‘Real men go for curves, only dogs go for bones’. And there is a pretty plus-size model, sitting coyly, staring right at me. I am pretty sure you too have had one these on you social feeds. It’s part of a lesson the world is parting to it’s girls today, we are helping them believe that all of them are princesses in their own right, and that there is more to life than just carbs and sizes.
Body positivity is on the rise, which is great, the only problem is, it’s lopsided. Out of the million or so minutes I spend scrolling every day, I don’t recall coming across anything close to a plus-size male model. Curious, I did find out that these men without abs exist, but seems that they aren’t a popular choice for masculinity. On the grounds of physical appearance, there is no parity, we have just chosen to ignore the gender completely. If you are a grown man, you might not care, but boys do. And it could lead to a generation of men who’d be uptight and insecure. Rarely, if ever, have I seen anyone going up to a young-fat-boy to tell him that he’s handsome, and one day he too is going to be a knight in shining armour. I haven’t even heard anyone talk about it.
Bro, guys don’t give a shit!— saying that men don’t feel insecure because of how they look is similar to saying that women can’t drive. It’s an outdated generalisation. It’s just funny how you can call a guy fat and no one bats an eye. But call a girl fat and all hell will break loose on you, you’ll be labelled as an uncourteous prick, a body-shaming moron, there will random chants of anti-feminism, chauvinism, and you will have to face everything short of a lawsuit. I’m not saying that women should be called fat or be insulted in any way. But I am asking that men be treated with the same sort of respect. ‘Young-men’, specially.
After all, adolescence is the first thoughtful interaction with the world for any individual, irrespective of the gender. Personality develops, bodies evolve, interactions change; during these few years the mind is at it’s most fragile. There is no worldly-thick-skin in place yet, so just words can make or break morals forever. Call a teenager fat or ugly too many times and eventually, he’ll start believing it’s true. Worse, he’ll believe that it’s the only thing that matters about him. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, young boys are not made out of Adamantium.
When I was younger I had countless friends who lost much of their self-confidence simply because a girl’s response to their attempt at asking her out was “eww, in your dreams”. And, when I grew older I had friends who turned up drunk out of their minds because their crushes did not think they were hot enough to date. And, today I know a few colleagues who wouldn’t go to a party or ask a girl out because they have a belly or a bald patch, and they are convinced that it’s the only thing that defines them. All of this piles up and turns generations of men into the Forever Alone Guys. Look up, I am sure you’ll spot one. Like everyone they start young, fresh clay in the hands of the world. But soon they are meddled with too much, a crack forms, and the scar stays forever.
Boys need that sense of security and well-being as much as girls do. Ridiculing them when they cry doesn’t help either. When you see a kid who’s down because he got shot down by the girl of his dreams, think about giving him a pat on the back and let him know that he’s a good-looking chap, tell him why, tell him that he can have the world one day. Maybe on that day you’ll save the world from yet another forever alone guy.