With the proliferation of ‘selfies’ on the internet there seems to be a lot of men posting pictures of themselves naked.  For the first time in human history, a man  can compare himself and his body parts proportions to countless other fellows. The joke at work goes “Is there any man left one earth who hasn’t posted his nude self (complete with John Thomas) on the internet?”

Well yes, there are: the men who DON’T have a perfect body, callipygian backside, or a member less than six inches long. Either they are more sensible or probably more ashamed to do so. What the percentage of  the ‘A” guys to the “B” men (when it comes to proportions) is not known, but if you were to go by what’s on the internet  – or in film and TV – many guys come to the emotional conclusion all other men are beautiful and they are not.

In my work I see a growing number of men with body image issues. They feel they are not muscular enough, or their penis is deficient, or they are just plain too fat. I think the increase in body dysmorphic disorder has a correlation to the selfies on the internet. And I see this more in the gays than in the straights. I think gay men are far more critical of themselves – and each other – than straight counterparts. Curiously “Bears’ were initially a rebellion of such but I see the same issues within that subculture. I read several blogs which regularly post photos of stunning men, in various stages of dress (or undress). Blogs get a lot more ‘traffic’ for such posting such eye candy. They get a lot of comments too, adoring these types of men.

I am no exception to the struggle with body issues.  As long as I can remember I was pained by the sense I was not muscular enough. In my middle age I struggle with my midline and deemed too thin legs.  When I see a shirtless (or naked) photo of a gent whether on line/on a blog/in a movie a part of me feels envy, not arousal.

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The intellectual aspect of my psyche tells me to be content with who and what I am and these internet peacocks are the exception not the rule.  But the emotional part of me vociferously vows to stop eating and get to the gym every day.

Men and women, gay or straight, all adore the beautiful ones. But most of the time they pay a price in self esteem and acceptance. I think the internet has taken this to a new level.  Folks talk about “The 99%” in society. This split into the haves and the have nots can now be applied to our physiques.

 

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