Over the last few weeks, we have been running a series of posts on The Good Men Project on men and body image with myself, Danny, as the guest editor. When I was asked to take this on I was thankfully at a point in life where I was making progress in terms of getting comfortable with my body and working my way through ghosts that have haunted me for a long time. And it’s really helped to see others’ perspectives.
A Man, His Fat, and a Hatred of Photos, By Danny
Where I talk about my long time hatred of having my photo taken.
For longer than I can recall now this is the type of stuff I’ve heard and I’ve taken it in so deeply that I actually pray for the very invisibility that other people say they are burdened with. Maybe it’s a sign that something is wrong with me but I don’t feel invisible with my fat. In fact I feel like I’m the elephant in the room. An elephant that wishes he were a fly.
Let’s Face It, By Rich McEachran
Being a man with a disfigurement in a world of Nip/Tuck is tough.
When you’re disfigured, your face blurs the ideals of what it means to be beautiful and successful, and your social boundaries are as contorted as your disfigurement is.
I’m Stark Naked: Deal With It, By Noah Brand
Editor-in-Chief Noah Brand confronting his body shame head on.
I honestly think more men should do this. I have found it intensely liberating, taking steps to directly confront my fear and shame about my body.
Presence, By Danny
Me feeling like I had managed to vanish despite being so large.
I’m not used to the idea of sneaking up on anything other than a corpse or the occasional tree. My size has always gotten people’s attention. It’s completely foreign to me to imagine that I could approach someone undetected.
So What If I Don’t Have It?, By Kaleb
Kaleb deciding to look in a mirror rather than look to other people for affirmation:
Seeking validation in others is bound to fail. There’s simply no way you can feel good about who you are through the opinions of other people.I’m damn proud of my progress, and I’m not stopping now.
No More Distortions, By Danny
I decide to go big and share actual photos of myself.
Who knows: maybe one day I’ll get bold enough to not only be able to take a picture without being disgusted. For now, though, I’m taking joy on the fact that I have gotten bold enough to actually post pictures of myself on a regular basis.
Fat Is the New Gay, By Justin Cascio
On the intersection of homosexuality and fat.
In today’s complicated cultural landscape, you can choose to punish yourself for having “wrong” or “excessive” desires, by equating fat with gluttony, gay desire with sin, or by industrializing and medicalizing those sins: you sin against yourself by causing disease, against your employer by being unproductive, against society by not creating and raising a replacement generation.
On Eating Disorders and Being a Dude, By Stefan Borst-Censullo
Stephan talking about the effects of disordered eating on men.
I chased my own tail of insecurity and treated others around me like crap in the process, and it is something that no one should have to experience. So please, if you are reading this and find any remnants of your own story in its contents please seek help. You have nothing to lose by acknowledging and working to find true health and happiness, regardless of your size.
Boys: The New Face of Anorexia, By Joanna Shroeder
Shedding light on males and anorexia.
What do you think are the main impediments to boys and men being treated for eating disorders? Why do you think more boys are being treated now than ever before? Is it more of a willingness to talk about it, or an actual increase in the prevalence of the disease?
Gay Men, Their Bodies, and Eating Disorders and Gay Men, Their Bodies, and Eating Disorders: Revisited, Both By Thomas Fewer
In which the results of the survey in his first post are discussed.
All in all some good discussion going on. But this is not meant to be the end. Even for as much ground as we covered in this series, even for as much freedom we have discovered with our bodies, there is still more to talk about.
If you are a man that wants a place to talk about your body image then feel free to stop in and chat. If you are not a man but want a place to read up on experiences of men and our bodies then feel free to stop in and read (and don’t be scared to speak up). If you have some information, data, or offers of assistance with this topic then please share.
This stint in guest editing really gave me a chance to work on my editing skills (which is always a good thing) and I was happy to do it. I hope that I’ll get another chance to do so again in the future. Thanks to the folks at GMP for giving me a chance and thanks to all you folks for reading!