Avoiding my reflection has started to become second nature, though I am starting to miss the familiarity of my own face in the mirror, whether polished or crusted with morning exhaustion. I’ve been thinking about beauty rituals and the positive side of image-consciousness, but that’s a post for another day. Today I want to discuss something else:
I realize my last few posts (referring to Boyfriend’s laissez-faire approach to self-presentation and gender disparities in general) are a bit dismissive of men’s experiences with body image, looks, etc. While I think women are certainly subject to more pressure than men when it comes to these things, that very prevalence means we have a myriad of outlets for our insecurities that men lack. If a man can’t just naturally embody the buff, tan, thick-haired ideal, he’s certainly not supposed to angst about it like a girl or something. Eating disorders, for example, are even more taboo for men to discuss than women. But that doesn’t mean that guys don’t worry about this stuff. I think the pervasiveness of female objectification makes talking about the problems that arise from it — low self esteem, disordered eating, even sexual assault — familiar territory, part and parcel of the gender binary. But if the social construction of “victim” is female, what happens to men who are hurting?
Would love to hear from any dudes reading this.