Why Men Need Body Positivity Too
Recently there seems to be more conversations around body positivity and body image. More and more brands and content creators are creating diverse content showcasing a variety of bodies, ethnicities, abilities and ages. This is fantastic, we’re truly representing more bodies within our media allowing more people to feel represented and like they belong. However this doesn’t seem to be happening as quickly for men. Being male comes with a huge amount of privilege within our society that goes without saying however men are still subjected to the same high standards of beauty that women are. Men are expected to be strong, to be masculine, to have broad shoulders, 6 pack abs and a jawline longer than my life expectancy. But what if you don’t fit into that definition that society so unhelpfully sets out for us. Well, you feel exactly as I felt for the majority of my life - that you don’t belong, that your body is the problem, that you are the problem.
Now it isn’t just these expectations of beauty that men have to deal with, nope. We also have the crushing ingrained toxic masculinity that exists within our society. Couple these together and you have a horrendous cocktail that results in low body image and value which is ultimately damaging for our mental wellbeing. Women often discuss their body image insecurities which society deems as perfectly acceptable, men on the other hand are afraid to speak out about their body hang ups because even acknowledging them is deemed emasculating. This is because we’re pushed into the ‘man box’ and forced to be strong and never show our emotions and feelings. So even discussing these things makes us vulnerable which goes against what it means to be a man in the eyes of society.
This is why men need body positivity and why men need a safe space to openly discuss their thoughts, feelings and emotions without fear of persecution. It’s also why men need more representation of a variety of bodies. Unless you’re white, thin, cis and built like you were carved by a greek god chances are you aren’t represented within our society and as we’ve said lack of representation isn’t cute. So what I’m asking is fight to end the stigma surrounding men talking about their body image and emotions, use whatever platform and reach you have to uplift male bodies which you don’t see enough of and advocate that men need body positivity too.
If I discovered someone being unapologetically themselves, not trying to change to fit into societies beauty ideals and giving a big F U to anyone who questioned them I’m sure I wouldn’t have spent years of my life trying to change me and instead I could of been living, not just existing.