Men feel pressure to have perfect bodies too

Illustration by Darian Maroney

When people use the phrase “standards of beauty,” it is more than likely that they think of women and the various ways media and society create these standards.

And it’s true. There are a lot of standards of beauty for women.

I know I’ve talked about it plenty. Some areas I’ve touched on include overvaluing beauty, plastic surgery, aging and video game sexualization.

But men are often overlooked in regard to standards of beauty. It’s not nearly as prevalent, but definitely still present in the media.

Men in the media are usually portrayed as tough, strong and aggressive. And all of these traits are showcased and emphasized by their bulging, excessive muscles.

Just look at the video Buzzfeed recently did about male standards of beauty from around the world.

The one thing all those men have in common is the “perfect” physique, lean and ripped.

Think about Chris Pratt from “Parks and Recreation”. For the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy,” he had to become fit and buff. And everyone celebrated it and congratulated him for it.

Or think about the big outcry over Justin Bieber’s photo for Calvin Klein. They photoshopped everything to make it look bigger.

Apparently even a pop star isn’t good enough.

It just goes to show how impossible these standards really are. Often times achieving a certain body is about more than just diet or how much someone goes to the gym, but about their genetics and DNA.

Everyone is built a certain way, and it can be impossible for many people to get the kinds of bodies portrayed in the media.

But it still creates the pressure to try and get that body — to do anything they can to get it.

But it’s not just about the body. Although that is an important part of the standards of beauty, it is only the representation of the expectations men have about what it means to be a man.

Looks are about more than attractiveness. Physical appearance is only a part of it — a symptom of a larger issue.

To be a man, one must be smart, aggressive, ambitious, confident and never weak. Because that is the only way a man can move ahead in life to get some job or girl or whatever it is he wants … right?

People all have different bodies and personalities. It’s what makes them unique and amazing.

But that doesn’t stop them from feeling the pressure to fit certain ideals. Some are better at being confident and aren’t as bothered by these pressures.

But many people struggle to find that confidence in themselves.

No one, regardless of race, gender or religion deserves to feel like they’re not good enough.

Allison Galbreath can be reached at [email protected] or @agalbreath19 on twitter.