body / health

Does this make my abs look good?: The Top 4 Male Body Image Issues

That Dude is as Ripped as a Coupon
When I go online and look at other trainers, I think ‘man I look like a scrawny wuss.’

This isn’t true. I’m actually in excellent shape. I’m not ‘ripped’ per se but I have very low body fat, I run endurance races, and am suprisingly strong for my size. 

Still I feel pressure to be leaner, more defined, and more muscular. I’ve considered losing weight, going on a more restrictive diet, or even increasing my workouts. I don’t really need to do any of this.

But it’s hard not to think about it when I see pictures like this all day long.

a guy with six pack abs, 6 pack abs, body image, mindful fitness, mindfitmove, what is sexy

So in honor of all my fitness brothers out there I give you:

The Top 4 Male Body Image Issues
Why they’re a big deal? and why they’re stupid?

6pack abs ad, ab enhancer, testing it out, body image issue, men, mindful fitness, mind fit move, mindfitmove, mindfulness1. I Don’t Have 6 Pack Abs –
Just search for 6-pack abs on Google and you get millions of results, thousands of tips, and hundreds of programs.

What’s the big deal?
6-Pack abs are hard to get and maintain. Thus, for many they are the holy grail of fitness.

6-Pack abs have become short hand for sexy. They are essentially the male form of cleavage.

Why they’re stupid?
To have a 6-pack you need 1) low body fat and 2) strong rectus abdominus muscles.

A 6 pack often requires stupidly low body fat. Which is fine unless you’re making yourself miserable then it’s probably not worth it.

As for muscles the rectus abdominus is only good for one thing, doing crunches. The other abdominal muscles do a better job of supporting the spine and core. So you’d be better off focusing on those for overall health and fitness

Jun Luc Picard with mustache, sexy bald guy, balding, mindful fitness, mindfitmove, mindfulness, body image, men2. I’m Balding-
Hair = youth = sexiness

Why it’s a big deal?
For many men balding is first sign of aging. It also brings up images of comb-overs, toupees, Donald Trump, and our fathers.  We think women don’t like balding men.

Why it’s stupid?
Many women like bald men. And there are many examples of attractive bald men, take Patrick Stewart (Jean Luc you sexy bastard). Balding is only awkward if you attempt to hide it.

not tall enough, you must be this tall, short guy, napoleon complex, mindfulness, accepting, acceptance, body image, mindful fitness, mind fit move, mindfitmove3. I’m Not Very Tall –
Height is one of the few features that is still socially acceptable to mock. As a compact human it seems like I’m expected to laugh along with the jokes. Making fun of fat people isn’t funny and neither is making fun of ‘short’ people.

Why it’s a big deal?
We are sold the image of a tall dark handsome man holding a smaller dainty woman. Even short movie stars are filmed to look taller. For many women and men height equals masculinity. Even my current partner said she wasn’t interested at first because I wasn’t taller than her.

Why it’s stupid?
You have no control over your height. There are plenty of women who won’t care. If you don’t make it a big deal, then it isn’t. Will some women not date you? Yes, but there are women you won’t date for equally silly reasons.

4. The Body Image Issue That Shall Not be Named
You know what I’m talking about . Guys worry it’s not big enough. Or that it abnormal in some way.

Why it’s a big deal?
Because you don’t know where you stand. You can read statistics, but it’s not the same. Because it’s a secret you worry.

Why it’s stupid?
If it’s exceptionally big or small it may be worthy of note. But realistically you’re probably average. If you do fear inadequacy, then develop other skills. Whether it’s true or not, it can’t hurt to have good ground game.

MindFitMove Practice

  1. Find a big mirror, full length if possible.
  2. Take off all your clothes.
  3. Take a nice long look at your body.
  4. Notice your critical voice arising.
  5. Notice the areas of negative focus.
  6. Then focusing on those parts one at a time.
  7. Tell them how much you appreciate them.
  8. Talk to them like underappreciated workers.
  9. Put your clothes back on.
  10. Look in the mirror and say,
  • I am a sexy man.
  • I am attractive.
  • I am not my body.
  • When I die, I want to be remembered for what I did, not how I looked.

Remember No one’s tombstone is inscribed with.
Here lies John. He died 6 foot 4, with a six pack, and a full head of hair.
There is more to life then looking good.

Photo Credits

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5 thoughts on “Does this make my abs look good?: The Top 4 Male Body Image Issues

  1. The tombstone inscription makes me laugh. So does the AB enhancer above! ha! Women go through a lot of the same things… I often have to remind myself that I am healthy and that is what is important – I don’t want to spend my days only eating talapia and broccoli in order to get more defined abs. I agree that men who are balding need to embrace it and that it only gets a little weird when they try to cover it up. I also heard that Tom Cruise is pretty short!

    • Thanks for your thoughts Kayala. Body image issues are definitely a BIG deal for many women. One thing I was hoping to bring to light was it was something that men deal with as well.

      Having said that I think it’s even harder for women and young girls. They get alot of intense messages about how they are supposed to look. One of them is that they shouldn’t be too strong aka muscular. I’m glad there are fit women out there like you living sane lives that are good role models for so many girls in our culture.

  2. Great post Gentoku. Women’s body issues get talked about all the time (just open any women’s magazine!), but it is less common for men to be able to talk openly about this subject. Unrealistic standards are hurtful to all. It’s nice to get some perspective, and also reassuring to hear that these concerns can still arise for someone who is so fit!

    • Thanks Rebecca.
      I’m glad you found it helpful.
      I think body image effects so many people in our society. It’s a challenge to love your body the way it is and also want to see the results of living a healthy lifestyle.
      Thanks for reading.

  3. I like the tombstone inscription it should be on the wall of every gym and home to remind people to like themselves as they are first and foremost. I having never had a big muscular frame just the way I am built, however my wife now tells me I am a runt after watching male strippers and this has had a very negative effect on me. Everyone in society should accept people for the actions they do and how they treat people instead of how much of a Greek god we may or may not look like. Sad to say society is not like that.

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