Men's Body Image

Discussion in 'Underwear, Clothing, and Appearance Issues' started by pinoro, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. pinoro

    pinoro New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    CA
    Based on the previous thread: http://www.lpsg.org/143601-pressure-bigger-no-not-there.html I thought I would be more specific in the title & str8 to the point for more response.
    For women today there's a lot of pressure to be big & busty etc., don't you think? But how much pressure do men feel to be bigger/musclier or rockstar skinny/anything else? & why?

    My mother did a teaching presentation on this, didn't really occur to me before.


    (thanks to those who answered previously)
     
    #1 pinoro, Aug 9, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  2. MysticNight

    MysticNight Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    FL
    Well, personally I've always wanted to be muscular, which is why I've been working out lately. It may not be necessary, but I just feel like being a little muscular, you have more of a chance to be with someone, and for people to find you more attractive. I guess you could say there's more pressure for everyone though, since all models have muscle, and all clothing is modeled for muscular guys it seems.
     
  3. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    3,365
    Likes Received:
    6
    Must be something to this male body image problem if men are actually developing eating disorders, addictive exercise practices, and electing for cosmetic surgeries that were traditionally "just a woman's thing."

    I think it impacts men differently though. The worst pressure probably begins in high school gym class because, at that time, young men are developing differently -- at different times and speeds. Being around jocks fortifies the problem. You see these guys in relatively good shape and proficient at sports getting female attention (and male envy), super confident, able to get what they want out of people. I think it eases up a little in undergrad, but it picks back up in your twenties. As we age, exercise, fitness, and body image are tied up in health. The more you can boast about your prowess, the more perk benefits come back to you -- attracting people, looking good in clothes, etc.

    I go back and forth on it. I like my proportions. As frustrating as it is to gain muscle, the good news is that I can still eat like crap and look okay. I can't guzzle beer as much as I used to, but that's about the only drawback. I would like to work out more this upcoming school year, but now that 30 is around the corner, I'm not trying to be a buff meathead about being fit.
     
  4. HaroldZoid

    HaroldZoid New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    I don't feel any pressure even though I workout regularly. And judging by the waistlines around around me it seems like most people don't either :smile:

    For the most part, if you're muscular you're going to look better in your clothes. Tailoring can also emphasize your physique.

    Muscularity for me is also about efficacy--being stronger than I was last week/month/year. Sort of like a personal contest.

    There's guys on here who are in serious shape, I'd be interested to hear their thoughts.
     
  5. EL_Duderino

    EL_Duderino New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    I take really good care of myself. but the main reason i do it, is to be healthy and fit. I had always been a very active kid and I really fell off for a couple of years in my early 20's where i didn't do anything and ate really poorly. I was always really skinny and It didn't really bother me. But when I got a little older I moved in with a friend who was a gym rat and went 5 or 6 days a week. Eventually I just started going with him and he taught me how to lift weights. I really started to look forward to going to the gym and eventually one day after going to the gym religiously for about 9 months, I took off my shirt in the locker room in front of a another friend and my buddy was like, damn you got jacked man. I never even thought for a second i was anything but a skinny kid up until that. when i started to see myself in this new light it really changed the way i looked at myself and gave me a lot more confidence in life. I catch girls checking me out all the time, and its nice to know that all my hard work paid off. now a days im even more of a gym/health nut and it's still something i really love. so the moral of the story is get off your ass and do something if you don't like your body. Learn to eat right and work out properly and you really will be a happier person.
     
  6. sleepiboi

    sleepiboi Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Washington
    For me, I feel a lot of pressure as a guy being in shape, and the biggest thing I have a problem with is ABS, which i know a lot of guys might feel the same about. I am not "fat", but I don't have abs and I am afraid to take off my shirt even in the summer. This has been a problem of mine for a few years and I am trying hard to get them
     
  7. chfan

    chfan Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    80
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    4
    It all boils down to society's changing perceptions. Its now okay for a man to be into his looks (aka metrosexual) without being gay. Its recognized now that men have body image issues. To prove the point, I asked some guys in a class I was taking at the time how many worked out. A lot raised their hands. I then asked, how many worked out because it would improve the way they looked. A lot kept their hands raised. I believe athleticism is a way for a lot of men to hide their body image issues with a mask.

