Monday, June 6, 2011

Women Aren't The Only Ones

Dear Diary,

Men have body issues too. There I said it.

Ok, so I am overweight. Not morbidly obese overweight. Not taking an elevator up one flight of stairs because my fat ass can't be bothered with the physical exertion overweight. But, I have love handles, and then some.

But I also have a significant amount of muscle. I can feel it under the excess body mass. So, I have some padding, but I also know what lies beneath. If I were to flex my arms, the odds of one being able to wrap both hands around them are slim, well, unless your hands are the size of catcher's mits, then well, maybe, just maybe.

But, none of this is good enough really. The excess weight takes my confidence, puts it in a blender, then tosses gasoline on it, lights it on fire, and puts it out with a big pile of shit.

So you will have to forgive me if I want to ram a hot piece of metal through my nostril up into my brain when I hear women bitch about body image issue. The whole, "These jeans make my ass look huge! I want to die" type shit annoys the ever living crap out of me. YOU AREN'T THE ONLY ONES WHO DEAL WITH THIS SHIT. Guys do, we just don't talk about it so much.

Sure, women can blame the media and Hollywood for portraying an unrealistic ideal of what is beautiful. That is a fact, and it doesn't help that people get reality TV shows and are made to be celebrities just for the fact they fit into some made-up social construct of what is beautiful, when in reality they have zero talent, and the best part of them dribbled down the crack of their mother's ass.

(For the record, I really love that last line, and I hope it isn't copyrighted)

But there is an unrealistic portrayal of what is means to be an attractive male in today's world as well. Not all of us, and in fact most of us, do not have bodies that look like they were chiseled by Michelangelo. We are all not 6'4, muscular, with little or no body hair, tan, with blue eyes. But, society has deemed that features such as those are what is desirable. So, guys like me look at that, and hear women swoon over that, and well, think, fuck, I am going to be alone, forever. I am ugly. No one will ever be attracted to me because I am chubby. And no woman will even want to talk to me because she wouldn't even give me a second glance.

So we retreat. We retreat into silence. We walk around and see happy couples, walking hand in hand. We see them at night, kissing on the corner as we walk home, alone. And we go home, and look in the mirror, and hate the reflection. And we become fixated on it, and hate it even more.

So no, women aren't the only ones who have body image issues. Guys just don't talk about it much.

Until now I guess.


  1. Guilty as charged. We've talked about this, clearly, already. But you are right. I am doing the thing that peeves the shit out of you and anyone else who struggles with some weight issues. And for me, I have nobody to blame but me for that and my overthinking ridiculous brain. But anyway. I like the way you actually are talking about yourself more now than a few months ago...more positive, more optimistic, happier, I daresay? ;-) All good things.

  2. Seems we both have weighty on the issues on the brain tonight.

    And yes, it is not something men talk about...and that sucks. Glad you feel you can here.

  3. It's good to know you have issues too - but I don't suspect that you go to quite the same lengths as us to resolve them....

    You might like to read this:

  4. Hi,

    I was almost reluctant to comment since I am one of the many whiny women writing about their self image issues, but I get it. I never thought that this was something only women dealt with. And I certainly understand how the extra weight destroys what remains of your confidence because I feel that too. I can say, that personally I don't blame the media for my self-esteem issues. Hang in there.

  5. for the record, i would just like to state some things:

    1) the culture as a whole is far too stuck on the whole beauty thing. male and female.

    2) men who conform to the male beauty standard ("men's health" models, or similar) are completely revolting.

    3) i promise, there are women out there who aren't vain. the man is not what you would call an adonis by any stretch of the imagination. but he is wickedly hilarious, unbelievably loyal, and sexy as hell. that is a hundred times better.

    but you're right: vanity is our favorite cultural sin, just like al pacino in "the devil's advocate."

  6. First, I've seen your pic and my friend, you are delish. For real. I told you: if you passed me on the street, I'd totally look. I would. Also, for the record, you didn't look the *slightest* bit overweight to me. Not even a little. You, in fact, are super-fly. But that's just my assessment.

    I am, however, glad you've brought this to light, because you're right: it's talked about far too little. And women forget that it goes both ways. I personally wish men talked about it a lot more. It humanizes you guys. And sometimes women need to remember that men feel every bit as much as we do, they just process it differently.

    Personally, the guy I'm going out with on Saturday? Is a BIG guy. BIG. And you know what? I'm really excited. He's smart, writes well, is intelligent, is cultured, is employed, loves wine and big asses. We should get along swimmingly. As much as it might break my heart at the time, I'm better off without the shallow guys out there. I want someone who loves me for ME, all of me. (And I've got an ass you couldn't stretch an axe handle across, as the old Southern saying goes.)And don't you want a girl who looks at you and thinks, "Damn, cut me off a piece of this. He's smart, funny, writes well, is interesting, multi-faceted and HAWT. Where do I sign up?"

    Ah, it's such a shame you don't live in Texas....

  7. I think most people have insecurities. As a single woman that also struggles with body image and self-esteem, the double standard between men and women is what bothers me.

    It seems much more acceptable for overweight and out of shape men to date fit women than vice versa. Is that because women are more accepting? For me, I prefer to date a guy who is physically active - and their weight doesn't matter (although I would take extra pounds over lean any day!).