That body of yours

You can't make a swap with someone else
Image by Nicki Varkevisser CC BY 2.0 Cropped

A big deal for many guys

Have to learn to love yourself!


From a very young age, boys are socialized to consider imperfect bodies 'bad', according to Hagman, through such external influences as advertising and schools' misdirected attempts to counteract the obesity epidemic.

Blashill, Field and Hagman all agree there seems to be a perfect storm working against boys with body image issues...

The media has become more of an equal opportunity discriminator. Men's bodies are not good enough anymore either.

Previous research suggests that up to 25 percent of normal weight males nevertheless perceive themselves to be underweight.

Girls typically try to lose weight to live up to the ideal, whereas boys either want to lose weight or gain weight depending on the ideal they are trying to attain.


Your genes passed down from your parents and grand parents mostly determine what you look like, how tall and big you are, how muscular, the color of your hair and the list goes on. A lot of who you are in the physical cannot really be changed.

Genes can also give you a predisposition to certain issues in your body and mind, however genes do not necessarily dictate an outcome in your life.

You can also change yourself a little. If you eat too much you will become overweight and obviously if you don't eat properly and neglect exercise you will become skinny and weak.

Great body

All us guys would love a body that people admire and aspire to. Unless you are part of the 2% of guys born like this then the reality for you (and the majority) will be different. You have a body that does its own thing during puberty and also does not look how you would choose it to look.

So you don't have and won't have a perfect body - at least by the perceived standards presented to you. You can either go the rest of your life in torment about what your body should look like, or you can choose to accept who you are - and enter into a better place.

Choose your body image

Did you know that body image is how you FEEL about the way you look? It’s actually NOT about what you look like.

Trying to change your actual appearance can be hard and exhausting but you have the power to change the way you see, feel and think about your body.

It is easy to pin your crap feelings of teenage years onto something tangible. I think we have all blamed someone else at some stage for the way we feel inside - 'if I can get away from her things will be much better'. After we get away we find things are still the same within us. We were probably demonstrating 'Fundamental Attribution Error' by thinking she was the cause of your bad feelings - when it was just your anxiety or something else in your mind.

The same error can happen with our body image. 'I am always being tormented for being too short. If I could grow then they would stop tormenting me and I would feel better'. The reality is that if you could grow yourself taller they would probably find something else to torment you about. It can be an attitude thing made worse if you don't have good emotional support from the significant adults in your life.

If you are constantly in a situation where others regularly torment you about your body, then you need to get yourself out of that poisonous environment.

I knew a young guy who was not the best looking guy you ever laid eyes on. He was also very skinny and uncoordinated. So there was nothing about him physically that would attract you to him.

He did however have a great friendly personality that caused you to want to be his friend. This young guy was very popular with his peers. Do you see what I am saying here? This guy had every reason to feel sorry for himself, but he chose to view himself in a positive way with the associated payoff for him..

Love yourself

We are conditioned to think of love as a good feeling and sometimes it is. Love can also be a choice. You can choose to love yourself in this context of who you are, what your body is doing to you and what your body looks like.

The question "Is this an act of self-love or is it an act of self-sabotage?" is one you must consistently ask yourself if you are committed to having all that you want and all that you deserve. When you love yourself you feel worthy and deserving of claiming the gifts of this world. Self-love gives you peace of mind and balance. Self-love gives you self-respect and the ability to respect others. It gives you the confidence to stand up and ask for what you want. Self-love is the main ingredient in a successful, fulfilled life.

Loving yourself is another of those issues that needs a decision from you to lift yourself out of the hole that you are in. You might have to make a conscious choice many times a day to 'accept your big nose'.

Here is a challenge for you. Write down all the positive things about you. You could ask some trusted adults to help you make the list. You will get a whole new attitude towards yourself.

Act as if you love yourself and that love will start to come to you. By the way, I think Aaron Sorkin borrowed this line from The Bible.

I’m in process with this myself. There are times when I simply do not love myself. Those days are fewer and farther between. But they still exist. But when you become your own best friend, you will find that you will relate to other people a lot easier and in a healthier way.