The Modern Male and Body Image: It’s Okay to Talk About It
Men are expected to have a certain physique. They’re told they need to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Brad Pitt. That’s not necessarily true, but it certainly influences our perception of what constitutes “manly.” There are some things that most guys don’t want to admit to themselves, because they fear judgment from their friends and family members. But there are other things that many guys would rather not think about, even if they were to admit them.
For example, do you really want your father to tell you that you’re fat? Or worse, your brother?
There are so many pressures put on us all the time. I’m sure if you’ve ever been out at a party and seen a bunch of attractive girls talking together, one girl will inevitably mention something about her boyfriend or husband. If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably say something similar to these girls. You might even feel guilty about it.
Why do we let ourselves get pressured into saying things like that? Is it because we’re afraid of being judged?
Of course not! We shouldn’t be! Our parents aren’t judging us; they’re just expressing their own opinions. What makes me angry is when women express their opinion without thinking first about whether or not those opinions are right or wrong.
Why do women always complain about men staring at their chests? Yes, I know that women have large chests, but what the hell? How can you blame us for something natural? And why would any man want a woman who passes judgment on him at any given moment?
It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, it doesn’t matter what the circumstances were, and it doesn’t matter what kind of day you’re having. If a woman says you’re staring at her chest, then you’re a dirty pervert. Well, I’m not a pervert. If I like what I see, I’m going to stare until I’m satisfied. If that makes me a pervert, so be it, but I’m not going to just ignore something that I really like because some girl who thinks she’s better than me doesn’t approve.
I think men are judged by their physical appearance more than women do. Granted, there are certain things that women are supposed to look like in society. However, I don’t think women are as judged on a day-to-day basis as men are. If you’re a girl and you’re short, people normally don’t say anything. It’s considered to be “cute.” If you’re a guy and you’re short, people laugh at you.
If you’re overweight, people laugh at you. If you’re skinny, people laugh at you. If you have any kind of deformity or abnormality, people laugh at you. And all women do is complain that men are perverts for looking at their chests. (Of course some women will say I’m generalizing. They’re right, but not in my case. I like what I like and don’t care what other people think. I’m not going to pretend to like something I don’t, and I’m not going to pretend that I’m not looking at something I really am. And no, this isn’t me saying I’m so great. It’s me saying that I don’t care what other people think about me. What you think of me is none of my business.)
So, where was I?
Oh yeah, women are superficial creatures that pass judgment on men all the time. I’ve been judged by women my entire life. One time in fourth grade I got sent home from school because I was wearing shoes that were too small for me. (My mom had to go buy me a new pair after school.) I was bullied in middle school, but that’s to be expected. It only gets worse in high school, though. The truth is, they will laugh at you with their friends about the smallest things. They will gossip about each other and boys behind each other’s back. And every once in a while, some girl will just snap and get into a physical fight with another girl. (Guys will fight too, but girls are usually more vicious about it, especially when it comes to defending their so-called “honor”. If you’re a guy and you ask a girl if she wants to go see a movie, the first thing she’ll ask is if you’re going with your friends. My advice to you is, if you say yes, she’ll say that you’re too much of a kid and say no. If you say no, the girl will think you don’t like her enough to go the movie with just her. Either way, she wins and you lose because of stupid stereotypes.) It’s stupid. The whole thing is stupid. I don’t understand why people can’t just get along with each other.
We’re all human beings, aren’t we?
The only reason these girls are mean to each other is to impress boys.
And why do boys encourage it?
They’re even worse. Most of them are impulsive, quick to judge, and are absolute idiots when it comes to dealing with their own emotions, let alone someone else’s.
Sometimes I think girls forget they’re supposed to be strong. They have so many physical advantages over guys. They’re taller, they weigh more, they have stronger immune systems, they heal faster, and they’re less likely to die in a car accident. (I’ve always wondered why car safety wasn’t made for females. My theory is that women are seen as “precious flowervessels” that need to be protected while men are supposed to be the strong ones.
And yet girls will still flock to these jerks while nice guys like me are left out in the cold. (I said I was nice, not boring!)
Maybe I would have better luck with girls if I wasn’t so short. (I’m five feet tall and I’m already taller than most of the girls in my class!) It doesn’t help that most of my weight is in my midsection. (Not that I’m fat or anything. I work out and everything!
It’s all so stupid.) Most women won’t even admit that they’re stronger than males. You’d think the feminists would pick up on something like this, but no. They want women to be equal to men, not better. Makes no sense to me.
I don’t know why I’m writing about this now. I guess I’ve just been thinking about it a lot lately. Maybe it’s because I’m finally old enough to go out and experience what life is really like. I just have a little belly, that’s all.) Girls like guys with abs.
