Body positivity for men is just as serious as women’s
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Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells
The argument can be made that millennials are the generation of change. In this day and age, millennials are standing up for equality, race, gender, sexuality, sexual consent, representation and body positivity. I feel as if all these categories are being discussed and changes are happening.The changes are slow, but change is happening nonetheless. There is one issue that I feel is not being discussed. That situation is the inclusiveness of males in the body positivity movement.
Body positivity for women has been a top discussion for about five years.
Actresses such as Lena Dunham, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Mindy Kaling, and Amy Schumer have spoken out and promoted plus sized women in the media. But where are the men included in this? Shouldn’t men also have a say in their media depictions? Studies show that males have higher pay, are treated better, and are viewed as individuals.
As the famous words of the late James Brown says, “This is a man’s world,” and honestly, it is a man’s world. But in this case, males need to be included.
In the media, a handsome man is tall, fit, and has a smile of a god. Now think of what is considered the unattractive males in the media. This guy is normally the comic relief— a chubby and short man who isn’t given a second look. Why is that guy not promoted as beautiful as well?
For example, earlier this year, Amy Schumer posed nude and supporters cheered her on.
But, when a picture of Rob Kardashian surfaced earlier this year, he was ridiculed and labeled as an ugly fatso.
Another example of this is the actor Chris Pratt and his weight loss in 2014.
Before his weight loss, he was the chubby comic relief and after the weight loss he landed the lead in three films.
Nothing about him changed besides his weight. What kind of message does that send?
Obviously, the message that it sends is a negative one and does not show inclusiveness of males in this movement.
While the media is responsible for perpetuating this image, the exclusivity of males in this movement can also be seen in everyday life. I have personally been in situations where I have pointed out an attractive male that is vertically challenged and I will be viewed as strange for even giving this short guy a second glance.
He is not seen as handsome because he doesn’t “fit” the attractive narrative that is projected in society.
I have also experienced a situation where a guy called a girl fat and he was verbally ridiculed by others for viewing the girl as ugly due to the fact that she was a little heavier than other women.
In both situations, ridiculing the individual is wrong. But the responses I have experienced have differed completely.
The narrative that is pushed is that being a chubby, short man is a huge negative.
But a woman that is not seen as traditionally beautiful is slowly being accepted as attractive.
It just seems to me that the view of the “unattractive” males is stagnant and negative.
I feel as if males need to be included in order for the body positivity movement to keep moving in a positive direction.