We traditionally think that weight loss is a woman’s problem. From celebrities to everyday people, women are more likely to struggle with society pressure to lose weight. As for women in the public eye (such as celebrities, actresses, and performers), they face tremendous pressure to stay in shape and are criticized for the smallest weight gain. But, it seems that men are facing the same fate now.
Overweight Famous Men
It’s surprising how society and mass media reacts to weight gain in men. Leonardo DiCaprio’s extra pounds earned him the description of having a “dad body” which is deemed a positive comment. On the other hand, social media and mass media did not hesitate to call Singer-Songwriter Avant fat – his weight issues were heavily criticized, much like you’d expect society to handle weight issues for women in the public eye.
Why Weight Loss Was Traditionally A Female Concern
Not only is it easier for men to lose weight (if needed), but they didn’t need to deal with societal pressures to do so until recently. Women and young girls are taught from a very young age that their bodies are in the public eye, and that they will be judged. Young boys are rarely given this message. If you take a look at how people speak to young boys and young girls, the picture becomes even more clear. People tend to ask boys about sports, which puts pressure on them to participate in them – in fact, boys who aren’t interested in any sports activities are often shamed for it. On the other hand, people ask young girls about their appearance – they comment about the child’s clothes, their hair, their graceful gait. This sets it in a girl’s mind that their appearance is what is most valued in life, not their opinion nor their achievements. Girls who are criticized even slightly for their appearance at a young age will carry that burden until they grow older. Many will struggle with their appearance because of this, facing low self esteem and if they gain weight, matters become worse. Basically, women are taught to criticize themselves because they think that society will criticize them.
Clothing Plays An Important Role In Weight Issues
Take a walk in any clothing store and you’ll see a stark difference between men’s clothing and women’s clothing. While men can dress more comfortably even when the outfit itself is formal, women’s clothes are often tight fitting and accentuate flaws. This makes it easier for men to hide their weight gain, and harder for women. The effect is never more apparent than in the swimsuit section – men dressed in baggy t-shirts and shorts, while women struggle with one or two piece swimsuits that cling to their bodies.
In short, while some men may feel societal pressure to keep their weight under control, the pressure is nowhere near that which a woman may experience for smaller changes in weight. Societal standards are changing, but only at a sluggish pace. Women are still in the spotlight when it comes to weight issues, and men are safely hiding their beer bellies in the background.