Saturday, 9 June 2012

I Choose Shameless

Jezabel publish some great articles, some more serious then others. But today I have come across an article discussing the male perspective on body image through using a photo shoot to help with body confidence.

'A significant part of the problem Stashko describes isn't just the absence of resources directed at men battling anorexia or bulimia. It's that our images of male beauty and desirability are in some ways even more limited and unattainable than those offered to women. While we assume men are allowed greater leeway to be physically imperfect, how often do we see shirtless male models that are anything but perfectly ripped? As the fashion industry moves tentatively towards promoting a wider (and perhaps healthier) size continuum for female models, a soft body is still anathema for men in fashion. The tyranny of the six-pack is absolute.'

After attending a Body Gossip session on Southampton University campus last month, there was mention of what men have to deal with. One female said that men do not have to deal with as much as women, to which I (silently) disagreed. Men are as self conscious as women, however there is a wider market of products aimed specifically to help women change or alter the way they look. Whilst there are also products and adverts for men to aid their looks, men do not openly discuss their worries as much as women might do. I know a few male friends who have shared their worries with me and yet as they have done so, it has been reservedly.

'The same week that both Stashko's piece and the GQ story on D'Angelo's struggle with an eating disorder appeared, the new editor-in-chief of the Good Men Project, Noah Brand posed fully nude in what he called "a direct confrontation with body shame." Brand, who describes himself as "just over the line where ‘overweight' turns into ‘obese'," said the experience of going full frontal in his own magazine was "intensely liberating." '



Noah posed naked, and felt liberated. Having seen naturist documentaries and various makeover programs featuring a strip down to help accept peoples own bodies, I totally understand the need and success of naked body shoots. Being naked, especially in front of a camera, can either make you do two things: cover up and shy away from your body or embrace letting it all hang out. Why shouldn't we all enjoy ourselves naked? Being naked helps us see and understand the shape of our bodies. We are born naked, and many moons ago, we walked around naked, there are even cultures in the world today in which the body stays uncovered.

'...it's clear that GMP's chief sees posing nude as a viable strategy for overcoming self-loathing. "I honestly think more men should do this," Brand writes.'

Good for Noah doing something to help with his own body confidence. The article is worth a read, with the writer debating if it is the right way for men to tackle body confidence, also discussing the first Plus-Size model at Australian model agency BGM.

Links
I'm Stark Naked- Deal With it. Good Men Magazine article

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