Turns out boys are less immune to slings and arrows concerning body image than we may think. Of course they don’t take it nearly as hard as chicks do. There’s a little film floating about featuring body shaming our boys. My knee jerk reaction is, “Wa-wa welcome to our world.” I reconsider and think that may be a little bitchy.
The trick seems to be handling slung arrows. Kind of like math. Perhaps girls can take lessons from their brethren. For boys, it’s not that it doesn’t happen; it’s more than they refuse to let it creep too close the psyche.
Guys report that in order to be a man you need be tall, have a big dick, six-pack abs, lift weights and not be too skinny. Is that really all that different from big boobs, tiny, flat stomach, a thigh gap, blonde hair and blue eyes?
The difference comes in reaction. Guys acknowledge and move in. Girls resort to body polishing, colored contacts, endless hours in the gym, surgery and an attitude that says, “It’s okay to treat me this way because I am less than the ideal.”
The guys’ reactions? “Yeah, so.”
Although young men recognize what’s going on around them—that there is a stylized ideal for what a man should be, one guy says, “I can’t do anything about it.” Unlike a women who resorts to surgical alteration, starvation and self-flagellation. They guy instead says, oh well, can’t fix it. If he were a chick, he’d be obsessing—maybe I can make it bigger. Maybe I can spend hours in the gym developing my arms and six-pack. The guy, instead, says, yeah I’m skinny. Can’t fix that.
Seems a might healthier, non?
Interviewers ask what the boys think of their bodies. Keep in mind, these are the same guys acknowledging that they are lacking in some area that defines, “man” whether it be penis, six-pack of sculpted butt.
“We’re all different. If we all looked the same, that’d be really boring.”
“My body is the shit.”
“My body is mine.”
“My body is a gift.”
“My body is cool.”
“My body is skinny but I love it.”
“It may not be perfect but that’s okay.”
If, as a society, we can ingrain in our boys that whatever their body type, all is well why can’t we do it with our girls? Need more proof? How many guys with no hair and a paunch hit on you at the country bar last week? Perhaps the key is not creating the perfect body but the indestructible ego.
Thought for the day.