Men & Women

1. I know it’s silly, but this kind of breaks my heart. It’s like the trick of society. “We’ve heard your complaints and decided to rectify them by treating men the same way!” Um, wait. That’s not what I wanted.

2. Joey Garrison writes about women in local politics. Yep. … It’s a good article, just depressing.

11 thoughts on “Men & Women

  1. Regarding the first article, B., DAMN STRAIGHT.

    I’ve posed for two calendars now, and I can tell you that the preparation is so far from natural that it’s ridiculous. I have a bodybuilder friend who gave me pointers on the preparation, which in my case was a cakewalk compared to what he does leading up to his competitions. Not recommended for any health reasons, to be sure.

  2. It’s going to get even worse. Now Weight Watchers is zeroing in on men as a new demographic to go after with their on-line “It clicks” campaign – because supposedly men are too studly to be seen at Weight Watchers meetings. They can do their calorie counting (oops, sorry, Points counting) in the privacy of their home, from their computer, and no one has to know that they’re “on a diet”.

  3. I wonder whether anyone who uses such methods (male or female) gives any thought to what their bodies will look like in the future after that kind of abuse? I spoke at a middle school about eating disorders last year and I brought pictures–one of which accidentally included another woman from the treatment facility who was far, far sicker. If I could remember her name I’d google her to find out if she’s even still alive. Her image alone was sobering enough to those kids. “Do this to your body for 15 years and that is what will happen.”

  4. Sam, I was thinking of you when I read it, specifically because your body has to DO important things so that you can save other people’s lives. Even if we accept that “good” bodies and “bad” bodies are anything other than a matter of taste, truly there’s something weird about the fact that a good-looking man in the shape he must be in to do his job must make preparations beyond that in order to “have a good body.”

    It’s bizarre.

    Vesta44, here’s the thing I wonder, though. I wonder if men will be susceptible to Weight Watchers or if the way we acculturate men will mean that something that promises ease and simplicity won’t be appealing. I’m concerned that they’ll be much more susceptible to performative disordered eating.

    You know what I mean? “Oh, I should eat an orange not a Snickers” isn’t that studly, but “I haven’t eaten in three days, I’m so tough” might.

    It seems like the potential collision between a really cut, really thin body ideal and machismo could be really bad.

    And I think, as hard as it is to get women with eating disorders the help they need, since anorexia and bulimia are seen as “girl problems,” it will be very hard, at least in the short term, to get men to seek treatment.

    @txmere No, I don’t. I think they think it won’t happen to them or, if it does, it will be worth it because of the praise they get in the meantime.

    And I find that very depressing and scary.

  5. Aunt B – That’s the thing that worries me. This kind of thing is setting men up for eating disorders – the machismo of not having eaten for however many days, the “I can do this because I’m a man” attitude. Not to mention how society pushes the “morality” of looking a certain way over another and how people buy into that.
    And I totally agree with you on the treatment issues for men with eating disorders. It’s hard enough to get women/girls treatment (and to get insurance to pay for it), how much more difficult is going to be to do so for men?

  6. Yeah, I agree. This seems like a perfect storm for men, young men especially.

    And it pisses me off. We KNOW straight from the mouths of women who’ve been through this shit how hard it is, how soul-wearying it is. We know people die from eating disorders.

    And yet, we’re still going to expand their reach among men, because we have shit we want to sell them.

  7. B, I totally see where you’re coming from. On the other hand, after you get to a certain point, the compliments definitely stop. Of course by then it’s pretty late to change disordered thinking but I don’t think it’s ever TOO late–unless the person dies.

    How many “celebs without makeup” memes are we going to have to see before it sinks in that these images are ALL heavily doctored and therefore if you compare yourself to it, you’re comparing yourself to a mirage?

    It’s frustrating.

  8. @txmere, no, you know, you’re right. I get despondent about this type of stuff, but for sure, it’s always worthwhile to get people information so that the people who can be reached, whether it’s before disordered eating starts or when they’re ready for help, are reached.

    But, yeah, I think it’s important to get across that it is a mirage and that things that look good on camera don’t necessarily translate to “works well” or even “looks good” in real life.

    And that things that look good on camera are then also photoshopped and manipulated all to heck.

    I wish we did a better job of teaching kids that there are going to be a lot of folks who want to manipulate them into doing things and the way they’ll do that is by making them feel like they aren’t good enough–too fat, too short, too tall, too thin, too ugly, too pretty, whatever–something about them is not right and needs to be fixed and that all of these images are supposed to suggest to them that they aren’t good enough but that there’s something that could fix it.

    So, it’s not just a mirage, but it’s a mirage intended to con them out of their money.

  9. Well, this has just sucked all the joy out of oogling the covers of Men’s Health.

    And it really makes the title a dehydrated, disoriented lie.

  10. I don’t think men wanting to look unrealistically good is a particularly new phenomenon. Just getting more attention now because the weight loss industry has pretty much hyper saturated the female market and so they’ve had to expand into the male market.

    But I recall being in high school and looking at myself profile in the mirror and if my stomach wasn’t totally flat, I’d start skipping meals. I’m smarter than that now, but still the pressure was there for us guys even then.

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