Sami Jankins discusses male body image and how Hollywood perfection is overrated.
I have a problem with accepting compliments from my partner. She will tell me that I’m attractive or sexy, and I just don’t buy into it. It’s not that I completely think she is lying or trying to build up my ego, it just feels like an exaggeration. It’s to the point where she notices that I’m essentially rejecting what she is telling me. I’d like to look better. I know I’m not the most attractive guy out there, which is why I mentally run into a wall when she says these things. How do I wrap my head around that fact that she is apparently super attracted to me, and yet it just doesn’t make sense as to why she would think this?
Clearly Not Movie Star Looks
Dear Clearly Not Movie Star Looks,
I’m not going to tell you to accept your body or even love it because that entire concept is sort of bullshit. A few months ago, the model Chrissy Teigen did this whole #loveyourlines Instagram campaign-of-sorts where people posted their stretch marks. I recently developed what looks like purple tiger stripes on my abdomen due to medication I need to be on. I hate these stupid lines. Hate. Them. For a moment I was all “hell yeah body power” and Instagrammed a photo of my abdomen. It became “liked” many times over. It somehow turned into a stock photo, and now my abdomen has accompanied body image articles. My stupid abdomen went viral. Not exactly what I wanted. Still want to take advice from me? If you’re OK that I have issues too and am in no way licensed to provide advice then lets keep on going.
It’s something I’ve mentioned before, but we all tell ourselves false diabolical shit. We trip ourselves up with our own minds. Your mantra has somehow become “I’m not attractive,” and you’ve adopted that mantra with a fierceness akin to someone who really likes fall clinging on to the last seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte. My diabolical shit mantra has been that I’m not lovable due to my health issues. I’ve worked through it. It takes work.
I know this is going to be hard for you to understand regardless of your feelings, but she thinks you’re super sexy. Do you trust her? If you do, don’t let this be your point of contention where it must be a lie. Just because you don’t believe it about yourself, it doesn’t mean it’s not what she is seeing. I’ve always believed that if someone wants to consistently see you with your clothes off, it generally means that they like what’s going on under there. It’s hard when you see the Hollywood male ideals.
Did you know that when Hugh Jackman plays Wolverine, he doesn’t drink water the day of filming an abs scene so the muscles bulge more? Do you intend to stay dehydrated every day? I’m just guessing it’s not healthy. I’ve had the chance to meet many celebrities, and more often than not they are shorter than you’d expect and look like everyday guys. A lot of Hollywood magic and looking good on camera includes editing and having bone structure that films or photographs well. On the flip side of this, Oliver Hudson was recently given a ton of flack for appearing in Scream Queens with a non-traditional Hollywood body. I can guarantee that there were people out there who completely dug the way he appeared as he was on TV.
People are attracted to a variety of types. There is no consistency in appearance with men I’ve dated or who I’ve found attractive. The only thing I could discern upon reflection is that I really like beards. Personality to me is really important. Being genuine in a world where there is so much fake can really up the sexy factor. Realness is sexy.
If you continue to let this be an issue, it can spill over into relationship problems including in the bedroom. Nothing is worse than worrying about what you look like with your clothes off when you are trying to engage in sexy time. I’m not saying you ever have to fully come to terms with body acceptance, but at least work on developing the belief that you have worth and value as you are. I can guarantee that your partner has insecurities of her own. We all do. Really, I’m well aware that I’m not a model. You can be uncertain of how you look, but at least believe her. She would not be with you if she didn’t find you attractive. Maybe what you think she should be attracted to, she doesn’t find attractive at all. She digs what you have to offer. Try to feel good about that. Perfection may not be achievable, but know at least to her you are what she wants and are enough.
Here’s for better dating days ahead,
Send your pressing questions for Sami to answer for Dating in the Digital Age to [email protected].
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