While randomly tuning out to the pressure of everyday work life and coyly plugging in my earphones while someone was asking me for ideas and hoping one would strike me soon, I came across this fitness post by a male friend on facebook, stating he had lost weight, tonnes of it.
That made me think, it isn’t just women who are shamed for our bodies. Soon to realise that most magazines had at least one story each year on embracing your curves or being plus sized or being a certain structure, the men never get featured as hot with bulges or sexy curves. Never would you see a men’s magazine shooting sexy images of men in a story called ‘My curves and I.’
But men get shamed equally, sometimes a lot more brutally during their younger years than women because they’re more vocal and don’t have it in them to have a kitty party to bitch another out.
Born was the idea of the body shaming shoot, for men.
A feature with everyday men around me, I scouted within my space and along with Jacob (who is the writer of the feature you will read below) we found ourselves a pretty neat story. Here it is.
From 6 pack abs and V-shaped torsos, to double tap worthy gym selfies.
The pressure to look a certain way has men in it’s vice-like grip, too. But rarely is this discussed, with many men silently grappling with stereotypes staring at them from magazine covers, movie posters and mobile screens.
So we brought together three men to reiterate a simple truth, that life’s a party and everyone’s invited. No matter your size, shape or style. Here are their stories of strength and confidence, as they prove that self-love is always a cause for celebration.
” Growing up, everyone around me made sure I knew that I was a fat kid. When puberty helped shed the kilos, the fat, insecure kid crawled into a little space in my head – to constantly remind me I wasn’t good enough. It’s taken me years to get him to vacate the space, to replace it with hard won confidence. Now, I remind myself that nothing is worth holding your self-esteem at ransom against a magazine cover version of what you need to look like.”
“I am an actor. I also work in the fashion and lifestyle industry. Body image is paramount in both, with mine being an example of a ‘bad one.’ I had a voice in my head constantly reminding me I was an ugly misfit. It took some good mentors who saw acting ability to cast me, though. I’ve evolved now, from wanting to be a certain body type and dressing to hide flaws, to knowing how to work how I look to my advantage. Both on stage and at work.”
” I was a skinny teen. Most teens are right?But things remained the same even after I became an adult, I was left asking – Where is this so called fuller, bigger body I’m supposed to be transitioning into? People were telling me that putting on more muscle would make me look good, less ‘boyish’ and more of a man. Instead of giving in, I just created a new ideal – a lean and confident boy-man who’s charming and witty. Being superman can wait.”
All men wearing clothes by AJIO.com
Photos by Lalit Atal
Styling by Khenza Razack
Make Up by Nisha Porwal
Art Direction by Namita Gautham
Editing by Jageer Singh
Take A Bow