Once again I’ve found myself awake at a strange hour, with a lot of thoughts on my mind. Tonight I want to write about something different to my normal topics; I want to write about male image.
I, as a feminist, believe it is important that I stand up for the rights of men as much as women and I think that the discussion of masculinity is as important as the discussion of femininity. Yes, women frequently draw the short straw, but we’re all too quick to forget that men do too.
I don’t believe that men who spend countless hours at the gym to have a perfectly muscular physique do it for the good of their health; I’m fully aware of the fact that most do it because they believe they should look like this, that society puts pressure on them to have chiseled abs and massive biceps. Men like this are plastered across our television screens, teenage girls put posters of pop stars and actors with toned bodies on their walls, Hollywood stars with bodies that are actually normal are viewed as ‘cute’ and ‘quirky’ but never as sexy or appealing. Women stop judging men based on their personalities and decide if a man is ‘worthy’ of their time based on what he looks like.
The worst part is that women hate this; we all want to find that man who still thinks we’re beautiful when we wake up in the morning having forgotten to take up last night’s make up leaving us with panda eyes, our hair a mess and wearing our oldest, most disgusting pyjamas, but we won’t make any exceptions for men. We think, “Oh, well he doesn’t have to worry about make up or doing much with his hair so he should always look good.”
When will we cut men some slack and treat them the way we want to be treated?
I, for one, don’t appreciate being objectified and I doubt men feel differently. If it wasn’t for the way the media portrays “real men” (buff, tanned, strong, independent, never weakened by anything) then maybe the men who we call chauvinists would act differently and the men who feel that they’re not good enough would have more confidence. But, in the same way that it’s happened for women, there’s too many men who are so desperate to support this look, who’ve been supporting it for years, not realising that it’s actually having negative affects, that the chances of this happening are, sadly, very slim. The best we can do is to remind the men who don’t follow the “norms” of society that, actually, they are just as normal as the men who try a bit too hard.