Males are objectified just as much as women.
I know that it is easy to go along with women being the only victims of social expectations because you will get a lot of support, but be sure to open your eyes to other groups who suffer just the same.
I see a lot of posters and commercials about women needing to be comfortable with their bodies, which is great, but it really only speaks to women. If you look it up on tumblr, you will likely find 2 or 3 inspirational body image posts for men/both genders in a sea of female ones. There are a ton of ‘be proud of our curves, ladies’, and ‘being a smart girl doesn’t make you unattractive’ messages out there, but unfortunately, very few for anyone else. You may think it’s because men don’t have to deal with issues such as body image, but they most certainly do.
A nice topic to start with would be models. It is well known that female models must adhere to a certain image to keep their jobs, which often becomes a problem with children. I understand this is a problem. I would also like to point out that male models have it just as hard. They are expected to have perfect features, a chiseled body, perfect hair, teeth, smile, ect. or they won’t the hired, or at the very least, their pictures will be heavily edited. Some have eating disorders or take dangerous medication to help them exercise more. Additionally, other males see these images and think poorly of themselves. Sound familiar? This is exactly what female models have to go through. Both genders are told that they are not good enough through images flooding the magazine shelves and television commercials. Keeping in mind that men commit suicide many more time the rate of women per year (assuming that at least a good fraction of those that committed suicide did so because of body image fueled depression ), you would think that more posters and commercials would actually be focusing on men or at least both genders. What’s worse is that unlike female expectations, males are expected to keep their feelings and concerns hidden away, making it so their wants and needs are never met.
It should also be brought up that women judge men on their bodies just as much as men judge women’s bodies. If you are in high school or have even recently visited a high school, you will probably notice gossiping teenagers poking fun at the image of another classmate. If you watch children’s movies, you will most likely see thin or muscular successful men just as much as you will find a beautiful misunderstood woman. Many women catcall attractive men, cheer for half naked men, and go to strip clubs. Many women prefer a certain body image just as much as men do. Many women find celebrities that they find physically attractive and claim them as imaginary dates. Just like men, women sometimes leave their male spouses for a more attractive one. Both men and women get plastic surgery. Both men and women buy grooming product. It goes on and on. Even when you don’t think it’s happening, it’s happening. I mean, look at popular superheroes. A large majority of them may not be showing skin, but in exchange, they are wearing skin tight clothes that show off every muscle and bulge. Some don’t wear shirts at all. (superman, batman, the incredible hulk, green lanturn)
Obviously this is not the only social expectation that is shared with men or another group. There are many many others that are being overlooked thanks to popular assumptions. But to say that one gender is the only one affected by expectations of society is false. There are many that even suffer more. The transparency on these issues is just increasing the number of depressed, self conscious and even suicidal teens and adults who cannot have their voice heard.