Boys have feelings too!

Men experience the same issues that women do. However, men do not talk about their feelings as much as women, so many of their issues go unknown and hidden. Young boys who are considered bigger than their classmates and peers go through a lot of issues dealing with their weight.  Many are also teased and/or uncomfortable in their own skin.

If all your friends looked like this, and you were the only one with some fat on your stomach, would you still feel comfortable playing with them?

What if young children took steroids to compete with their friends and to fit in?

Julie Z, had an interview with Michael Kimmel, author of Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. During the interview about Kimmel’s book, Julie asks Kimmel to discuss how men and women define their masculinity/ femininity through their own body images. When people read the headline,  “Women Dissatisfied With Their Bodies,” Kimmel says the underlying headline actually is, “Men Tend To See Themselves As Just About Perfect.” Kimmel then continues to say, “We no longer see our bodies as just about perfect. We are at work on our bodies, also. We go to the gym, we work out, we take steroids.” Younger boys now have so much pressure to be good at sports in order to prove how  masculine they are. If they are bigger and not as muscular as others, their insecurities could sometimes kidnap them from being able to play with their friends.

Almost all kids play sports when they’re young. Did you know that a lot of boys who are bigger feel self conscious playing sports with skinnier/more fit guys? A senior from University Michigan states, “Gym class was tough, I was always out of shape. It never really interfered in team events or sporting but there was a sense of insecurity that spawned from the company around me.” Although his insecurities did not affect his playing, he still stated that,“it has always been an extremely pressing concern in my mind.” When asked how he felt about playing shirts vs. skins, this student stated he would have rather sat out then being a part of the game.

When Prateek Gupta, a junior from Washington University in St. Louis was asked the question, “Were you self conscious because of what your friends thought about you?”, he quickly answered with, “Definitely.” Although he was not uncomfortable playing sports in general, he also attempted to avoid shirts vs. skins sports games at all times possible.

Both of these college students say that they are no longer affected by what others think about their body.  However, while growing up, their body image was something they continuously thought about and felt embarrassed of.  This shame affected the way they associated with their friends. Adolescence is a time that all teenagers and pre-teens are concerned about their body- not just girls. Boys have just as many anxieties and worries about their body image, however they are not spoken for.

Young boys are affected just as much as young girls about their body, unfortunately, they are not getting the same attention as girls on this issue.







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