Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Men Want to Gain, Women Want to Lose

I am talking about weight. We live in a funny little world where more often than not women are obsessed with remaining small, thin, slim and men are found with Tupperware pots of rice, chicken and broccoli and a protein shake in hand. It's sadly natural of women to desire to be as small as they possibly can, the size of their body defining who they are as a person, defining their friendships and their social status.

Deep rooting in our minds is the media's presence. Women see a thin model in a magazine and that's their new goal - with said model's figure printed out and stuck on your fridge to prevent midnight snacking. (I, for one, fully encourage midnight snacking). This is not a bias post, men are in the public eye for body image too. "Do you even lift bro?" comes into mind, although often used as a joke, body image for males is an issue just as much as it is for women. Men want to be big and muscular, they do not want to resemble pre-puberty skinny boys (Not that there's anything wrong with a male being thin) and can be found eating copious amounts of high complex carbohydrates, chicken being their main source of protein and excessive gym use. Perhaps this ideal of a man is down to the stereotype of males having to be strong, whereas a female is skinny thus needy and requiring the support of a man. However although men can be obsessed with bulking up there is the 10-15 percent of men who suffer with either anorexia or bulimia.

A massive topic spoken about in 2015 is body image and positivity. The idea of being strong not skinny has become an intense focus with the growing trend of women being socially accepted using weights in the gym rather than obsessing over shrinking their waist and cardio machines. More men have come out and spoken about how they feel about themselves and the pressure to remain the perfect image of man. The body positivity spark of 2015 is important, I have seen so much love and confidence spread on social media, regarding people's bodies. I have seen bodies of all shapes and sizes and nothing but praise has come from it (Minus those crap people who are obviously so uncomfortable with the human form that they can't say one good word and accept people's body confidence).

I am currently reading An Apple a Day written by Emma Woolf (Great-niece of Virginia Woolf!!!!) documenting her battle with anorexia through her twenties and trying to stop the stigma of mental illness which sparked this post. Emma doesn't sugar coat what anorexia is, although it can be a different experience for every sufferer just like any other mental illness. I don't speak about my own eating habits often however reading this has reassured me, and soothed me that I'm not the only one with unusual eating habits. (I won't delve into that, maybe another blog post?? Who knows?)

Can we please discuss, why do women want to be small and why do men want to be big?