Musings on Men & the Mirror

March 4, 2008 at 7:12 am 1 comment

“So lately, I’ve caught myself falling into a trap. I know it’s stupid, yet I still do it. I’ve been stepping on the scale every time I walk by it.”

This is the first line of an eye-opening post by Get Fit Slowly on his obsession with the scale and the image in the mirror. He goes on to relate how the fixation on his weight is the result of “…self esteem issues–issues that I’ve had for as long as I can remember.”

I have always thought that these kinds of feelings were reserved for women… or maybe extremely obese men like my ex-husband. GFS comments on that, too.

“Traditionally, problems with body image have been thought of as “woman only issues.” As I’ve already attested, this is erroneous. In fact, male body image issues are on the rise. I found a series of interesting articles by Alicia Potter that deals with men and their feelings about body image on a website called I have no idea if this is a reputable website as I’ve never stumbled across it before. However, I can definitely relate to some of the information that I found in the six part series dealing with this issue.”

The same day I read this post, my BF and I had dinner with friends, one of which was a man I hadn’t met previously. He was lean and athletic and shared nachos with another guy at the table. My BF had a pizza, while my girlfriend and I refrained from eating. She drank beer; I drank black tea. Calories came up in conversation, and I made a comment that guys didn’t have to worry about what they ate. The new guy corrected me vehemently, noting that he has to monitor what he eats and how much, and that he runs to keep himself in shape.

Later that night, my BF and I ran into a friend of his at our favorite bar. The friend told me he’d been reading my blog. For some reason, I was embarrassed. I don’t think of my blog as being guy-friendly, and I was instantly worried that he would find it silly or too emotional. When I said, “Oh no!”, he replied, “What? Isn’t that why you’re writing it? So people can read it?” I said yes and asked if he actually read it. He said he’d “read all through it” and had learned a lot. He told me he’d dropped several pounds lately because he’d been paying more attention to his eating.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. Men do worry about their weight and health. Many “average Joes”, not only body-builder types, are working to improve themselves physically. And, just like women, they can become perfectionistic after having some success and being continuously bombarded with unrealistic images of the ideal male body.

I don’t like it when my struggles are discounted and trivialized because I’m a woman. I will no longer do that to men when it comes to their efforts to lose weight and get healthy.


Entry filed under: coping strategies, news around the blogosphere, self image. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. SOG knives  |  July 18, 2008 at 1:44 am

    SOG knives…

    Interesting ideas… I wonder how the Hollywood media would portray this?…


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