Media has socialised us into believing that we have to look a certain way to please ourselves and others around us. If we don’t have a six pack, or the perfect hair, or a beard that screams masculine then we are deemed as unfit in the eyes of society and I think that’s absolutely disgraceful. Just look at the celebrities they use to endorse things, such as fragrances, which end up plastered all over electronic devices and billboards.
Let’s take David Beckham for example. He’s been shown in numerous adverts that contain various women fawning over him as soon as he’s sprayed some of this magical fragrance. This can be so influential on young men who can end up thinking that they need to be exactly like David Beckham: perfect hair, perfect skin, athletic body, covered in tattoos etc. which is definitely not the case. But as these adverts are being rammed into your brain over and over again then it’s just becoming the norm of what you see, isn’t it?
I’m not saying that being confident in your body comes instantly or easily, god no! But you can certainly build up to loving your body. Different things work for different people, but what I’ve found helps me is buying clothing that makes me feel comfortable. I don’t like skin tight things, so I don’t buy them. Instead, I’m trying to show off my arms more. I write notes somewhere that I look first thing in the morning, I find it helps make my day that little bit more bearable and get it off to a good start. You can write anything like, ‘yeah, you look awesome!’ on your mirror, just those positive affirmations can really help.
The last tip is to take selfies and photos of yourself. This might sound weird, but most of the men that are showcased in the media have their pictures airbrushed and edited before they’re seen by the public. So they’re not realistic at all. If men start talking more photos of themselves and posting them online, we’ll start to be able to see people that look just like us. The other point to doing this is that you will see images of your own body enough that you’ll start to appreciate how you look. It only takes that one photo and your immediate thought to be, ‘Oh, I look nice!’ to possibly change your entire outlook of yourself.
I know that it can be hard, but trust me, you can learn to love your body. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t interact with any form of media, but you should definitely realise that men within that media are edited a lot more than you know. You don’t need to look like them to be worthy. You don’t need to look like them to be happy. And you definitely shouldn’t believe that you need to be aspiring to look exactly like them!