6 Ways We All Indulge in Male Body Shaming & How to Stop It
We all know that one guy who loves to post shirtless selfies on social media. But that does not mean that all men are born with perfect body types. Well, there are also men out there who have been a victim of male body shaming, and the reasons could be many.
We always associate women with body shaming, but nobody realizes that men have been silent victims of this toxic behavior too.
Yes, we all do it. Just accept it!
It may be consciously or subconsciously, but we all have been there—body shaming our brother, male best friend, boyfriend, or husband.
We all compare guys around us to other high-standard men. The worst part is men can also body shame other men around them due to their insecurities, and men can also body shame themselves due to past childhood trauma.
Well, little body shaming is not always bad, but it can be mentally damaging for some men when we make them consistently feel bad about their looks and manliness. How?...keep reading to find out.
What Male Body Shaming Does to a Man
According to a medical study, when men experience body shame, they are more likely to engage in sexual aggression.
In the first experiment, men who a female rejected due to their unattractive looks tended to rape. Here the trigger is both body shaming and post-rejection mental trauma.
The same pattern was observed in the second experiment regarding men whom a female apparently rejected because they were gay.
According to the results of both experiments, men's body shame could be an underappreciated contributor to sexual aggression, leading to consequences for both dangerous manhood theory and existing theories on rape.
6 Ways We All Indulge in Male Body Shaming
Now you know how body shaming affects men’s mental health, let’s take a closer look at how we all indulge in male body shaming.
Below listed are some most common ways we all indulge in male body shaming and tips on how to stop being a bully:
1. Fat Shaming
At some point, you must have called your male friends, partners, or brothers funny names because they are too fat or too skinny.
How to fix this?—Firstly, we need to address the fact that fat-shaming in men exists.
Well, men's and women's perception of their physique is more or less similar. Research shows that men can experience body image issues just like women. But, because men's body image issues are less talked about, thus their insecurities are taken for granted.
These persistent disparities between the genders include the fact that men are often less loud and seek zero less assistance than women.
Men frequently struggle to recognize or address their concerns since they receive less social validation from their peers. Therefore, addressing the issues is crucial.
Second, avoid making jokes about someone's appearance. Be it a male or a female.
2. Height Shaming
Like fat shaming, height shaming is another crucial aspect of body image issues in men. The majority of men all over the world are judged for not being tall enough when they enter the dating pool.
For ages, we all have made men feel inferior because of their short height, making them appear unsuited for a romantic relationship.
How?—Remember the fairytales, which state a perfect partner will be tall, dark, and handsome. This triggers female society to keep looking for something unreal and impracticable.
Men are aware of what women want; thus, this challenges many short-height men in finding the right match for themselves. The more this affects a guy mentally, the more they feel low on self-worth and esteem.
As a solution, women should learn to detach the concept of a perfect partner with body image. It takes more than just a taller height, muscular body, and good looks to sustain a relationship in the long term.
3. Genital Shaming
Penis-size shaming and making fun of man boobs is a part of genital shaming. And no doubt that misogyny is the real demon behind making fun of little penises and man breasts.
The misconception that a "real" man must have a penis large enough to appease a woman has a significant consequence of demeaning men who may have small penises.
Society—especially women must understand that mocking small penises is not feminist, and sexual pleasure is not about size but skills.
On the other hand, fat accumulation around the breast's glandular tissue can lead to Gynecomastia (Male Boobs), but this can be treated very easily with surgery and a healthy lifestyle.
4. Shaming for Hairs
The findings, which were recently discussed by The New York Post, show that the top two concerns men have about their bodies are chest and back hair. Apart from this, head baldness in men is also a massive contributor to low self-esteem and decreased confidence.
It may be a friend cracking jokes in the bar or a family member referring to the victim as a hairy bear or barren bald for the passage of time. Still, this observational comedy can impact the victim brutally.
All you can do to fix this situation is help men embrace their hair growth. It doesn't matter if they are too hairy or completely bald; support them to be bold and confident.
5. Shaming of Looks
Most women tend to face shame their partners or husbands for pimples, face scars, wrinkles, grey hair, and lacking facial features.
The only solution to this is to stop scrutinizing for material perfection in men because material perfection is not going to last for longer.
And, as they say, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. So, find someone who’s handsome from within.
6. Shaming of Physical Marks or Disability
Body shaming men with birthmarks or birth disabilities is the cruelest form of bullying. Our society sometimes forgets that what makes us unique is our flaws. And, rather than nudging the victim for something natural, we should accept their flaws as a gift from god.
Also, it's high time that our society must learn that no matter if a person is born with physical marks or severe physical disabilities, we all are adequately capable of achieving everything in life.
The Final Takeaway
Male body shaming has generally received little to no attention, indicating that gender discrimination has been a significant problem.
Therefore, we must encourage men to be honest about their mental health related to body image issues and—if required, also help men around us seek expert assistance.
Additionally, we must encourage guys to set realistic body goals.
Once we realize that men or women are more than just their muscles and inches, we can shift the paradigm of the perfect body in favor of healthier lifestyles.
Ultimately, men should also start working on their mindset, irrespective of what the society is feeding into them.
Men need to relearn facts like there is no such thing as a flawless or ideal body. Therefore you shouldn't feel wrong about the one you have.
Instead of focusing on idealized body pictures, concentrate on developing healthy attitudes and cultivating self-love. Listen to your inner voice to lead your life, not anyone's opinion.