Much has been written and discussed about the media’s effect on girls and their self-image. But not much has been written about the same effect on boys. While girls tend to want to be skinnier, young boys are pressured to put on weight and build muscle. Both things can be potentially devastating.
Watch any TV show or movie today and without a doubt you’ll see a guy taking his shirt off to expose a perfectly chiseled body. (The fact that a lot of women lust over these guys unabashedly while criticizing men doing the same over a supermodel is the subject for an entirely different blog post.)
Or just look at any magazine rack in the store and you will see the same thing. I’m not saying that things have gotten better for women, I’m just saying that things have gotten as bad for men. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
As Dr. Raymond Lemberg, a Prescott, Arizona-based clinical psychologist and an expert on male eating disorders, said:
“But while the media pressure on women hasn’t abated, the playing field has nevertheless leveled in the last 15 years, as movies and magazines increasingly display bare-chested men with impossibly chiseled physiques and six-pack abs. “The media has become more of an equal opportunity discriminator,” says Lemberg. “Men’s bodies are not good enough anymore either.'”
And he’s right.
I don’t want my son (nor my daughter for that matter) to grow up thinking that a man must look a certain way to be a man, or to be attractive to the opposite sex. I want my kids to grow up without feeling pressured into looking certain way. And let me tell you something, our culture is not making that easy.
Please read these two articles. Let’s be part of the solution.