Body Insecurity Knows No (Gender) Bounds
How guys can deal with body image issues
(While I’m not entirely sure why this image came up when I googled “feeling fat,” it makes me laugh so I’m using it.)
Last weekend, I got fitted for a bridesmaid’s dress to wear in a friend’s upcoming wedding. Anyone who’s stood at the mercy of a tailor wielding a measuring tape knows the rush of insecurity that overtakes you when that tape is being cinched around your various body parts.
The verdict? Of the three measurements taken, each indicated I should order a different size dress. Yup, I’m a Frankenstein of girl parts.
And they weren’t the “good” (read: unrealistic Barbie doll) measurements us ladies are conditioned to want. I’m smallest in the chest and widest in the…I believe badonkadonk is the proper MLA-approved term?
I left the store brainstorming about protein diets, liquid fasts and lower body boot camps I could do before my friend’s big day. Which is crazy. Thanks to the speedy metabolism I inherited from my mother, I’m well within a normal weight for my height. Sure, I could be more toned in certain places, but who couldn’t?
While they might try to deny it, men aren’t immune to the kind of fat-pinching, body imperfection-obsessing I succumbed to that day at the dress shop. So below are strategies to combat body insecurities that both women and men would do well to consider the next time they’re feeling less than stellar about what they’re working with:
- Focus on the positive
Sure, everyone has stuff about their body they don’t like, but they’ve also got other assets to be proud of. Do you have a great head of hair? Gravity-defying calves from a childhood spent playing soccer? Whenever possible, dress to accentuate your best features.
- Do something about it
If you can’t stand to take your shirt off at the pool because of a beer belly that’s been growing since college, try this. Work out more. Eat less. It’s as simple – and boring – as that.
- Deal with it
If you’ve worked on the first two, and you’re still obsessing over love handles/cankles/bald spots/etc, it’s time to learn how to accept the body you’ve got. My mother has a prayer taped up on her refrigerator that reads, “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I’m pretty sure this is from AA, but it applies in this context too. Work what you’ve got, change what you can; then get busy accepting the rest of it. You’ll be much happier for it.
At the end of the day, my butt’s always going to be bigger (and other things smaller) than I may like. But so long as my bridesmaid dress doesn’t split at the seams as I’m walking down the aisle this summer, I’ll be fine.