I’ve always had a love and hate relationship with my body. Keep in mind that a man, especially a black man, opening up about their insecurities is rare nowadays. The part of my body that is an issue for me is my chest. It was hard to deal with body shaming for a very long time.
As a male, we should not have breast like features in my opinion. It could be a birth effect, poor eating habits, or a lack of exercise.
In today’s society, people will call it ‘man boobs’ but, in medical terms, it is called Gynecomastia. It was like a big target growing up.
Being teased and called names about my chest was very humiliating. Body shaming was a real struggle for me.
My body image definitely affected me emotionally during my childhood days. All of my friends seem to be fit, and I was the chubby kid with the man boobs. They would even joke about my chest being soft and that I would need a women’s bra. That would hurt my feelings.
As I became older, I was more involved in sports during my high school years. I was an all-around student-athlete so, I exercised a lot.
Remembering the times I let those ‘man boob’ jokes lower my self-esteem is not pleasant. Fortunately, it never made me slip into a depression stage. I used that as a confidence builder to stay in the gym and watch what I eat mainly.
Nowadays, social media has a huge impact on body image. People seem to only be focused on female body parts and muscular men. Especially on Instagram.
The only way an oversized male will be noticed is if he is very wealthy. The only way a female will be noticed is by her features.
If you don’t have the body image that is acceptable by social media standards, then you’re basically a nobody. You really have to develop a thick skin, so you do not let things like that affect you.
Turn negativity into positivity. Do not let anyone, or what they say, drag you down to depression.
No need to try to transform whatever body image issue that you have to impress the world. Transform your body image because that’s what you want to do.
People will talk about you and can talk about you all they want. Use it as motivation. And remember this old saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’