4 Men Tell Us Their Body Insecurities, and It's Honestly Refreshing

Hallie Gould
PHOTO:

Urban Outfitters

As a relatively self-assured woman, negotiating my unwavering belief in body positivity with a quiet, self-inflicted scrutiny is tough. Most days my struggle with weight feels distant, like a different life. Then there are the few hours every so often when judgment and insecurity gnaw at my insides like hunger or nausea. And believe me, that's progress. 

The thing is, I've had the last decade of my life to work through my own toxic delusions—never once feeling uncomfortable about expressing those thoughts. Not everyone gets that opportunity. You see, the intense pressure women are placed under—in the media, in regards to the male gaze, and the infinite amount of other unfair double standards that exist in this country and worldwide—allows us to form camaraderie around our struggle. It's all but expected that we'll encounter disordered eating and dysmorphic thoughts, so it's less taboo to talk about them

Men, on the other hand, have a different type of pressure. Hegemonic masculinity is unconsciously (and, often, very consciously) enforced from birth and deep-seated gender norms dictate that men are not "supposed" to feel insecure about their bodies. It's so damaging to try and understand those thoughts alone. Below, four men describe their own experience with body image and insecurity and what it's like navigating a life drenched with traditional masculinity.  

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