scarlett Johansson, and Megan Fox, the list goes on.
Men are also held to a similar standard: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Brad Pitt, Ryan Reynolds, Brad Gosling and Connor McGregor.
All of these men hold a few things in common besides their star power – Ridiculously sculpted physiques. Time and time again people try to sell you on the idea of fat loss, thermogenic’s (fuck these things btw), the next big bad workout routine, 6 pack abs in 12 steps! What people don’t realize is two things they can’t dictate are a genetic predisposition. Not everyone can get down to 8% body fat and hold it (yes single digit body fat is where visible abs happen). Then there is dedication – don’t get me wrong, more and more people will spend tons of time in the gym, eating properly and all the other things you need to do. However, guys like The Rock spend HOURS in the gym, same with these other stars , when preparing for a role they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on diet, trainers, and pure time spent. The average guy just can’t, or if they do they’ll sacrifice other areas of their life to achieve, and it can be detrimental to living a balanced life.
Always be happy, Never be satisfied.
My body type is one that will never be at single digit body fat, I am a mesomorph but I did take a period of time to spend 5 days a week in the gym, my goal wasn’t fat loss, though, I wanted to get as strong as possible. As I once told a friend, I don’t do a lot of cardio, I’d rather kill the bear than run from it.
During my time at the gym, I overheard things leveled right at me by people who assumed my music was on. I won’t go into it, but let me just say, they were some very negative comments about my physique. Body shaming doesn’t just happen to women, I have had it directed at me as well.
Even as recent as two weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend (via video) and someone passing by in the background exclaimed “Put your fucking shirt on! We don’t want to see that!”. Keep in mind I am a big guy, and hairy as a grizzly. These two things have always been an object of ridicule until I met my little fae, she for some reason loves both my size and my Furriness. However, thanks to my previous experiences I am VERY self-conscious about these things, if you’ve ever seen me shirtless, then I trust you, more than most.
The other body image issue men are constantly bombarded with is something that bothers the shit out of me, as well as something that was brought closer to the surface thanks to of all things a radio add I heard not long ago.
One of the most vicious insults you often heard hurled at a man is penis size (this is not including the Fetish of small penis humiliation). “limp dick”, “small”, “is it in yet?”.
You’ve likely heard these things leveled at someone at some point, and really if you’re looking to truly insult a guy, the penis, and inherent masculinity is closely tied together.
Even on sex-positive sites like fetlife I see lines like “I’ma size queen so if you’re not hung don’t bother”, and other similar “size queen/king” statements. How many guys have actually measured the size of their penis ? More than you think.
The other day we were driving to a neighboring city and I actually heard a radio ad for something promising to increase length and girth all the while a smug female voice promising that it would drive women crazy, WHILE implying the bulk(no pun intended) of men were inadequate. Fuck those people, fuck them with our average sized dicks in the ear.
Now, I’ve never considered myself anything but average, honestly, I DID measure myself when I was younger, and always considered myself small when you compare to the 8 to 10-inch monster cocks you see in porn. No one ever talks about an average dick, dildo’s and vibes are 7 to 8 inches long. and what you see on fetlife are guys who post penis pics – apparently the new rage is holding your dick next to a can of coke, or hairspray to prove its fucking huge. Personally, if I rely on my dick for self-worth, I’d never have sex again – I can’t compete with Hernando the monster cock, or the guy who’s as thick around as a bottle of water. (I have seen this, and really genetics ? what the actual fuck?) But I am sure those who enjoy that are especially happy. I’d just prefer to see more love for guys who are average.
All in all male self-image is a huge concern, but that brings me to my last point.
None of this is ever fucking mentioned because it flies under the radar. Men are not to show weakness, WE DO NOT talk about our problems because it shows weakness, it’s just another thing that is “unmanly”. I say fuck that, by nature, we are simply making the problem worse, men who show weakness are to be further ridiculed. “we don’t talk about our feelings”, “we don’t show that anything bothers us”, and my favorite “be a man about it”.
All of these things are used to shame us into silence, and largely those of us with issues are SCARED to get the help we need.
In the end, we NEED more male body acceptance, for ALL body types. We need to realize that male self-image is a bigger problem than people believe, and we need to start appreciating men for who they are, not based on an unrealistic interpretation of masculinity perpetuated by Hollywood, and big media.
Men, Women, Humans in general are ALL beautiful, and we deserve to be told so.