When I was 14, Men’s Health Magazine filled me with self-loathing.
I enjoyed the quick, do-on-your-bedroom-floor workout routines. And the inherently sexist ‘Tips to Rock Her World in the Bedroom’.
In part it made me feel mature. Adult. But mostly it was a pervy glimpse into the thriving sex life I one day aspired to hold.
Yuck, I know.
Sex tips aside, the magazines began to have an adverse effect on me. Each time I put one down, I would find myself feeling less… comfortable.
It wasn’t conscious. It wasn’t a formed thought or feeling or emotion. Rather, it was a lingering buzz; a near-silent uneasiness deep in my gut I could never quite put my finger on.
Until one day I could.
It was inadequacy.
Bec Sparrow talks about finding contentment in the way she looks rather than comparing herself to the unattainable, on The Well. Post continues after audio…
Young men are barraged with the same perfection and opulence and unattainable curves young women are.
They read the same articles. Follow the same Instagram accounts. Scroll the same Facebook feeds to an extent their subconsciouses are overloaded with the same skinny-yet-muscly, touched-up ‘role models’ that young women’s are. Whitened teeth. Regal aura. You know the type.
The difference is… they aren’t told there’s an equivalent.
From a young age, mothers try and teach their daughters that the people they see in the media aren't real; that their faces are digitally brushed, and their teeth chemically whitened.
Normal people don't look like that.
It's a conversation every mother in 2017 has with her daughter.
But it's one we aren't having with our sons.