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I’m a guy, and I have body image issues

April 22, 2014

There, I said it.

Body image is something often talked about among women, and for good reason.  Women are highly sexualized, and they’re constantly bombarded with unrealistic images of manufactured “beauty.”  They’re forced to compare their bodies to fruit, trying all sorts of exercise regimens and diet fads to leave the shape behind.

Guys don’t often talk about body image.  Sure, we want to look good, or at least better than the next guy at the bar.  We don’t talk about pears and apples, but we have our own subtle comparisons:

“The spare tire”
Yeah, cars, men!

“The love handles”
Yeah, sex, woo hoo!

“The beer belly”
Yeah, I’m a coors man! Football!

Men are faced with a lot of unhealthy images.  The good looking guys, in their slim fit suits and skinny ties, host all the shows, and the big guys are always the bumbling idiots.  Axe commercials and “The Bachelorette” tell us that most of the 6″1′ guys who spend nine hours per day at the gym don’t even get the girl, and the rest of us better keep playing D&D and dreaming of one day being in the presence of a girl.

I’m willing to bet the majority of us have body image issues, but most of us will never admit it.  To admit we have issues is to admit we’re weak, and anything is better than admitting weakness, especially to other men.  When I show up at the gym, you know what I’m worried about?  It’s not whether or not the super attractive girl is going to see me “running” at 4mph; it’s the moment I take off my shirt in the locker room and the gym rat gives me the “What are you doing here?” look.  It sucks, it’s embarrassing, and it perpetuates the belief that I am somehow “less than” simply because of my shape.

So, what do we do about it?  We talk about it.  That’s it.  Men, let’s acknowledge the fact that we actually think about the way we look.  The conversation itself is the only thing that will move this issue forward.

And finally, not to get all Jesus-y on you, but here’s the truth:  Ad agencies and crappy TV shows don’t say the final word about who we are – Jesus does.

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him…
Colossians 2:9-10a

THAT’S the final word.  My shape and weight have absolutely ZERO to do with who I am, or how God sees me.  I am an heir of my father, co-heir with Christ.  My prayer is that we as both women and men will allow this truth to sink into our minds and inform the way we see ourselves.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 23, 2014 7:29 pm

    thanks for your honesty and transparency my friend – more people need to wake up to this and embrace the elephant in the room

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