Man in the mirror

A man’s identity was once largely drawn from work, family and perhaps sport. Today, men are given the task of designing and maintaining an identity from a multitude of alternatives offered by products they can buy and images they are shown in the media. The supposed reward for all this is social and psychological well-being. As many marketers would have it, “look good, feel good”.

But this shift has brought the kind of pressure to conform to a certain image and body shape that was previously directed at almost solely at women. Recent adverts for Protein World weight-loss products that featured a highly toned, bikini-clad modelwere criticised as an attempt to exploit women’s body insecurities and shame them into buying the products. These were accompanied by similarly revealing but largely unnoticed ads for men. While these don’t carry the same sexist legacy of women’s objectification, they do replicate some of the same body shaming issues. –Matthew Hall

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story with a male protagonist who is struggling with body shame.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about your body? Has it changed over time? How do you deal with any shame about your body?

Art Prompt: Males and Body Shame

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about body shaming in our culture and give them tools to develop a more healthy relationship with their bodies.

Photo Credit: jesuscm on Flickr

2 Responses to Prompt #1546 Men and Body Shame

  1. Amy Koch Johnson says:

    This writing prompt one may ponder if it is connected to the happiness writers prompt or depression. Researchers have found that our body weight can be 100% genetic too. Of course diet and exercise can sculpt a body. I feel this subject is related to a person priorities. I have been pondering the body weight issues. I feel the body weight can be to thin and to heavy on a person.I think a person has to find a weight that is healthiest for them. I think we all should consider the time and effort we put into having a sculpted body and if upon having one, do we feel more loved, or lesser than? In other words our self worth should not be tied to our bodies image and yet our healthiness should be tied to our bodies image.

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