Women are as guilty as men of creating societal pressures regarding body image and how people should look. Recently, a friend of mine posted an image of a male model who had rescued a dog and began an instagram account for the dog with images of the K9 with he and his model roommates. My friend's caption was "Eye Candy." Of course, we all laugh when women write this. But secretly, such images and captions are crushing to many many men out there.
Why? Because most of do not have bodies like these hunks. Our abs are far from the washboard stomachs they have worked endless hours to chisel. Nor do with have lines of definition right above our crotch which would inspire us to wear our pants without underwear and have them hang low around the waist. If I were to do that, while I don't have a massive belly, would not have the same effect, I imagine, call me crazy.
It is ironic that the very women who complain about how objectified women are in our society will post photos like this one as eye candy for the female imagination. This is amidst the chorus of calls for celebrating all women's bodies! It is rare that I see female friends of mine dig up a photo of an average guy's body and post it as 'hot'. Nor do I personally have a need for them to do so, but, the fact remains these images are powerful. They inform boys about what they are supposed to look and help create a perception of what women want.
I will go one step further to illuminate the deeper element of this issue: PENIS SIZE.
Ask any man in our society, and he has most likely wondered 'how his member compares' to other guys. Is he big enough? Will she be satisfied? And numerous other questions plague many boys and men. And if you think these are only generated by commentary by other men, you are absolutely mistaken. Just listen to how women talk about well-hung guys. There is a curiosity, a sense of awe, etc. Of course, this is not every woman, and many friends of mine say that isn't part of their thinking when it comes to the guys they like.
But have you ever heard women talk about dating a guy with a very small penis? It's a brutal conversation to overhear.
So I challenge women to not perpetuate the societal push for men to look a certain way as much as they themselves want to be celebrated for how they look. The things you say and the photos you post about what a beautiful man look like are an enormous part of how boys shape their ideas about themselves and their bodies. And they are listening.
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-Alok Appadurai is co-founder of Fed By Threads, a writer, proud father, vegetarian, advocate of the earth and animals, and curious about life.
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