All Articles Tagged "body issues"

News Flash: Men Wrestle With Self-Esteem Issues Too

August 4th, 2016 - By Chuck Creekmur
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The standard of beauty in America has long plagued the Black woman. From back in the day, rail thin was in and sisters with curves were often-times left out into the cold. Fast forward to the present day, you have Kim Kardashian getting praised for her assets and more and more Black women going through the rigors of plastic surgery to get a bigger booty. If one more person says Serena Williams is mannish, I am going to scream.

But, I got news for you. some of us men go through similar things.

I subscribe to two magazines – Esquire and GQ. As time has gone on, I have evolved as a man and want my style to reflect that. The only issue is, I cannot find anybody in these magazines that look like me. The models are all super thin, extra fit and exclusively wear “slim fit” clothing of all sorts. These dudes are perfect in every European way – even the ones with melanin.

I have managed to maintain my weight, driven by an aspirational need to stay in line with what is seen as attractive and my own dreaded self-loathing.

Most men won’t admit it, but a lot of us simply hate ourselves.

One of my homegirls called me out on that after telling me that she had finally discovered self love. For men, it comes out in different ways, I believe. For example, some dudes will totally stop caring that their belly could give Santa a run for diabetes. Hello, dad bod. Others stop buying new clothing when they get married and then can be seen wearing 2000’s Karl Kani or something. They chalk it up to getting older, being too busy or simply being wore down to the very last compound.

To keep it 100, I have always been hyper sensitive about my size and physique and it has dominated my approach to women, socializing, the beach, and just about every facet of life. At one point in my life, I couldn’t even take a compliment until somebody told me to just say, “thank you,” and shut up after that.

Only recently have I started to get better. But think about it…

From when we are kids, super heroes with bulging muscles and spandex have come to represent higher manhood. Then, it turns real through Hollywood with dudes like Arnold and Stallone. Then, rappers like LL Cool J. Sure, some dudes rejected these standards like Biggie Smalls, but the standards remain. Our esteem is constantly under siege. I know it is seen as a wholly negative, but I do my best to accept the challenge. I push my fitness as much as I can, eating right and staying dope as much as I can. Sadly, I want to look as good as I can when I transition after life on this Earth.

It is a delicate juggling act of self esteem and health.

Listen. Men aren’t going to admit to this. We care even when it seems we don’t. Some dudes from the younger generation may, as they tend to be thinner and oftentimes less inclined to adhere to those stereotypical standards of masculinity. I idolized Batman, Superman and The Hulk before Malcolm, Martin and Mandela. I think some of this mental superhuman strength is necessary to be real. A dude and I had a candid conversation and he said, “Who is going to defend the women when America breaks out in war?” He then lightly punched me in the shoulder as if to say, “Yeah…sturdy people like me and you.” I know that is a whole ‘nother conversation, but I’m just saying…

We have to stop the bleeding and defy the presumed contradictions. I definitely want my daughter to love herself in a way that I did not, but I also want her to be health conscious in a way that escaped me as a youngster. I want to be that super hero to her, but also a flawed human, too. She’s got to learn that what the Creator gave her is enough and that’s something that I have to wrestle with as women whistle at Idris Elba. I have never wished I was Idris. I wished I was his best buddy, but not him.

I’m enough too.

Yeah – sniff, sniff – I’m enough too.

Here Are 5 Ways You Can Feel Good, Dad!

1. Work out.

I know I am never going to have the body of my favorite superhero, The Incredible Hulk. But, like I said, this is aspirational. This means, I continue an endless quest towards being in shape. This means, I willingly workout knowing I’ll never slip into the overweight Chuck that used to fill me with self-loathing. Work out, man!

2. Pose In The Mirror

I know this sounds a bit silly, but do it. There are studies that say posing in a powerful position actually makes your stronger and boosts confidence. When I was a kid, I walked with a slump. They always told me I would been a hunchback by the time I got older. Clearly, I am not the Hunchback of New York now, but I feel it was reflective of my state of mind then.

3. Accept The Compliment

You might think you are wack, but you don’t need to tell everybody! I never thought I was wack, but for whatever reason, I was unable to accept compliments. I just didn’t believe that the person was telling the truth. Now, I give them. I know it also makes others feel better, particularly if it is from a genuine place.

4. Dress For Success

Women know this – knock ‘em dead! Men tend to hold on to the same suit for year and years, forgetting that men’s styles do change even if we don’t. So, force change upon yourself and do different things that illicit a reaction from people. Sure, it’s outside stimuli but it builds you up, just as other influences can tear you down.

