Are men really so much more at ease with their bodies?

Just got this message, and think it warrants new post.

‘Alby on WHYS blog: You could do the very same program about men and their body self-image for many of the same reasons.’ Fair comment?

31 Responses to “Are men really so much more at ease with their bodies?”

  1. 1 darcy
    September 4, 2009 at 18:38

    Part of the reason for the differrence in men and women with regard to concern for appearance may be that men are far more visually based than women when it comes to attraction. There is a lot of science behind this.

    Thus, the pressure on women to fit what men want visually is greater.

  2. 2 IanTheTall
    September 4, 2009 at 18:39

    No, men are no more at ease with their body image then women. This is particularly true of middle aged and older men who equate verbalizing their dissatisfaction with their bodies or doing something about their image body dissatisfaction with homosexuality.

  3. 3 Joe
    September 4, 2009 at 18:42

    Obesity is a major health problem around the world, and especially the united states. A few extra pounds look fine on anyone, male or female. What matters most is how people carry their weight. A person at ease with him or herself will have a body they can be proud of, not the other way around.

  4. 4 steve
    September 4, 2009 at 18:45

    I’m sure some men have self image problems, but it’s much smaller in comparison to women. I guess men are a bit more realistic and realize they cannot change what cannot be changed. If you’re male, and constantly compare yourself to others, you’d be miserable and very unnatractive to the opposite sex, and men are used to having to deal with women that have low self esteem, while low self esteem men are repulsive to women.

    • September 4, 2009 at 19:34

      Hey Steve… As for me, I would never respect a man who accepts to link himself to a woman who is obssessed all the time with her external body image, would you ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  5. 6 al
    September 4, 2009 at 18:47

    ya darn right!men looks wise are trapped in a really small box,anyone who dares do ANYTHING different are labeled gay ,sissy,punk etc…im sure just raising this some guys will judge me like this lol

  6. 7 Matthew Houston
    September 4, 2009 at 18:51

    I think it’s just less socially acceptable for men to concern themselves too much about it, so they don’t discuss it (or at least not directly).

  7. September 4, 2009 at 18:53

    Can I further broaden the discussion Ros ?! The 1st thing that attracts a significant proportion of men to a woman is her physical appearance, and the 1st thing that attracts a significant proportion of women to a man is his character and attitude, fair comment ?! :). With my love. Yours forever, Lubna…

  8. 9 Rob
    September 4, 2009 at 19:00

    So it sounds as if you think the pressure on a man to fit an image is coming from other men?

  9. 10 Keith- Ohio
    September 4, 2009 at 19:09

    Steroids taken by non-athletes is evidence that some men, will, as well, sacrifice their health and livelihood for an “improvement” to their physical appearance. As a man myself, however, I take pride in eating well and going to the gym, but once I return to school, I am already comfortable knowing that I will add a lot of flexibility to my routine. I appreciate the fact that I can enjoy health as well as the more fun things in life, and I understand that in men AND women (not just men), personal characteristics are far more important than physical traits.

  10. 12 Katy, Cleveland
    September 4, 2009 at 19:38

    I think it’s a fair comment, and as Keith said above, non athletes are turning to steroids as well as cosmetic surgery to improve their appearances. However, I think you see “real” looking men on magazines and tv all the time. And that’s not the case for women more often than not. SO while I think maybe a show devoted to men as well would be fair, it may not raise the same kinds of issues that the one regarding women’s bodies have.

  11. 13 patti in cape coral
    September 4, 2009 at 20:05

    In my experience, men are much more at ease with their bodies than women. The men I know are more concerned about their jobs and their financial standing.

  12. 14 Nate, Portland OR
    September 4, 2009 at 20:25

    The 1st thing that attracts a significant proportion of men to a woman is her physical appearance, and the 1st thing that attracts a significant proportion of women to a man is his character and attitude, fair comment ?!

