We all know about the hardships women face at the hands of the body-image media. Female celebrities are regularly scrutinized for putting on weight, for losing weight, for getting wrinkles and just about anything else the magazines can throw at them! Sadly, this criticism has leaked into the subconscious of many ‘normal’ women across the world too, with many of us feeling unhappy and dissatisfied with our bodies. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. To counteract this tirade of abuse women face, plenty of affirming body-positivity campaigns have sprung up in retaliation, so it could be argued that women’s body-culture is changing. But where exactly do men fit into all this? Generally speaking, men don’t really get a look in when it comes to body-positivity, as it is frequently assumed that every man is confident with the way they look. This isn’t always necessarily true, however, as the media is just as bad with portraying unachievable images of men as it is with women. The man in your life may be harboring some significant body image and confidence issues, which can have a prominently adverse effect on his quality of life. If you think your other half is struggling with the way they look, here are some things you can do to help him.
Offer practical advice It will come as no surprise to hear that most men don’t really like talking about their feelings – so chances are, your man is reluctant to even to address the things that are getting him down about his body. Living sadly in silence, however, is not going to solve anything. You might feel awkward doing so at first, but offer some practical advice regarding what he can do to eradicate his problem. Perhaps, for example, he was born with a condition such as gynecomastia, and as a result, needs gynecomastia surgery. He may feel too embarrassed to bring this up himself, so giving him a gentle nudge can sometimes be all the encouragement he needs.
Be a team Everywhere you look in advertising, and in movies, images of men with strong chests and sculptured abs stand out. This can leave ‘regular’ men feeling insignificant in comparison, and sometimes even depressed. Exercise is great for both the body and brain, so why not suggest to your man that you both go and work out together? He may see it as a way to simply spend time with you, so if he gets fitter and therefore more confident, it’s merely a bonus.
Compliment him As modern as most relationships are these days, plenty of us still subconsciously fall back into traditional gender roles from time to time. Years ago, men were regarded as being relatively emotionally dulled-beings – but a little compliment here and there can go a long way for both genders! If your partner always tells you how nice you look but you never return the favor, make a point of mentioning something positive to him about his appearance every once in a while. It doesn’t take any effort, and it can give him the little boost he needs to go about his day with more confidence.