We here so much about body positivity in the media – but it’s usually aimed at a feminine audience.
There’s this article on body positivity for men, which discusses stereotypes and dismantling societal expectations of ‘the six pack’. Which I think is sooo great!! Being told to love your body no matter how it looks is so affirming! But I just don’t feel like I see it enough in regards to men?
Guys, what do you think? Is there enough body positivity out there for men/masculine-presenting people? If so, do you have anyone you look up to? How do you feel about your body?
@tea I was just talking to my sister about this the other day! She’s a psychologist and was talking to me about how the rates of eating disorders have leveled out to even across the sexes now, where as around 15-20 years ago researched showed about 90% of cases were women. It’s so awful.
I think there’s no where near enough body positivity/body neutrality out there for men/masculine-presenting people and I wish I could recall at least one activist/influencer but I can’t! There’s a huge gap in the market.
@sextronaut Do you think that’s because they’re reporting more? Like men are more comfortable talking about mental health now and that’s why the numbers evened out?
His Instagram is full of so many positive posts, I love it so much! I think it’s good to bring that kind of exposure to social media because it helps create a conversation around these kinds of issues!
@tea thanks for sharing the article, and about Sam Leighton-dore! So great
I think a big part of the focus on women too is because that space for women is super monetised, like all aspects of the beauty and wellness industries. There’s been the most directed push towards women to confirm to rigid norms, so there’s also more of a push back against it. Because men are obviously also a huge market but with different products (gyms, workouts, supplements, whatever…) I think there will also be an increasing pushback in that regard.
I also think you’re spot on about men becoming more comfortable talking about mental health and that’s probably why we’re seeing more of this now 5-10 years ago, and hopefully why the trend increases!
Yup. Men suffer from body dysmorphia something chronic. If you’re too skinny, too fat, too short, not tanned enough, not enough muscles – so many things to self-critique over. And I think it can be particularly insidious as a lot of boys are taught to not care or not think about those things, so if they are bothered them they might be more prone to keeping it quiet and to themselves instead of talking about it with their friends. Because if guys talked about those insecurities more, I don’t know, maybe they wouldn’t feel so bad about them? I get that struggling with body image is a little more complex than that though. Personally I was ALL ABOUT the so called “dad bod” movement – embracing the bodies that exist outside the male model archetype and still being sexy.
OMG LOVE A DAD BOD! @mintmilano
I was just having this convo with my housemate and boyfriend the other day. My housemate was saying that seeing all of the gay clubs advertising with the toned tanned men in their budgie smugglers left him feeling excluded and it took him a long time to get the confidence to go to dance parties and get his body out. He doesn’t care now but he said he certainly experienced dysmorphia when he was younger. He also mentioned that he deliberately would seek out that body affirming crowd at queer dance parties.
My boyfriend said that he HATED his body growing up because he was really slim (gangly – his words) and that there were boys in his class who would be like full grown men and he felt so small compared to them. I’ve been trying to get him to stop shaving the hairs that grow out of this giant birth mark across his belly – he’s always done it and been insecure about it – I’m just like ‘I just want to see how long they get’ and he’s finally given in and been like ‘well if you aren’t turned off by it okay then’. Personally I think that it’s all the quirks that make everyone so beautiful 🙂
I love the work of Sam Leighton-Dore @tea he does such an important work! If anyone has other body-posi male insty’s I’d love to know about them!
@mintmilano @stephaniaaaah Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! Hmm yeah, I think with the queer culture there’s a lot of pressure to perform/look a certain way to ‘fit in’ with the crowd. Personally I think that it’s all the quirks that make everyone so beautiful. Yesssss!!! Agreed. (Also, so cute)!
@kitkat Oh good point about the monetisation! Do you think with their being more of a ‘gym culture’ concerning men, that they struggle more with their bodies because they’re getting the same kind of treatment really, it’s just not talked about as much?
@mintmilano Yeah dad bods!! Totally agree with the need for more sensitive discussions to take place when people are a lot younger. It’s hard to change your mindset once it’s already deeply ingrained.
I’m with you @stephaniaaaah, love a good dad bod!
I agree that there’s not a lot of body positivity out there for men and also a lot of pressure to look a certain way, even with things such as height which can’t be changed. I see so many posts/memes online and even talking to friends about people only being interested in tall men and I feel like it’s overlooked whereas if/when there are posts that talk about only being interested in skinny women (for example) people would freak out and say that’s not fair and all women are beautiful but it doesn’t seem to be a big deal when people are talking that way about men.