    Eh, no not quite a fair comment. I’d change the women part to “the 1st thing… is his wealth and power.” There are far more men than women comfortable in middling or worse bodies in part because wealth and power will do even better for attracting the opposite sex.

    Of course, these are generalizations that do not tell nearly the whole story. While I plead guilty to my 1st thing being physical appearance, I can’t tell you the number of times a beautiful woman has started talking and become very unattractive in my eyes.

  13. 15 Bert - USA
    September 4, 2009 at 22:35

    Men just are. Men don’t obsess nearly as much about themselves as women do. There was a young girl interning with us one summer, several years ago, who didn’t believe me. I simply showed her the magazine rack at a nearby drug store. Look at the magazines for women, look at the magazines for men. The women’s magazines only ever discuss personal appearance and relationships. Very few, if any, men’s magazines discuss these topics. And the vast majority of men never read the ones that do, simply because they are boring magazines.

    Case closed.

    Hard to explain why objectively. Maybe a topic for anthropologists.

    • 16 Bert - USA
      September 4, 2009 at 22:39

      Oh, and by the way, I absolutely don’t buy the notion that it’s “society’s fault,” or “the media keep bombarding us with” bla bla bla bla.

      It’s in fact the other way around.

      The media dish out what they know will sell. You can’t force people to become obsessive about things that don’t interest them.

  14. 17 gerry
    September 4, 2009 at 22:42


    Actually one of the first things that attracts a woman to a man is not his attitude or character, but the size of his bank account. Its funny how women try to make themselves the noble species when they are clearly just as superficial as men are.

  15. 18 Nathan Xu- Adelaide Australia
    September 5, 2009 at 03:20

    I do believe men also concerns his body, however, men are often also judged by his knowledge, wealth, ability on certain things and other personal characteristics. I feel men only has a good body are often looked down at, it is his personal characteristics that create a “better” person.

    September 5, 2009 at 06:22

    Well gosh darn it and what the heck, I think I got to fat cos I is just a Joe six pack!
    Now I am off to shoot animals from my snow mobile! (Wink)

  17. 20 Vijay Pillai
    September 5, 2009 at 09:14

    This is a topic close to my heart for over 4 decades.Initially as a young handsome man attracting the company of opposite sex before marriage and ofcause maintaing that as a reason to look after my body as well as brain since main reason i was attracting i guess was my charming nature arising out of my inner intellectual stength as one of my country’s top mind, which enabled me to meetand chat with ease the world’s first woman prime minister when she was in power in my twenties.I always admired beautifuly women and not surprisingly watching miss world contest was one of my favourite tv programmes more than 2 decades ago.Last decade seen me doing keep fit exercises to keep my body in shape. I remember i put on weight in 2004 and went on a strict diet and lost 8 kg in 2 months.I watch my weight everyday first thing in the moring standing on the scale.Integrated mind and body exercises are important and i am one of those keep my body and mind in shape i guess with continuous profesional development programme for over 3 decades .I learned recently that Einstein was also handsome and had childen from two women and brilliant minds are inspired by charming women companies. I was not surprised when a young cambridge educated doctor was desparate to dance with me two years ago in a well attended wedding party after watching me dance like a younster and i was happy to oblige.Mind keep the body in shape.

  18. September 5, 2009 at 13:41

    I suppose in that old chestnut scenario “battle of the sexes” that trashy, male stereotype evincing “come and get me” still prevails among a certain clientele.

  19. 22 Tom K in Mpls
    September 6, 2009 at 02:39

    No, women are just more open on spending money on vanity and insecurity.

  20. 23 Archibald
    September 6, 2009 at 19:59

    Men and women tend to be equally narcissistic when it comes to body image, provided they are of the mind to do so. I know many people (men and women), who could care less about what other people think about their bodies, because they have a firm belief in the strength of their own characters. I don’t care how beautiful or handsome or whatever, (insert positive to you adjective), a person may be, if they are uninteresting intellectually, they seem more unattractive. Furthermore, I have never met a beautiful person who did not have serious character flaws. Most people who are outside of the “beautiful club”, are solid, unless, of course, they have been ridiculed or ostracized by insecure body conscious people, yet , this tends to make a lot of people stronger in the end.

