If you’ve paid any attention to the media lately, you’ll have seen articles that discuss body-shaming, the practice of judging a person’s body when it deviates from an acceptable image, but those articles almost always focus on women and body-shaming. Don’t get us wrong: body shaming is bad no matter who is on the receiving end, and the type of body-shaming women experience is irrevocably connected to sexism. However, men can still be victims of body-shaming.
You don’t need to look any further than one recent trend to see it. The “Dad bod” is now in style, but what is it? It means a man who is slightly out of shape. Perhaps he was once in shape, but he no longer has a lot of time to dedicate to working out. Men frequently become soft around the middle after becoming fathers, hence the name.
This highlights the fact that society has generally looked down upon those less-than-fit bodies. Men, as well as women, worry about not being thin enough. Although it appears that the “Dad bod” trend gives them leeway, society has added one to a small list of body builds that are deemed acceptable.
While this phenomenon highlights that men can be body-shamed for being overweight, we can’t ignore another major way in which men are judged for their bodies. Men are expected to be svelte and strong, with rippling muscles to prove it! From Old Spice commercials to GI Joe figures, men are confronted with images that are heralded as the ultimate in masculinity. This leads some men to a futile attempt to emulate the body type, but not every man can achieve it.
Naturally thin men are body-shamed in a way that naturally thin women aren’t. In an attempt to look like He-Man, a character whose powers are as unrealistic as his physique, some men even abuse steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. Interestingly enough, men who are exposed to those body types including those who read fitness magazines, experience more dissatisfaction with their bodies according to one study.
Perhaps ironically, not every woman is even attracted to a buff body type. The fans of the “Dad bod” prove this to be true. Some women like men who work out, but others prefer them thin, and still, others enjoy a little more cushion for the pushin’, as the saying goes. Women also consistently report a man’s appearance is less important to them than men believe.
Still, body confidence shouldn’t rely so heavily on an outsider’s approval or not. Body-shamers find power in their ability to affect others with their comments. It’s up to all of us to take away that power and love our bodies no matter what they look like! Check out products from Romantix that can help you — and your partner — enjoy each others bodies. From jock straps to animal print, Romantix will be able to bring out the *INNER* He-Man confidence in anyone!