Saturday, 7 January 2012

Men Have Feelings Too.

This week a survey revealed that men are unhappy with their bodies, particularly their 'beer bellies' and their lack of muscles. 
Through my research, I have focused primarily on female body image, mainly because I can relate to it more so. However through a couple of conversations with male friends, I know that they are just as self-conscious with the media pressuring them to be toned and bulging with muscles.
Dr Philippa Diedrichs, led the study at the Centre for Appearance Research at UWE in Bristol spoke about how "We need to take a collaborative approach to promoting an environment that values diversity in appearance and promotes healthy body image." Yes. We need to do this as soon as possible really, and effectively by consulting the media giants that publish infinate amounts of muscular men and toned bodies that some people can only admire to look like. The media is a strong influence on us, whether we know it or not.
Shockingly, the report stated that 'Thirty-five percent of respondents said they would trade a year of their life to achieve their ideal body weight or shape.' Really? What people fail to understand, and this goes with people who follow particular diets, is that to gain and maintain a fit/muscular body, requires regular exercise and certain diet that can be fairly extreme. It's even fair to say that some people use certain steroids or other enhancing drugs to help them gain the body they desire. All they really achieve is a body that has been intoxicated with unnatural substances. 

I found another male body image survey from askmen.com, where I found a truly disturbing statement: 'many acknowledge that a six-pack could play a part in successful courtship.' Really? How does a six-pack enhance a relationship? A relationship is about trust, communication and respect [at a basic level, and ignoring what magazines tell you to do]. If there are men reading this, don't be so warped. A discussion with a single friend recently we spoke about qualities we look for in men: sense of humour, a passion in life[work or hobby] and a nice smile. Simple gentlemen. Don't be so hard on yourselves.

What I have been meaning to also blog about is about the sexism that men are subjected to by women. Various women's magazines exploit men as much as mens magazines exploit women. They have features such as 'men of the week' and 'pinup of the week' which will often feature actors or models that are shirtless showing off their tanned and muscular bodies.

 Cover of Now. With a mans pecs on show to reel the ladies in. It looks like a shot from a lame porno movie.
 The feature of porno guy. Do women get off to this? I think it is just boosting this mans ego more than anything, and boosting my hatred of him. Not all women desire men with pecks. I remember my mother saying many years ago that there is a limit on how muscular a man can be before he is unattractive. So men, do not fear- not every woman desires a sleaze showing off his over-muscular body like Mr Vanity here. Vanity is not an attractive attribute.
 More magazine often feature a 'Men of the Week' feature, including five gentleman of celebrity status who are in the news or recently been snapped by paparazzi. At least one image will show off a mans body. This reinforces the women reader of the ideal man. Did you know that men have personalities too, which actually is more important than if a man has a six-pack or a four pack of beers.
 A bit more sexism from More. This time in the form of trying to beat stereotypes from their partners such as 'only talking to your boobs', 'won't leave his Xbox alone' and to reward them on beating these stereotypes out of him: 'Whisper a dirty promise in his ear'. Well done More! Your sexualisation of women astounds me yet again. Women have more qualities than the use of their vagina. Or mouth.

Some sexualization by More! on facebook.
I never saw The Fabulous Baker Brothers, but to ask for feedback to judge them on their attractiveness devalues them as humans and mocks their whole show in general.

More enforcing of the muscular bodies by emphasizing how fit David Beckham is.
Who cares. We have seen it all before and its just BORING. Becks naked apart from some tighty whiteys.
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