    Quite frankly, I take pride in the fact that people tell me that I'm in good shape (granted without abs); that I dress well; that I know fashion; that I shop at A&F and AE; that I don't look like a bum like a lot of guys do; without having to be labeled "gay"...I'm just metrosexual.
     
  8. enderwiggen

    enderwiggen New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    I definitely feel pressure, but have always been a bit of a rebel against that stereotype. Combine that with the fact that for several years I didn't know how to take care of my low blood sugar, excessive eating has led to being overweight. I'm not huge, but heavier than I should be. Now that I am finishing my undergraduate degree in two years(double major in music and music business), I am taking my appearance more seriously. In the career I am entering, I am required to get at least a Master's degree. At the auditions to be admitted to the program/school, it has been stated many times that 80% (or more) of the decision on whether or not you are admitted to a top music school is determined by the way you walk into the audition room and the way you look. If you look like you belong there, you have a significantly better chance of getting in.

    So I admit. I have finally caved to trying to fit into the stereotype of the way guys should look (thin and muscular). I have started weightwatchers and am doing well. I will definitely be in my target weight range in about 6 months or so. What's even better is that my blood sugar levels have stablized, so better health alone is enough reason to stick with this change in my lifestyle. I go swimming, try to buy more trendy clothing, and am trying to take better care of my appearance (hair, skin, etc.) So, in essence, I am going "metro." But that's okay! Time and time again it's been shown that those who look like they have it together are the ones who get the job. It seems that success and appearance (however sad it is) actually go hand in hand.

    Anyway. That's my $0.02
     
  9. crescendo69

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    8,142
    Likes Received:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    I swim a bit, but have stopped the gym workouts I used to do. The closest I got to "skinny with abs" was during great stress two years ago. But it was not healthy; someone said I looked much older in spite of the weight loss. After seeing all types of people, fat, medium or skinny, muscular or not, achieve their own levels of happiness, I realize it just doesn't matter that much as long as you are reasonably healthy.

    Now, do these pants make me look fat?
     
  10. Mr_Bulldog

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,106
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    318
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Eglin AFB
    Verified:
    Photo
    I feel a lot of pressure. Whenever my blood-brother and myself go out he always gets hit on by girls on account of his great looks and great body and I just get passed over. Don't get me wrong I look great compared to the 6' 300lb guy i was in high school i've dropped down to 205 but I still have a bit of fat on the stomach thighs and arms and its depressing. At one point I even stopped eating completely hoping to drop even though now I know that was absurd to think that way.

    I just look sort of chubby now but like I said when out with my bro it always seems the girls are comparing his 6 pack to my gut...

    My embarrassment over the rest of my body is the only thing that keeps me from putting pictures up in my gallery haha
     
    #10 Mr_Bulldog, Aug 10, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  11. sdbg

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    3,919
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Diego
    Verified:
    Photo
    Who doesn't want to have the killer bod?! We all want it, yet limited time forces us to make choices based on our priorities. One of the cool things about getting older is that you become comfortable in your own skin even if you're far from perfect. After 7 years of inactivity following a knee injury that grounded me from running, I began cycling in 2005. I lost 60 pounds 4 years ago and feel great. I'm not as lean as I used to be when I ran 25 miles weekly, yet as long as I'm healthy, it's all good. Climbing hills is the toughest part of cycling, and I challenge myself to beat my record every time. Wanting to ride faster fuels my efforts to continually improve my fitness. Generally, the more you improve your fitness, the better you look.
     
