It’s impossible to watch daytime television and not hear women discussing body image and the issues they face. However, no one is speaking about men. In recent years, men have been inundated with images of the “perfect” body. What made me think of this was my recent uncovering on Facebook of a photo of a guy with what most would say is the perfect body.
Although, both women and men alike would rather avoid the subject it’s true that men are self-conscience about their body image. Being “metro-sexual” is an example of how image has become more important for men. I believe self-image and being body conscious is becoming more and more a problem among men. Women have started to focus more on empowerment and accepting themselves, curves and all. Women even now have drag queens giving them makeovers on the popular Logo show, “Rupaul’s Drag U.”
But this is not the case for men. Men are regularly presented with images that leave them with the sense that they are not physically fit, attractive enough like Mc Steamy, sexy enough like David Beckham, or wealthy enough. While there is a lot of talk on the negative impacts on self-esteem in women, the impacts on men are being ignored.
Men are supposed to be the strong, confident providers. With bullying on the rise, gay suicides, and violent acts against innocent people in my eyes this is an indication that we have to start paying closer attention to our young men. Luckily for me I grew up during a time when a male’s self image was nothing like today. My fear for young men today is that society is projecting images of what it means to be a man that only focus on the physical and less about the ideals of integrity, self-worth and empowerment. When a man looks in the mirror today he sees that he’s not muscular enough, is too fat, or is not dressed well enough to be worthy of being accepted or even loved.
Our youth are hungry for images and messages of acceptance, especially our young men who are starting life off with images that say they are not good enough. Let’s consider that body and self-image issues and the struggle to find acceptance are issues faced by both women and men.