  21. 24 Nathan Xu- Adelaide Australia
    September 7, 2009 at 08:06

    I do believe men also concerns his body, however, men are often also judged by his knowledge, wealth, ability on certain things and other personal characteristics. I feel men only has a good body are often looked down at, it is his personal characteristics that create a “better” person.

  22. September 7, 2009 at 11:54

    Men tend to care less about their appearances. They don’t mind going unshaven for a while contrary to women who in most cases can’t be outside without cosmetics. As Lubna said, a man feels his worth through his achievement and personality. A fat man can still be adorable and affectionately looked upon as funny. But unfortunately, a fat woman is looked on as ugly or unattractive. It is somewhat sad that many women consider their bodies as their main “capital”. If they don’t look glamorous they think they have little chance to be appreciated and to advance in their careers.

    It will be frightening if men start to emulate women by undergoing aesthetic surgeries or using cosmetics to look “bright”. It’s better for a man to look slightly “ugly” than look effeminate.

    In some countries, like the Middle East, men and women wear large robes. In them they hide their fat waists and tummies. Perhaps that’s the best answer to forgetting about one’s body if it can’t get slim and to move on to doing something more important..

  23. 26 anu_d
    September 7, 2009 at 13:50

    So I see my comment that man doesn’t have to be comfortable with his body….but merely rich and powerful…been deleted by BBC.

    There is a silver line though….finally Ros’s fascination with nude bodies has waned…and the subject has dropped from the headlines 🙂

  24. 27 Bram
    September 7, 2009 at 14:51

    To give you a short answer to your headline question: yes. We men have not got that leisure…

  25. 28 Lydia
    September 7, 2009 at 16:00

    Men have a different constellation of insecurities including sexual performance anxiety, height anxieties, and hair anxieties. Moreover the world of male anxiety and discomfort with the corporeal self is hidden, fraught with their larger anxiety about sexuality, which makes them terrified to confess, less they be thought ‘gay, sissy, faggish, foppish’ or otherwise effeminate. Men have More acceptable outlets for discharging their anxieties, like starting wars and an assortment of violent sport, or driving fast cars that make them feel manly.

    Women may just be more upfront about our various anxieties about our corporeal selves, perhaps because it is more socially acceptable for us to be so. And possibly because the outlets for discharging female anxiety are more circumscribed.

  26. 29 Darcy W
    September 7, 2009 at 17:28

    @ Lydia

    Funny you should mention insecurities about sexual performance – seeing as most men aren’t machines, and never can be. We just don’t have the stamina, sans viagra, to please you.

  27. 30 Amy from WHYS
    September 7, 2009 at 17:32

    Amy from WHYS here. This might be a related issue… I just saw this story about the French President’s diminutive stature: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/6148922/Short-people-ordered-to-stand-behind-President-Nicolas-Sarkozy-during-speech.html
    It got me thinking — why do we snigger at short men? I admit, I have a personal interest in this as I’m only 5-feet tall. As a girl it doesn’t really bother me. But I think it’s different for short blokes. I’ve heard people – men and women – make snide remarks about “short man syndrome”. What do you guys think?

    • 31 Bert - USA
      September 8, 2009 at 00:50

      Amy, I think it’s the male’s anthropolgical role to be the provider for the “nest,” and also the defender of the “nest.” That’s perhaps why taller, stronger, and maybe even smarer men, are the ones preferred by women. Certainly, women prefer men who wield the most power, never mind whether they actually have more brains.

      I’ve found that smart women are often at least temporarily amused by stupid but physically attractive men. I attribute that to these women just wanting a “boy toy,” as passing entertainment.

      Still, I don’t think anyone can make the point that men as are obsessed with their personal apperance as women are. Not straight men, at any rate.

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