I find it ironic that, in the same week the New York Times blamed the feminist movement for causing female unhappiness, CNN ran this article about male body image. Ironic because the body image issue underlies most of human interactions, I believe, and yet the media downplays how objectification of women affects us. But how men feel about their bodies? Yes, let’s explore that!
To me one of his most interesting points is that men worry about penis size. It’s a valid concern. But I would like to point out that women also worry about whether their breasts are large enough. Luckily for men, however, the penis is still not something our culture objectifies by putting it in movies, television, magazines, pretty much anywhere we can find.
If you think it is difficult to wonder how you measure up, think about how hard it is for women, who do know exactly how we measure up because we’ve been confronted with images of the female body for our entire lives. As long as the penis is still sanctified rather than objectified in the media, men are still shielded from some of the worst body image pain there is. Some would say that men can see how they measure up by watching porn. My point is not that the images don’t exist. My point is that for women, the images of breasts cannot be avoided. If you think you have a small penis and you watch porn to confirm, that’s your own mistake.
If you’re a woman and you think you have small breasts, this will be confirmed when you: look at a magazine, watch an R-rated movie, shop for clothing, drive down the street and see a Hooters restaurant, etc. Even when you watch the news, or professional sports. Notice how the camera always includes a bust shot of women TV reporters but a head shot of men.