(I don’t have abs.) For some reason girls like guys with long hair. (I have short hair.) I wish I was richer so I could impress the ladies with fancy cars and clothes and gifts. (I have an old rusty car that I’ve had since I was sixteen and I wear clothes from the thrift shop.) I wish my face looked different. I’m starting to feel too confined here at home. There are so many fun things I haven’t even gotten around to trying! Sometimes I just wanna go out and party like my sister does. She’s a year older than me and she gets to do whatever she wants! When I complain about it, my parents say I should be grateful that I have a nice home to live in and that I don’t have to worry about going out into the world and getting a job. (I have a round face and a big nose.)
It’s not like I can’t talk to girls. I have talked to girls before (well, some of them. Not many). My problem seems to be that I can’t get them to like me enough to really become their boyfriend. (Though some of them were just friends with benefits for a while.
The whole thing is stupid though. (That’s what they did when they were my age!)
“I still don’t understand why you don’t just go out and try to have fun here. It’s not like your sister is the greatest role model, but at least she gets to do what she wants.”
And of course, I get the lecture yet again on how some people are just lucky in life.
I mean, what’s the point?
I have to grow up and get a job and then I won’t have time to think about anything except work. (Maybe.) If I’m really lucky, maybe I’ll find a wife to have children with. Then my life will be complete and nothing else will matter anymore.
Isn’t that what everyone wants?
(Some people can just do no wrong!
Why is that?
I’d give anything to be like them!)
I don’t think they actually listen to what I write. It’s not like I would have written this if I thought my computer would censor it. Sometimes, I wonder if they even care what I think at all.
(Not me, I guess.)
I think the worst part is the waiting. There’s so much I haven’t even done and yet there are so many things that need to be done. You have to go to school, get a job, and then you can finally (maybe) start enjoying your life. I understand why my sister just wants to get it over with as soon as possible.
Who wants all these restrictions on what you can and can’t do?
I’m really starting to wish I had a brother instead. A brother might listen to me.
Or maybe a sister. That might be nice too. (I wonder what it would be like to have a sister.)
Anyway, now I’m getting off topic. I should probably go do my homework or something. (Homework sucks.)
Hi there, Tom here. If you’re reading this then you just got access to David’s computer. (Cool! I want to set my own path in life!
Maybe I’m just not cut out for this. No, that’s not it. It’s everyone else who isn’t good enough for me. That’s why I’m better off living alone where I don’t have to rely on anyone else. (Though maybe I’m just saying that so no one will reject me when I finally do try to make friends.)
I wonder if I should take a stand against all this. I get to use the computer!)
You’re not actually reading this though because he just finished writing it, so you can’t be reading this. (Hey wait!
How did this thing save itself? What can they do to me anyway?
I doubt they’ll kick me out, but then I suppose there are other ways of making my life miserable. (I think I’ve seen that movie before.)
Maybe I should talk to David about this first. I don’t know though.
Is it even worth fighting against? Do I have anything to fight for? Is it worth giving up my freedom for?
(That’s a silly question. Of course it is.)
I know! Whatever, I guess I’ll figure it out later. I need to get my thoughts on paper now.)
Maybe I should start from the beginning. (Just so you know, this was all an accident. Well maybe not an accident, but none of this was supposed to happen the way it did.)
It all started when I got home yesterday…
Hi there, David here. If you’re reading this then you just got access to my computer. I’ll just go find another job that doesn’t require me to use this stupid thing. (Though I’m sure something will come up eventually, so maybe I won’t have to anyway.)
Hey wait, why would David be writing this then? Shouldn’t he be doing his homework or something?
I must be reading his stuff by mistake! (I hope he realizes this before he gets into trouble. (Or his sister, though I’m sure she’ll find this far more amusing than she will for him getting into trouble. (I guess that makes two of us.)
But if this is his story then why would he be writing about himself in the third person?
Doesn’t seem like something he would do. (Though come to think of it, he has been acting kind of weird lately.)
Something just doesn’t seem right here. (Maybe I should stop reading.)
Oh who am I kidding?
I’m too curious for my own good. (And it’s not like I have anything better to do anyway.)
Lately, David has been acting really weird. At first, I thought it was just me being paranoid, but now I’m starting to see that he really has been acting strange ever since he got that new computer. (Or maybe it was just the start of his weirdness.
Maybe it’s contagious.)
He was in such a hurry to get home yesterday, he left me standing there at the bus stop. (I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do that before. Not even during the first week of school when he was worried he might be late on his first day because of me.)
The only reason why I found out he even came home was thanks to our weird next door neighbor, Alan. (He’s always staring out his window at nothing in particular. (I think he just does it to creep people out. It usually works too.)
After I got off the bus, I started yelling David’s name, like I usually do. Thankfully, Alan came out of his house before I caused a neighborhood panic. He told me that David came home about ten minutes before me and was acting really frantic. Made Alan curious so he was spying on him through his window. (Alan is the reason why I stopped using the sidewalk near his house.
(It was a little too creepy for me to want to risk it.)
Alan says that he saw David sitting by himself in his room, but he couldn’t see whatever it was that David was looking at on his computer. (Alan is inept at anything technological. He still writes his papers longhand, or at least he did the last time I saw him doing it. (I’m not sure if he’s upgraded since then.)