  12. nudeyorker

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    42,918
    Likes Received:
    37
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NYC/Honolulu
    I just always try to eat right and stay fit. I go to the gym three days a week and play tennis once a week and take a dance class. However I have noticed that in the winter when I ski often I become more muscled and in the summer I am more lean. It' not so much any pressure to fit into any societal image of what is popular, just to be in the best shape possible and my pants fit.
     
  13. 289

    289 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    102
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Scotland
    This is a really great thread. Especially in Britain, the number of young males with eating disorders, unhealthy exercise habits and body dysmorphia is only just being considered.

    When I was 17, all the popular guys in my year at school were the ones who were super skinny (as in unhealthily so). I was a rugby player who had stopped playing due to injuries and was much heavier. Dont get me wrong i wasnt obese, but i certainly didnt have an attractive - or particularly firm physique. Long story short, the girls in my year were uninterested unless you looked malnourished. It was frustrating, girls were just not interested.
    As for pressure from society, it would get to the stage where very few high street shops would stock anything other than skinny jeans for men, which for me were a no- no. You know its bad when a pair of 34 inch waist trousers fail to go over your thighs. I often hoped for clothes that looked good, but that werent all about showing off how muscle bound or how unhealthily skinny I was. In short clothes I was comfortable in.

    So we left school, and my best friend and I took up the gym, both motivating each other. We did it partly because we wanted to change how we looked, but literally 6 weeks into it, and we did it because we enjoyed it.

    Two years down the line, we both still work out 5 times a week. I certainly no longer care about how skinny or otherwise i am, all that i focus on is getting myself to higher and higher levels of fitness in a safe and responsible way. I now get much more attention from females (and males :rolleyes:) but only because I vaguely conform to what the glossy magazines and Mens Health etc try and define modern men to be.

    I know that teenagers will always worry about image, and women will always wonder what clothes look like on them, but in Britain for sure, the image of perfection and health as portrayed by the worshippers of celebrity is damaging our youth.
    I hope what ive written makes sense and is fitting, its my experience and take on mens body image, in the UK
     
  14. RobertDude

    RobertDude New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Phx Az
    I eat what i want and work out 4 times a week. Swim 5 times a week, I dont wanna be thin and dont wanna be big Muscle or fat, I like my swimmers body.
     
  15. OCMuscleJock

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    3,292
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    879
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    I pretty much eat what I want...work out 5/6 times a week now. I was always really skinny and have always admired muscle. I work out for me tho...I don't care what my partner thinks...or anyone else for that matter. I mean...if they think you look good ...well great, but ultimately you are the one that matters and you got to be happy with yourself. Also, as Mystic said...most models are muscular...well he's right..to an extent. They are toned...the only big muscular models do swimwear and work out clothes. The perfect size for a male model is a 42R coat. Thats the size I wore at 145 lbs. when I was modeling. Most runway models are thin but toned...the camera makes you look bigger...especially if very cut. Now, I cannot buy dress shirts, polo shirts...or anything with banded sleeves from Abercrombie or any store like that. So there's issues with clothes if you're too thin or too big.. lol :)

    just be happy with yourself and how you look...and if you're not...fix it. You are the only person that can do it.
     
    #15 OCMuscleJock, Aug 10, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  16. D_Odipherous Pitts

    D_Odipherous Pitts Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    0
    As one who was always the smallest guy in school I developed a inferior complex about myself until I started working out and became quite muscular. It certainly helped my self confidence levels but not to the point of being cocky about it.

    Being very muscular seems to attract more envious looks and comments from other men than from women. It's kind of funny seeing other people gawk and poke each other to look at me as I walk by. From being the 98 lbs weakling to the muscular guy on the beach has helped me overcome being overly shy plus has proven to be a healthy lifestyle for me.
     
  17. Mule

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,558
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    14
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Midwest US
    Verified:
    Photo
    I work out primarily because I feel so much better when I'm in good shape. I sleep better, have more energy, and recover from activity faster. I tend to view the improvement in physical appearance as a nice side-effect.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted