The harmful beauty standards for men

One teen’s experience with them


Keri Carroll

Males are often subjected to unrealistic beauty standards.

Connor Bernier, Reporter

Today in the world there is a call for inclusivity, especially on social media. We see activism accounts and people posting about body positivity and acceptance. There are plus-sized models and models of all different body types, but most of these instances have one thing in common: they are mostly directed at women. Rarely do I see a male model who is not beautiful, or perfect skin, abs, and a small waist. It is almost always someone who does not look like the average looking guy.

All of my life I have struggled with my self image, always thinking negatively about the way my body looks and how I feel when I look in the mirror. When I open up Instagram or TikTok, it’s filled with guys who blow beauty standards out of the water, and rarely do I see someone who looks like me. Yes, I know I’m not unhealthy or overweight, but I don’t have abs, I don’t have a snatched waist, and I certainly don’t have perfect skin. At my age I can better differentiate and realize that yes, there are people of all kinds, but this is especially harmful for the younger generation. We are told that being chubby or having a little fat is unattractive and we should change it. We are taught that acne is gross and we should get medicated for it or spend hundreds on skincare. It encourages eating disorders and harmful diet culture, but in reality these things are normal.

This brings me to a specific word: normalizing. This is defined as bringing or returning something to a normal state. I’m sure you have heard people use this word before, but it really is a very good way to call attention to a subject: by “normalizing” it. We should be normalizing things such as not having abs, not being six feet tall, and maybe just normalizing having a “normal” body and not being a perfect male model. Men today, especially teens, struggle with self image more than ever. The normalization movement for women’s body types has brought up the topic of men’s body types. Everybody is different and all bodies are beautiful, all bodies are beautiful, and everybody is different. 

The fight for equality and normalizing is just getting started, but we have made leaps and bounds compared to years ago. Companies like Fenty Beauty are now adding plus-sized male models and men without “perfect” bodies on their website. Welcoming all types and all people no matter what they look like. Remember that all bodies are beautiful and you do not have to impress anyone but yourself. Life shouldn’t be a competition to look the best or have the best body; it should be a loving and happy environment for everyone. The only thing you can control is your self image, and other people can’t change that for you unless you let them – so don’t. Don’t let the way you think people perceive you control your life.