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Body Image and Self Esteem

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
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  • #8651
    Matt Stone
    Keymaster

    One thing I’ve been pondering lately is just how polluted I was from a very young age about how a man should look. Obviously women often complain about how they played with Barbie Dolls and had to compare themselves to women in fashion magazines and how harmful that pressure can be. But males get just as big of a helping of that kind of thing as well. Below are some pics of childhood toys and heroes of mine destined to make any male feel inadequate about his looks. Most of the physiques were, or could only be attained through massive doses of steroids and achieving temporary states of excessive leanness through hardcore dieting and weight loss drugs…

    He man

    Lou Ferrigno

    Skeletor

    Rocky and Ivan Drago

    Schwarzeneggar predator
     

    #8673
    j-lo
    Participant

    I forgot that Skeletor was so buff. Weird.

    When I was in high school I was obsessed with “getting huge”, as I used to joke with my friend Alex. We would lift weights for hours every day in an attempt to “get huge.” I wanted a massively muscular physique.

    There’s a whole subculture of men who are still trapped in that, and they are so obsessed with it that they take all sorts of drugs. A minor hobby of mine is researching health-related subjects (hence my reading of 180degreehealth,) and any time I search for anything related to hormones I come across body building forums in which men reveal their absolutely insane drug use. They post their problems with things like gynecomastia, prostate problems, hair loss, loss of libido, shrunken balls, and all sorts of other problems resulting for how they seek to alter their hormonal systems all in the name of “getting huge.”

    #8677
    rohan1413
    Participant

    Yeah I definitely think that men have body image issues as well. Luckily when I was very young I realized that girls like different type of bodies – a girl I dated in high school liked the long lean swimmer type look, another friend of mine liked the big Arnold type jacked guy stereotype as well. Then again I’ve also had girls tell me that they like the NFL wide receiver look – big, but not too big.

    I remember reading on wikipedia that the body type that men on average think is perfect is much more muscular than the one women on average prefer – something about male dominance over their peers being involved in this.

    I think guys have a much bigger issue with their height. It’s more “OK” to be a fat guy than it is to be a short guy (as a 5ft8-5ft9 guy when I was 15-16 it really bothered me. I’m 20 now, and it hasn’t bothered me at all for years). In a weird sort of way it seems like it’s more OK to be a short girl than it is a fat girl.

    Right now as soon as I become fat proof (it’s taking tons of time as I forget to get my calories some days, so I’ve steadily been gaining weight) I’m going to start boxing or kickboxing and lifting weights. In the long run I think for a 5ft9 20 year old male being at a lean 160 would be healthy. Pick function over aesthetics, and the aesthetics will come (so long as you aren’t doing anything metabolically damaging).

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 2 months ago by rohan1413.
    #8715
    Lianda
    Moderator

    Ask females if they find those action figure attractive, and I think you’ll hear “no” more than “yes”.

    Research shows that females are valued for their physical attractiveness and in great measure derive their self-esteem from it. Unfortunately, the role models for girls are not just Barbie Dolls but anorexic looking actresses and media stars.

    For males, it’s their success at money making, (not beating up bad guys) where they derive self-esteem. That’s why a short fat balding rich guy flashing a Rolex and cash can walk up to a leggy model and get her attention.

    #8723
    saisrice
    Participant

    Thanks for sharing that, Matt. I never thought about guy’s toys or how boys would compare their bodies to them. Lianda, you’re right about women (or at least me) not finding those men attractive. I’m not saying that if I met a guy and we clicked and he had an awesome personality that I wouldn’t look past his crazy muscles but it’s not my type.

    #8758
    Matt Stone
    Keymaster

    Times are changing quickly though Lianda. Phrases like “skinny is the new rich” are being thrown around nowadays.

    #8787
    The Real Amy
    Moderator

    I don’t think times are changing that much in this category. Just based on biological roots, I think success will always be most important to men. Sure is to all the men I know. Besides, most women would rather be with a rich man than a skinny one, and once the rich guy realizes that, he will gain confidence from it, even if he’s trying to work out at the same time. I hope men will realize most women don’t like skinny guys anyway so they can stop trying for that goal!