He was about to go back inside his house when David, in his panic, accidentally kicked his laptop off his bed while trying to turn it on. (And I can only imagine how much he was freaking out at that moment. David is usually more careful with his things than that.)
Alan said that it fell pretty hard on the floor and made a large crack appear on the screen. (I don’t think I’ve ever seen David that upset before. (Well, at least not since he thought his mom was cheating on his dad a couple years ago.)
Alan also told me that he saw David take the laptop and put it in his backpack though I’m not sure why he didn’t just carry it by one of the straps. (It wasn’t like it would have been that hard for him to do. The bag had a lot of extra room. (David is really a slob when it comes to his school stuff. He tends to shove a lot of random paper in there after school and then forget about it until the next day.)
I thought that maybe David was upset because he just spent a lot of money on the laptop and now it was broken, but Alan said that he saw David stick something under his bed before he left the room. (Though I have seen him carrying it by the shoulder strap before so it’s possible that the strap just broke after all.)
When I entered David’s house, I expected to see him either in his room or in the kitchen since those are the two places he usually spends most of his time in.
And that’s when I remembered the odd thing David did with his lawn mowing money. (Of course, then I thought that maybe he just didn’t want to spend it on a laptop that was broken, but whatever. (I’m already trying to come up with a reasonable explanation for all of this and I’m not even sure there is one at this point.)
Seeing as how I’ve never been in David’s room before, I asked Alan where it was. (The living room is pretty much out of the question since his parents grounded him for two weeks after what he did. (His mom was never a big fan of his antics.)
Since I didn’t see him in the kitchen, my next stop was his room and that’s where I found him.
Of course I asked him what was wrong as soon as I saw him. (I thought it would be the first thing anyone would ask if they saw me looking so upset. He just pointed up the staircase and then went back to playing his Xbox. (Alan has always been a little odd, but that’s a story for another time.)
When I entered David’s room, I could immediately tell that it was the messiest in the house. (Though compared to my room, it was a freakin’ masterpiece.) Clothes were all over the floor, with books and other random things scattered among them. I didn’t see his backpack though. (Which I would be.)
His eyes just looked dead. (Not like how I’m describing him right now. It’s like there was nothing behind them. It was like he wasn’t even there anymore. (I dunno how to explain it.)
He started crying and told me everything. (I can’t explain what came over me, but after sitting with him for about an hour, I ended up hugging him. (Not in a weird way though!
That’s when I started looking in all of his dresser drawers, and when I opened the bottom one, there it was. (As I thought, he’s been stuffing a lot of random paper in here. It took a while, but I eventually found the laptop under all of that.)
And that’s when I did the only thing that I could think of to do at this point. David’s my friend after all!) He said he was sorry for lying to me, and I said it was alright. (I didn’t tell him that I was also sorry though.)
When I came home, I went straight to my room and started writing all of this down. (That way I wouldn’t forget any of it.)
My room still looked exactly the same as it did this morning.
(Though I’m sure that what I did wasn’t legal.)
Oh well, it was worth it.
I stole the laptop. (Well, I will be returning it eventually. It’s just going to take awhile for me to do it since I’m not exactly going to walk into the police station and hand it over to them. (At least it did until I put everything on the floor so I could sleep.)
It’s now about 1:30 AM and I’m still wide awake. (I’ve been trying to figure out how everything is going to play out tomorrow, but I just end up getting a headache every time I over think things.
I’m finally starting to get tired now though, so I’m going to end this here before I decide to start from the beginning again. (Let’s just say they aren’t exactly fond of me.)
So if you are a policeman and you’re reading this, know this: I didn’t do it! I would never steal something that doesn’t belong to me! (Or at least I would hope not.) It was all David. He stole the laptop and then hid it in his room.
(I can’t believe the police are accusing me of stealing it.
Wait! There’s one more thing I have to put in here. (I almost forgot.)
I saw a ghost today. Well, not really. (It’s complicated, but everything that happened was real.)
I think I’m just going to go to sleep now. (In fact, I know I am. It took me forever to write everything that I just wrote too. (I think writing everything down really helps me get things off of my chest.)
That’s what you are. (Though I suppose I can’t really blame you.
I mean, who would want to live in a house with police officers?
Not anybody with any sense at least.)
No, I didn’t read this before you wrote it. (
How could I?
You just wrote it!) But if I had to guess, I’d say you probably felt really guilty about what you did. Though your conscience has a way of catching up to you every once in awhile.
Sources & references used in this article:
The Modern Male and Body Image: It’s Okay to Talk About It by A Larsen – breakingmuscle.com
I am a woman and I’m pregnant: body image of women in Taiwan during the third trimester of pregnancy by SR Chang, YM Chao, NJ Kenney – Birth, 2006 – Wiley Online Library
Medical Discourse on Body Image Reeonceptualizing the Differences between Women with by S Haworth-Hoeppner – … weight: The social management of fatness …, 2017 – books.google.com