Chirag Barjatya, a young fitness entrepreneur who expresses his thoughts on the long running stigma of masculinity and appearance
The conventional media and societal norms have told our men to be brave, dependable, and honorable, you need big muscles. It has corrupted our minds by creating and showcasing false body image and expectations. They can encourage people, even from a young age, to believe that there is an ideal body and that image is often an unnatural one.
At a very young age we are under tremendous pressure of appearing masculine- i.e chiseled figure, sharp cut abs and massive biceps. According to research 90% of middle and high school boys hit the gym with the specific goal of “bulking up”. The transformation challenges on social media have also contributed to the spread of an ideal body image that needs to be lean, strong and muscular resulting in unrealistic and unhealthy practices.
These bodies are attainable for a few people- maybe half a percent of the male community. One should understand that your body is different from ‘Every Other Body’ you see on screen. Your muscle mass is different, your stress levels are different, your environment is different. And, most importantly, your genetics are different. The comparison of your body will result in obvious self-image issues and the mindset that “You are not good or you are not fit enough”.
We are associated with a certain idea of masculinity- that a man should look and act a certain way. Even knowing the issue, the male body image is tough to address because not enough people are talking about it. But the truth is that a man’s health goes way beyond the idealised abs and biceps.
Here are few tips that will help you in keeping a positive body image:
> Practice positive and self-appreciating talks.
> Practice fitness to reach a goal of being fit rather than to appear like someone.
> Avoid comparing yourself with others and people you see on screen.
> Aim for a healthy lifestyle, that includes your fitness regime and eating a nutritious diet.
> Remember that beauty is not just about appearance