By Janine Rotter, Director of Fitness Nutrition for UNBOWED
Women are commonly the main target of body-shaming. Hold up, however. Body-shaming impacts men as well, and just like the wolf, men are mysterious and misunderstood, so let's crack open the unspoken truth behind body-shaming and the masculine.
To fight against body-shaming, we must first delve into the belly of the beast to fully understand it. The Art of War has taught us that the enemy must be known.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image launched a study of body-image, shaming, and body-dissatisfaction. The results are disheartening.
Body-shaming is such a negative concept that a euphemism exists: body-dissatisfaction.
Glen Jankowski, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at Leeds Beckett University, spent eight years studying male body-dissatisfaction for his Ph.D. His research found that men purchased clothes to hide “problem areas” and, at times, avoided sex so their partners would not see them naked.
That’s right. Some men are avoiding sex because of the shame they feel about their bodies.
Additionally, Jankowski found that men are dissatisfied with their muscle tone, body fat, and hairlines that are a result of advertisements in popular magazines, on dating websites, and porn sites too, highlighting young, lean men with heads full of hair. Screw you. Bald is beautiful!
Take a look at the action figures on the shelves of Target. It is not your imagination that they look more muscular than the GI. Joe’s of your youth. A study completed back in 1999 (body-shaming is NOT a new idea) found that male action figures have unrealistic body proportions, even when compared to the most significant body-builders.
No offense to women, but they steal the spotlight on body-shaming studies. Very few stats, especially current ones, exist on male body-shaming, but let's not interpret the lack of recent studies to mean that body-shaming in men has gone by the wayside.
Body-shaming doesn’t care if you are male, female, trans, or a unicorn. It is an equal opportunist discriminator.
56% of bullied children state that their appearance was the target of the bullying. An even more disgusting figure is that 12% of young people bullied about their weight end up eating more.
Dr. Adrienne Key warns that children and adults can develop eating disorders and depression as a result of physical insecurity and body shaming.
UNBOWED Founder and CEO, Christian Craig, experienced body-shaming and bullying in his younger years. Christian was overweight and depressed.
His physical and mental transformation began after being diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Christian realized it was time to fight back against his internal and external body-shaming bullies.
UNBOWED does NOT support that toxic convention of masculinity, bullying, and exclusivity common in the fitness industry. We believe in the unique power of each individual, universal body positivity, and inclusivity through cultivating a community (a pack) where everyone is welcome. All body types, all cultures, all disciplines, all accessibilities. The pack never leaves a wolf behind.
Fight the ideas of body-shaming that are holding you back.
You were meant to enjoy the hunt!