Home > Uncategorized > No, A Negative Body Image Is NOT Just A Problem For Women

No, A Negative Body Image Is NOT Just A Problem For Women

My eyes? Too slanted.

My nose? Too flat.

My lips? Too pouty.

My cheeks? Too puffy.

My ears? Too small.

My beard? Too high maintenance

My hair? Too thick.

My shoulders? Too broad.

My arms? Too muscled.

My hands? Too big.

My stomach? Too pudgy.

My legs? Too short.

My calves? Too built.

My feet? Too wide.

I see all the imperfections of my body. I will never ever be a male model. Ever.

Many of my female friends have gotten incredibly angry at me while saying that I didn’t understand what it’s like to feel ugly and fat because I am a guy. I was patient. Probably too patient most of the time. But since this is my space to say what I want I figure now is as good a time as any to say my piece.

As an 11 year-old I was too heavy to play little league football. By over 20 lbs. Hell, I remember breaking down crying back in middle school when I couldn’t complete the mile run. I remember loathing the gym locker room because of the comments made. So please, no one take it personally when I say being told I don’t know what it’s like to feel fat is like pushing down on my berserk button to the point of breaking it.

My first ever breakdown? It was at age 13 when a particular idiot decided to see how far she could push me about my size as it was widely believed that I was honest-to-God incapable of anger. That incident was the only time I have ever wanted to hit a girl out of pure rage. Instead I asked to be excused and spending the rest of that period in the bathroom and hyperventilating.

Thankfully my full growth spurt and years of wrestling (to a lesser extent football) meant that I had packed on a good deal of muscle. While I really did love wrestling for the adrenaline rush it gave me, the secret reason was how I had slimmed down to look ‘solid’ rather than ‘butterball’. For a kid who used to not be able to run a mile in 20 minutes, I could now do it in about 8. I could do chin ups. I could lift weights with the best of them. And I worked my ass off for it all.

Now?

I have registered to compete in the Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) for the United Health Care of the Carolina Carolina Marathon in March.

I weigh 195 lbs. with 17% body fat. Thanks to the US Navy Recruiter’s for that bit of info.

Quite honestly? I’m in the best shape of my life.

However, that doesn’t mean I have forgotten where I started. During my extreme weight loss episodes (AKA the times where I was too stubborn to see much less admit I have traits of anorexia) I was working out every other day for about an hour or two at the least burning as much fat as I could. It honestly didn’t seem like such a bad thing at the moment but I know better in the now.

I do get it, ladies. You yelling that I don’t has no bearing on that fact. For many of you who have said something similar, I probably get it better than you ever did. Why?

Because while you are helped by everyone who loves you, I am too jaded to believe any one would take a guy with body issues seriously. Having been told, to my face, that I should just suck it up and deal doesn’t really lend itself to optimism on the matter. That is the difference between you and me. Of the two of us, I am the one who should cope on my own because to do otherwise would be seen as weak.

Double standard much?

You know what? Fuck it.

Insecurity? Been there. Done that. Have nothing but scars to show for it.

So what’s stopping you?

Advertisements
  1. December 9, 2009 at 7:53 PM

    Strong. Effin. Post. I can agree 100% with the above statements.

  2. December 9, 2009 at 9:21 PM

    Gotta love assumptions. This gal is clearly stubborn and not going to open her eyes any time soon. Too bad.

    The strange thing about body image is that we have such a skewed idea of how we look – we can never be unbiased. I’ll skip the after-school special bit and just say that I’m glad you’ve stepped down your extreme workouts.

  3. December 9, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    Thank you for sharing. It’s amazing to me that people would minimize your feelings of inadequacy just because you’re male. We are human beings! We are wired to feel insecure from time to time. I’m glad you’ve been able to process through all of this and I pray you continue to find more contentment with yourself…cause you’re an amazing person!

  4. Ari
    December 10, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    That’s an awesome post!! Thank you!

  5. December 11, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    Let us not forget the happy face, that you(we) wear so well, that lends itself to being taken for a clown. Here to cheer everyone else up? Sure! You(we) don’t need to be taken seriously. And people seriously wonder what the heck happened when someone snaps.

    I’m gonna go all therapist on you, tall black twin. Your feelings are legitimate, and you are important. Mwah!

  6. December 11, 2009 at 4:30 PM

    My son has a similar body type. He was playing Pop Warner football with middle school kids when he was only nine. At 21, he still has issues with his body, and always will no matter how much he exercises. He’s short and built like a tank, poor kid. Thankfully he has a terrific personality and a heart of gold. I hear you…

  7. December 12, 2009 at 8:05 AM

    I had no idea guys thought that way! I mean, I’ve known friends who go do the extreme body builder thing, and I know guys have insecurities too, but body image? Very enlightening post, brimming with strength.

  8. Tinkerbell
    December 12, 2009 at 5:45 PM

    Negative body image is something everyone has experienced at least once in their lives. Some of us did try to help you out during some of it. I am glad you posted this. It was very moving.

    -Tink

  9. December 15, 2009 at 2:49 PM

    How anyone can seriously believe that men don’t carry insecurities as well is beyond me… Just because you’re a dude doesn’t mean you are completely happy or even complacent in your own skin. That’s a ridiculous assumption on anyone’s part, if you ask me.

    I’m glad you shared this hun. Very strong, amazing post.

  10. January 7, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    really good post. most of the men i’ve been close to in any sense over the course of my life have suffered at least some insecurities – some i could understand, some i couldn’t – but they were there, and very real, and very worthy of attention. hopefully, slowly, more people will get it.

  11. January 20, 2010 at 4:36 AM

    some great info here
    i am adding this to my bookmarks…

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: