While scrolling down my Tumblr dashboard, I saw a quote that was a part of a conversation YouTube star Gloria Shuri Nava had with her partner about feeling fat. He simply told her: “You are beautiful.”
It was later that she wondered why she could not be fat as well as beautiful. The comments below this post were encouraging her to be proud of the body she is in and how body shaming toward women needs to be eradicated.
When I did a Google search for body shaming, approximately 10,400,000 results popped up in 0.42 seconds, with the majority of top titles targeting women.
However, when it comes to how men perceive their bodies, few discuss the reality that not every man has a six pack, perfect hair, distinctive eyes or is the perfect height. We have entered the era of body shaming toward men, as they also receive large amounts of scrutiny. With so many definitions of what a man should be, it can contort men’s thoughts of themselves. Below are five ways men can learn to appreciate their bodies:
1. Draw outside the lines, a.k.a. weighing more than an average man, even though that’s not what the media portrays.
“I do not feel constricted to embody the cookie cutter image that many tend to like. At times, I do feel like there is something I need to have if I want to pursue some girls. I want these features for myself, rather than to impress a girl,” Prentiss Bullard, 16, told VOX. “At the end, it should be more about personality versus a person’s body. If I have a nice personality and be myself, what I look like will not matter. You do not need a perfect body to be a great person.”
2. Many fall victim to fueling their confidence through popular opinions and the thoughts of others. But men can avoid this trap.
“I do not need comments from others in order to stay comfortable in my body. This is simply because I am myself. I found my own self-confidence through my father,” Erick Whitaker, 17, told VOX. “He taught me at a young age that I am who I am. I should not feel compelled to care what other people think about me.” So don’t look for a comment from another person to determine the way you view yourself. It is healthy to set up your own standards and abide by those.
3. Authentic grace matters.
“I do not look for compliments from others, but I would be grateful if I got one,” Deonta Nelson, 16, told VOX. “Compliments validate how I feel about myself because they give me an extra boost to. This can help multiply the amount of confidence a person has.” Embrace every inch of your body because you were indeed born into a beautiful body.
4. A person’s weight can be a factor in their amount of confidence or self-esteem.
“I would like to be a certain shape in order to feel good, but a good personality defines my beauty. You … want a perfect body, but you are ugly on inside. I think it makes you ugly on the outside as well,” Shaquelle Charles, 16, told VOX. “I feel like it should not get to the point where we compare [ourselves] to others. We are our own individuals. If you want to find self-confidence, find something beautiful in you and let it be known.”
5. Constantly comparing yourself to another person might seem innocent, but it is capable of having a negative impact.
“Furthering yourself with hate ruins what you are efficient at and can destroy a relationship,” Michael Chaparro, 15, told VOX. “I know that Ernest Hemingway once said ‘There’s nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility is being superior to your former self.’ I think it is a very good idea to bring people together, strengthen relationships and grow closer to people.” Instead of being being upset with what you are not able to do, embrace the gifts that you have.