    #8797
    Jdubs
    Participant

    One thing is for sure. Our self image and how other people view us are usually two different things. One thing I’m learning is that self confidence and good attitude usually go so much further with people than body composition.

    #8808
    SBC037
    Participant

    My brother suffered from this. He was extremely shy when little and not good at schoolwork and in his teens decided the way to get through school when your’e not great at academics was to be popular. He was funny and good at sports then took up body building. I think not being tall added to his desire to be big in another way. He dieted very strictly, worked out, and became quite aggressive at times even though he was an incredibly gentle soul. He got very big, won some competitions, then he travelled overseas with his girlfriend. Somewhere along the way, they broke up. He was devastated by that. He stopped working out and got “small” again and I think his loss of body image contributed to some kind of identity crisis. It’s complicated and other things must have come into it, but I think it’s a big part of why he didn’t make it home.

    #8811
    Caz
    Participant

    im sorry to hear that. i hope you can still try to live life to the fullest x

    #8813
    The Real Amy
    Moderator

    Sorry to hear about your brother, SBC. That is really sad. I think what jdubs said above is the antidote to body image crises, and so true: “self confidence and good attitude usually go so much further with people than body composition.” And as Sophia Loren famously said, it’s 50% what you’ve got and 50% what people think you’ve got. I try to remind myself of this all the time.

    #8818
    Jdubs
    Participant

    I just feel that when people are happy and upbeat, others just naturally gravitate to the and want to be around them regardless of weight, size, what they look Like etc. it’s so much easier to be happier and have a better self image when you feel good. Now that my energy is coming back and I’ve been just generally felling mentally and physically better, I’ve noticed that lately I’ve been getting into lots of different unique and inspiring conversations with complete strangers while out and about in public. I know even just a few weeks ago when I was still feeling pretty shitty I wouldn’t even look into people’s eyes. I was having some pretty bad body image issues due to my psoriasis. That’s why I feel it’s so important to do whatever it takes to feel good first and get your health in order. I think we should all embrace who we are,at whatever size or weight we are,while eating to appetite and being otherwise healthy.

    #8825
    MilaMonster
    Participant

    For me, I’m frustrated because I’m attracted to somewhat lanky guys who weigh less than I do. I certainly wouldn’t want one of those action figures, but I also feel weird about outweighing a guy I like about 30 lbs…no confidence that he would like me back. It feels weird to think that I probably couldn’t fit into their t-shirts that well…I mean isn’t that the whole point of the ‘boyfriend’ t-shirt? It’s supposed to cover my ass as I do the walk of shame…

    #8836
    j-lo
    Participant

    @JDubs – Amen. That is so nice to hear. That’s what we all need more of. We all need to love ourselves a lot more. If someone else is going to judge me badly because of my body then that sure says a lot more about that person than it does about me. Meanwhile, I can choose to know that my body is the only one that I’ve got, and it’s done well enough to keep going despite all the shit I have put it through…so I’d say that I ought to be giving my body a ton or respect and love.


    @MilaMonster
    – In my past I’ve dated women who were bigger than me, and I thought they were beautiful. I’ve known plenty of guys who have dated women bigger than them and been really happy. One of my good friends is very happily married to a woman who is considerably bigger than he is. Like JDubs says, it’s about attitude. If you can find it in yourself to love yourself as you are and to take no shit from no one who would think badly of you because of your weight, then you might be surprised at how loving and supportive of a relationship you can have with a guy who may be skinnier than you. Don’t hide yourself in shame. Be proud of your strong body that continues to work miracles. As cliche as it sounds, it is true: if you love yourself then you open the opportunity for others to love you too.

    #8837
    j-lo
    Participant

    By the way, I just noticed that He-Man looks like he’s got a bad case of bruxism. His dentist probably told him he needs a nightguard to keep his teeth. But someone should tell him that he just needs more sugar! ;)

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