The Greek Adonis
“When I look in the mirror, all I see are flaws.” Javier Munoz from Hamilton stated in Episode three of Man Enough; seven well-known men sat down for a round table discussion on body image.
We all know women have been held to higher beauty standards of perfection for centuries. The idea that women must embody all things as their role, and still look flawless, is an impossible standard never achievable. Body image was solely a women’s issue, or so we thought.
Men have unmistakably, been walking the journey of external self-improvement, albeit to a subdued degree, but the struggles to achieve the perfect ripped bodies are on the minds of most men in this cuture. Perhaps, men felt as though it wasn’t manly to discuss the insecurities they felt with their bodies. Perhaps, they felt it was a women’s issue or perhaps they felt as though women have it much harder, so their concerns pale in comparison. Regardless, they have remained quiet on this front for far too long. The male population is grappling with self-doubt.
Men have struggled with the idea of being masculine enough, since the Greco-Roman times as discussed in the Man Enough episode. Statues of the perfect Adonis ripped, seen as the ideal image of men worldwide. Cut to the Marlboro Man in the ’50s and ’60s that executed masculinity flawlessly with his cigarette dangling out of his mouth. He was cool and rugged. In the 80’s you had Arnold and Sylvester, with huge ripped bodies guiding the tide of the new standard to achieve. The shame of not measuring up has plagued the minds of men and been overshadowed by our masculinity protocols to such a degree they have lost confidence in themselves.
Cultural constructs such as, it’s not a manly thing to talk about your problems. Be a provider and look masculine doing it. You are not allowed to be sensitive or have feelings because that’s not what men do. Get laid often because anything else is weak. These constructs are a poison that infects men’s minds, self-esteem, self-worth, and trickles into our society as a whole.
Men see flaws too. This isn’t an article to compare the struggles of body image of men vs women. Too often, we spend our time comparing to the detriment of doing more harm than good.
Men have feelings. Men have body image issues. Men feel ashamed and guilty for not measuring up. Never quite feeling good enough and unable to meet all criteria. Just as I see a ripped woman on social media and feel unbelievably inadequate, men struggle the same way.
I’ll admit when I would fill out my online dating profile; I always excluded average or overweight body types in the past. I couldn’t imagine dating anyone but a fit guy which is ironic, since I am considered an average woman with a few extra pounds, as a curvy size 12.
If I look back on this, it’s probably societal conditioning. I get that evolutionary, we have been programmed to go for the fittest mate. Let’s recognize we no longer live in a society where the strongest man has to get the biggest kill. We are no longer in need of you to protect the village.
Skinny Doesn’t Work for me.
One of my exes was slim and tall. Surprisingly, cuddling in bed or any other time was awful. He was hard, bony, and not a soft place of comfort, and could never take my weight. There was no sitting on his lap or him even attempting to pick me up. There would be no cute piggyback rides or carrying me across any threshold. Even after that experience, it had taken quite a while before I opened to the possibility of a plus size man remedying all of that.
My First Bigger Guy.
I dated my first 250 lb., 5’10 boyfriend last year. He changed everything for me. We met online. He did give me the impression he was 50 lbs. lighter. However, I had no issues with attraction. He was good to me. One of our regular spots for date night was a Mexican restaurant. We each went to town on our plate of chicken nachos respectively and then that night, we cuddled up to watch movies with more snacks. It was blissfully comforting.
One of my favorite things to do, which I find unbelievably sensual, was rub his belly. Who knew that would be as comforting as it is erotic? I loved how cuddly and soft he was, like a big bear. It felt as if I was in a cocoon of warmth and protectiveness. Nothing I had ever experienced from a smaller skinny guy.
I only Date Bigger Men.
Women on average prefer the regular or fluffier man. It is few and far between, women go for the ripped guy plastered all over Instagram. Is that even real? No shade to the hard-working bodybuilders out there on their grind, but that doesn’t translate for me.
I am proud to say I go wild for dad bods. I only date plus size men. The bigger the better. I don’t have a maximum weight, though, I want to know you can physically hike with me and have marathon sex. In a world with all the variety of shapes, sizes, and color; I stay open to what that looks like.
Dad bods are men that have been married or have been in a long-term relationship. They represent how seasoned they are by working hard and raising children. They understand long-term commitment and communication. They take parent responsibility seriously and love attending school functions. They are just waiting for that special woman, as I await the bear hugs. There is something safe, secure, and cozy about plus size men.
Dad Bods are Everywhere.
I see men everywhere that are on the plus size side. They are plentiful. It’s like a candy store of sexiness. The only hang-up I see is the body shame they hide. They carry these insecurities around like a backpack. They can’t imagine they would be considered desirable. The confidence is non-existent.
Let’s Redefine Sexiness.
Dad bods are in like beards. The bigger the better. If you are a great guy and can be good to a woman, I guarantee you, that’s all we want. I am here to tell you, own every roll and round edge. You never know what someone else finds appealing.
I enjoy the realness of a man that’s been around the block and authenticity of his life experiences. The fluffiness is the icing on the cake. Too often, I go home alone thinking of all the missed opportunities to be curled up together not watching Netflix, cuddling, belly rubs, then nachos. Don’t shut your eyes to a woman that adores and accepts you, because you are busy staring in the mirror at your flaws. I promise you, self-acceptance and self-love, are the sexiest traits I find on a man.
Previously published on Medium.
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