Hey everyone! My name’s Kyle and, as some of you may have heard, I’m Christine’s boyfriend.
Some random things about me: I like playing tennis, camping, hiking, and going to the gym. I also have a barn in my backyard and love bigger dogs, like labs, golden retrievers, and german shepherds. Oh, and I’m currently working my way through the Harry Potter series. You may be wonder upon hearing that I haven’t yet read the Harry Potter books before “What have you been doing with your life???” but I’m working on them I promise! So there’s my auto-introduction haha. Additionally, I’m somewhat new to blogging, as in I’ve never posted a blog before nor been on a blog site other than Christine’s (which I saw for the first time very recently), so if at all possible, cut me some slack for my lack of blogging expertise.
Christine asked me to post about how guys perceive the way girls negatively pick apart their bodies and create somewhat distorted expectations and images of themselves. To start, let me say that I cannot possibly represent the entire male population on this subject, nor any other, and that I will simply be writing from my perspective, my ideas, and my observations.
So body image. It’s what people think of their body, right? I think it’s pretty safe to say that everyone prefers to have a positive idea and image of themselves. That can mean lots of things, as long as the individual is happy with him or herself. Body image insecurity definitely occurs among both guys and girls. I’m sure that all of us have experienced some sort of bodily insecurity before, I know I have. For example, when I’m at the gym and see Mr. Incredible in the middle of the floor benching 3 plates per side, aka a bazillion pounds (actually only 315lbs but might as well be a bazillion) and I look down at my measly 165lbs, I can’t help but feel a little self conscious.
Body image, however, is more well-known or discussed when it is in regards to girls (at least that’s what I’ve observed). With any case comes insecurities, self consciousness, and other not-so-good feelings.
Now, my perspective. Please don’t take this the wrong way but I think most guys will agree with me that girls are way too picky about their body images. There are so many things girls get in their heads about how they “have to look” in order to be attractive that guys either don’t agree with or don’t even notice. Look at a lot of super skinny actresses and models for example. A lot of them have to starve themselves to look how they do and risk their health in the process. While some girls are naturally thin and lean, don’t feel like you have to overexercise and not fuel your body to achieve that body shape; you’re beautiful just how you are.
That being said, guys do like it when girls take care of their bodies. Notice how I distinguish between taking care and punishing. There’s a difference! I mean who wouldn’t appreciate someone who does that? That’s one of the things I find most attractive about Christine; she takes great care of her body and mental health and not just because of the aesthetic aspects, but also her long term health, which not only ensures that she’s going to live forever, but that she’s a total hottie! She also cares about my health and inspires me to eat better and take care of my body (That’s why she’s the best <3).
In my opinion, being dangerously underweight is something I consider eye-catching for the wrong reasons, especially when it negatively affects your health. A girl that Christine and I know fits into this category. She’s a really beautiful and nice person, but what girls do to themselves in the name of trying to change their body into what magazines say is beautiful almost makes me cringe sometimes.
Going more along with body shape, I can say with complete confidence that there is no particular shape that is “key” to attractiveness. And it really depends on what sort of look a girl is going for. Hot, pretty, cute, beautiful are all different categories of looks that guys think of when they see a girl. Guys may see girls as hot, but not necessarily beautiful, for example. You hear all these songs on the radio about the girls with the double D’s and the daisy dukes and stuff like that. That would be classified as hot, albeit an unrealistic expectation. Now, for me and a lot of other guys I know, “hot” doesn’t always translate to “attractive”. An example would be another girl that Christine and I are friends with that we both went to school with. She has a healthy body and happy self confidence about herself as well as being probably one of the sweetest and nicest girls you’ll ever meet, but she was one of the most attractive girls at our high school to every guy you’d ask. And what I mean when I say attractive is that if guys were asked who they would like to marry from our year they would almost all say it would be her.
What I’m trying to say with all this is that things such as embracing your body shape, a positive self-image, and being healthy, are prime examples of what I see as the most attractive factors of a girl.
So, back to the concept of girls negatively picking apart aspects of their bodies. This is always the result of some form of peer pressure. You may think “well what if a girl is simply uncomfortable with her body?” where does that insecurity come from? I see it as coming from the modern view of the definition of beauty and attractiveness. I strongly believe that girls are pressured from basically everything media related to look unrealistically slim and perpetually made up with makeup and fake tans. That seems to be a major, subliminal norm that is constantly around. I think that it’s awful, simple as that. Especially in ads and model shoots and those sorts of things, the girls are almost always photoshopped, look up some of the videos of the photoshopping process they go through. It’s absurd.
Remember what I said before, hotness and appearing like a sex object does not imply attractiveness. An actress that I think is really attractive is the Girl on Fire from the hunger games, Jennifer Lawrence. She is a lot more natural/normal/healthy looking than most stars, she works hard for her roles and to get in shape for them, and she seems to have a great personality. In any interview I’ve seen with her she’s always so spontaneous, bubbly, and relatable. So Christine, while you have your celeb crush on Mr. Zack Efron I guess I can say mine is on Jennifer Lawrence (and that’s okay because I know you have a girl crush on her too haha).
Now, going along more with the topic of attractiveness, something that I and every other guy in the world find very attractive in girls are a mildly-bubbly, easy-to-get-along with personality. Girls that are easy to talk to, somewhat outgoing, and confident, are magnets to basically any guy you will ever meet. Like, tons of bonus points to a girls attractiveness when she’s nice to talk to and easy to relate to and hold a conversation with.
In summary, please don’t let the modern peer pressure of unrealistic body images, especially ones involving being unnaturally slim or made-up, make you feel uncomfortable with yourself and your body. Know that most guys don’t even find a lot of those “peer pressured images” to be their definition of attractive. Also, remember that most guys put a pretty high value on a girls personality (I’m not sure how many of you feel like all guys are assholes and only care about girls being hot, but that’s not so much the case. If all the guys you know are actually like that then you need to meet more dudes). Guys love being able to comfortably hold a conversation with a girl and care about so many more things than your body shape.
Hope it helps all the female readers understand a guy’s perspective on the subject a bit more and to feel more comfortable with yourselves, as you all should!
Christine: I (and Kyle, he was nervous to write this and spent a lot of time on it!) would love to hear your thoughts about the subject matter.
Of possible interest: My post on Body Dysmorphia & Perfect Imperfection