The role of gender conditioning has been there for centuries around for both women as well as men. Boys go through the same anxiety and low self-esteem as girls when it comes to looks, skin color, height, weight, voice tone, emotional expressions, hair growth, body hair and size of their private parts.
“Men have to be tall, dark, handsome and strong as they have to earn for their family,” is a general notion. They are also brought up with the idea that it’s girlish or a sign of weakness to cry, thus men are expected to hide their emotions. This can cause feelings of inadequacy as they grow up and encounter situations where they have the urge to cry. Well, built body with a good height is the “perceived” sign of manliness.
The turmoil of body image disturbance leads to depression, low self-esteem and overemphasis on achieving desired perfect looks. This also results in low motivation and withdrawal from social events. Few pointers to help overcome this are:
- Our appearance, height, weight are all inborn gifts just like the color of our eyes or hair. We cannot change it.
- Healthy acceptance of oneself helps to build self-esteem. When we value and accept ourselves as we are, we won’t be disappointed by challenges and can handle them well
- Highlight the things you like and admire in yourself. It could be your smile, the way you make others feel or your style of communication.
- Crying, feeling upset or expressing emotions are all signs of strength. It helps you become humane and others connect with you better.
- Take a realistic and optimistic approach towards life situations. For instance, if your weight is your reason for concern, then tell yourself, “there are ways of reducing it over time.”
- Analyze the perception you have about Male Body Image. Ask yourself, if you are simply going to the generally perceived notions or is there a possibility of thinking beyond the rigid mindsets.
- Turn your limitations to your strengths. There are always perks in everything. For example, your soft voice could mean that people take you to be of soft nature and polite.
- Learn to appreciate your inner beauty. Always remember that you are a beautiful person. Believe in yourself.
Always remember – happiness is not what you want but is about loving what you have.