Body Issues: Not Just a Woman's Domain

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
It is not just women who suffer from issues related to body image.
The media needs to stop encouraging people to feel negatively about themselves.

Submitted: March 28, 2010

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Submitted: March 28, 2010

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Today’s women are known for their often neurotic body issues.  From weight worries to concerns over whether or not their nose is too big, women's body insecurities can be endless.  And who can blame them?  From fashion magazines featuring only thin, flawless young models to continuous television advertisements for weight loss programs, women are constantly being bombarded with the message that how they look is just not good enough. 

Women’s tendency to discuss their feelings with their friends may be helpful to the woman expressing herself, but it can be toxic to the listener.  The listener probably thinks that if their thin friend sees herself as being fat, than they must be huge.  Not only is it toxic to other women for females to moan about their supposed imperfections, but it is also toxic to their sex lives and to the males in their lives.  It is hard for women to feel sexually aroused when they do not feel attractive and their sexually deprived mates begin to feel rejected.  As men feel neglected by their mates, they may turn to seeking out new companionship causing their romantic other to feel even less attractive. 

Plus, male partners may begin to see themselves as being less than physically appealing.

Believe it or not, men too have insecurities about their appearance, and not just when they feel rejected by the woman in their lives.  Men worry about their hairy arms, fat stomachs and sagging butts nearly as much as their female counterparts do, they just don’t express it.  They fear that discussing those matters with other males would make them look weak.  Nor do men want to bring up such topics with females out of fear that those females may perceive them as being less than manly if they reveal that they are not immune to the emotional heart ache hating one’s own physique can cause.

In fact, men’s body issues often run deeper than females.  While it is true that men are much less likely than women to notice microscopic flaws, such as large facial pores or single stretch marks, males are more likely to see their imperfections as a threat to their manhood.  A female plainly sees her out of shape body as being unattractive where as a man worries that by lacking in muscle tone he is less able as a provider. 

Perhaps men and women need to work together to combat their insecurities.  Females need to realize that males are not going to notice the warts on their big toe or the two extra pounds they put on.  Men need to realize that most women are not looking for a muscle bound giant.  Both genders need to recognize that the opposite sex does not expect their other half to look like a model from a magazine. Everyone needs to keep in mind that the more they pull away from their partner due to their own insecurities the more they reject their partner, which is never the way to solve body issues.

That being said, society could certainly do more to help people see their own beauty.  Magazines and runways could both stand to select models of who vary more in age, height and weight.  Television stations could run less weight loss advertisements, and the ones that they do run could feature before pictures of people who were genuinely obese and went down to a healthy weight.  As supposed to ads featuring before pictures of normal sized people who went down to a size zero.  

Also, we need to stop celebrating people just for their physical appearance.  The expression about not being able to judge a book by its cover reigns true.  People are more than just what they look like, and looks fade anyway.  Does this mean that we can control feelings of physical attraction?  Or the large part that who we find visually stimulating affects our choice in mates?  Of course not, but we are not doomed to a single life just because of a few acne scars or a couple of excess pounds.  We still have inner attributes that are way more important than having a pretty face or slim figure, things such as kindness, intelligence and a sense of humor.  

Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is another reason why we need to learn to love ourselves for who we are.  It doesn’t matter what you look like.  Not everyone is going to find you attractive, but there is somebody out there who will.  And your looks are just a small portion of the many things that make up who you are and chances are that there are many things that you do like about yourself.  So, instead of hating yourself because of some miniscule “flaw” in your appearance, why not look at the overall picture?  You can’t change a lot of things about the way you look, but you can change the way you feel about it.  So before wishing you could transform your body into something it is not, try reshaping your body image.  Now that’s one image makeover that is worth a shot.

 


© Copyright 2020 Stephanie Fage. All rights reserved.

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