A guest post by Mark Clemens
I was discussing the subject of how men and woman differ when dealing with their individual body image(s) the other day. I was rather intrigued how woman are taught to view themselves. The process of becoming a woman and what defines her self worth is on appearance and how she is viewed by others. In simple terms it seems to me that woman are raised with the expectation of beauty yet are reinforced through dealings with female family, friends and the occasional asshole boy that she never quite measures up. That she must always strive to be more beautiful, to work harder at being beautiful, and to commit as many resources; time, money, and self-respect to that grand pursuit. Why is a woman’s worth so undeniably tied to her looks?
Men on the other hand are not as pressured about our appearance. Our beauty tips passed down from our dads consist of how to shave, our first bottle of old spice, and somewhere around 12 or 13 when we start to get a certain odor we are taken to the store to get our first anti-per spirant/deodorant. If you are really lucky you might learn about body spray and hair product, but do not count on it. We are normally introduced to those wonderful grooming accessories by a girlfriend down the road; you girls do so love the personal grooming products.
My point being very little time is ever spent on equating our looks with how we fair in life. As a guy we are taught to be tough, competitive, and to work and play hard and that’s it. As long as we do these things everything else will fall into place. I point out these activities for a reason, all of them are designed to build and reinforce our confidence. I might just lose my man card here for telling you girls this, but CONFIDENCE is key. If you have confidence you can walk down the beach in nothing but a blue Speedo, or down the sidewalk, beer belly hanging out the bottom of your shirt, or rock the craziest of haircuts like the mullet and/or the classic comb over. With enough confidence and bravado you can still command respect and still find many girls who want to be with you.
Now do not get me wrong ladies, we men mostly appreciate all the effort you take in looking good for us. I am told it is not ALL for us, but I am going to ignore that for right now. What has been bothering me, is how you girls are forced to mentally suffer over any perceived fault or slight and how you feel such fierce competition with other females. As a guy I can’t even understand what that would be like. I am so used to feeling powerful and the king of my domain, that the thought of having to even compare myself to another guy is not my modus operandi. I walk into a room it as natural to feel like the Alpha-Dog as it is to breathe. For you to better understand just what I am saying let me assure you I am no Brad Pitt, George Clooney, or even Jon Stewart. I am 6’, 340lbs., and slightly balding – yet in my mind I am just as good if not better than any man I will ever come across. So my questions is this, and please feel free to use the comment section below to leave me your feedback, but why is it so easy for other girls to tear you down? How can we as a society/parent/mate do better in providing you the confidence you crave or are we better off leaving the system as it is? Is there an argument for the female competition of beauty and the perpetuation of the human race? I look forward to seeing your input on this subject, and yes guys I am interested in your point of view as well.