Can we talk about why women are suddenly into objectifying men via such vehicles as 50 Shades of Gray, Magic Mike, and pinning naked with blurred spot/shirtless men? I do not understand this. I don’t understand if they think this is some sort of feminism, or if they think it is okay, because men do not have a ‘private’ area on top like women do.
I support the idea that we should not be ashamed of sex or our bodies. But I feel like women would be outraged if porn became the trend that 50 is, if there was a movie about female strippers ((EDIT: This movie was called Striptease and I remember people being up in arms about it)), or if Pinterest would be bombarded with topless or almost naked women. In fact, in one page of the ‘Celebrities’ category, there were five pictures of men who only had a hand or an object concealing their private area. There were too many pictures to count of men without shirts. To me, this is disturbing. If the picture is in the category page, that means it is getting a decent amount of likes/repins. Why are so many people repinning this?
This hits a little close to home for me because of Husband. In the past year, thanks to biking and eating better, he has slimmed down and toned up. He used to have more fat on his pecs and stomach, but that changed, especially on his pecs. His thighs are rock hard and he has been complimented by other bikers on how great his calves looked. His belts are looped tighter and I recently bought him a couple new shirts because size large looks ridiculous on him now. If you look at our wedding pictures, and look at him now, it is easy to see the changes he has undergone. My husband is quite the fox! 😉
Understanding all that, you can understand my confusion and frustration when he shows me pictures from recent bike rides. “Don’t I look heavy in this picture?” he asks, pointing to one where he is leaning on his bike and smiling. “I don’t get why I look fat here, I don’t feel fat,” he says, showing me a group shot from yesterday’s century ride. “You aren’t fat. You’re totally thin and sexy,” I tell him each time, but he merely shrugs and shakes his head at the photo. Today at his mom’s he did not talk about the endurance it took to bike 100 miles with little training and few stops along the way. Instead he went upstairs to use her scale and see how much weight he lost, because it felt like a few pounds to him.
The number on the scale frustrates him, because it’s not where he’d like it to be. He is 5’8″ and weighs somewhere between 160 and 170 (we don’t own a scale, and the number changes every time he weighs himself). I tried to tell him that muscle adds to that number, and he should be focusing on how he feels instead of what a scale tells him, but he insists that he should only weigh 130. During all this, by the way, he tells me that I am skinny, the one who doesn’t do any exercise period. That makes sense.
I get annoyed when I see my Pinterest friends pin yet another picture of a shirtless Channing Tatum because I think, ‘If they had a guy like Husband, who looked like Husband, would they want him to look like Channing instead? For real?’ I think of Husband, unhappy with his body even though he looks great. Does HE want a body like Channing? He doesn’t come out and say this, but I wonder if he is looking for something similar … much like my cousins who pin pictures of toned stomachs captioned ‘Aiming for this!’ (right next to, may I add, their pinned recipe for Oreo ladden brownies).
I am trying to figure out how to help Husband be happy with what he sees in the mirror (or on a scale). If you have a suggestion for this, or know what he should gauge his health on versus a number on a scale, I would appreciate it. I end this post with the following picture, which was taken at the end of a ride that about 15 people dropped out of halfway.