5. Accept Who You Are

I have my dad’s body now. Now, I love my dad, but there are parts of him I have been trying to avoid. However, as I get older, embrace the “man weight” – that inevitable scoundrel that creeps up on many of us. People that truly know me, know that I’m very uncomfortable in my own skin, but even that is a part of myself that I embrace. Hell, I am all about the work – in career and in life. I enjoy it but own the notion that it is a process. However, being honest, I don’t want my kid to go through the inner turmoil so hopefully she will pick up the newer me, not the old me. It has been fairly recently that I have truly learned how to smile with genuine happiness behind it. Life ain’t perfect or fair and we shouldn’t expect ourselves to be.

20 Body Changes Nobody Tells You Come Before Menopause

June 29th, 2016 - By Julia Austin
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There’s a dangerous myth going around that states that your body is all bouncy and resilient until menopause, but that’s simply not true. There’s another dangerous myth that suggests that, so long as you don’t have children, all the child-bearing related body parts will remain in pristine condition. Your vagina will remain this magical power box, your boobs will point up and out, full of hope, and your hips will stay, well, within this world. That’s also not true. And it’s not fair that we are told these things because some of us make a lot of decisions based on these myths—decisions like what clothes to buy and which foods to eat and how many margaritas to drink. Suddenly, we have to pay the reaper that we thought was still twenty years away. Here are 20 body changes nobody tells you will come before menopause.

Thigh Gaps And Other Body “Issues” Men Don’t Care About

June 14th, 2016 - By Julia Austin
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Corbis Images

Corbis Images

Most of the “problems” women spend thousands of dollars and hours fixing so that men will find them attractive men don’t even notice. It’s funny because, when you think of male body types you like, you probably don’t think about things like pectoral shape or hamstring definition. We know that the things men obsess over in their own bodies aren’t important to women, but we can’t seem to grasp the fact that the reverse is true too. We’re told over and over again that we need to shave this and tighten that, but who is telling us? Women! (Or gay men, if we’re honest). At the end of the day, it’s a shame we put so much energy into these body “issues” because nobody notices them but us.

8 Awkward Body Issues That Happen Right Before A First Date

July 8th, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

There are plenty of things you can plan for when it comes to a first date. Your outfit, the restaurant, making sure you’re no longer hung over from your previous date—you know, standard stuff. But when it comes to your bodily functions, you can end up feeling a little helpless. Here are eight awkward body issues that can come up before a date and how to handle them.

 

 

8 Body Issues We All Eventually Get Over

October 27th, 2014 - By Julia Austin
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Life is long—too long to be anything other than comfortable in your own skin. That’s why, eventually, most women stop reading articles, buying corrective creams, and attending miserable workout classes and just get over trying to be “perfect.” Because we realize we are perfect as we are, and will definitely be perfect in the eyes of the right partner. Here are 8 body issues women eventually get over — sooner or later.

 

 

 

 

 

How He Knows You’re Insecure About Your Body

October 21st, 2013 - By Julia Austin
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 Insecure About Your Body

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Even if you’re not the type to ask your man, “Do these pants make my butt look big?” that doesn’t mean he believes you’re 100% okay with your figure. Here are 14 little ways you let on that you’re insecure about your body (even though your boyfriend loves it!)

How I’m Loving My Body…Pregnant And All!

October 20th, 2013 - By Brooke Dean
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

I don’t recall a time when I ever got dressed or undressed under the covers. Maybe I got dressed in the dark, stumbling around searching for matching socks or something, but there was never any hiding. And, now, as a pregnant woman, I am proud to say this has not changed.

These days you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t self-conscious about some part of their body. And when you’re starting a new relationship and getting to know your partner, especially in the bedroom, it can be incredibly intimidating to expose your flaws. Whether it’s morning breath or cellulite, we’re all a little self-conscious in the beginning about something. But I look at it like this: my hips don’t lie. You see me, and when you do, you can make a pretty good guess as to what I got going on under my clothes. If you still want to lay down with me after that, then what am I hiding for?

Nowadays, you can ask a woman what she’d like to change about her body and she will give you a list – Botox this, collagen here, lipo there, tighten this, lift that. But as a woman who is very comfortable in her own skin, I want to give my body the respect it deserves and stop judging it so harshly – and I want all women to do the same thing. I define my body by my standards, not by what society says is okay. I love my body for what it is, rather than hate it for what it isn’t or never will be.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in being healthy and strong. I think we should take better care of ourselves, and I could always do better. But at six months pregnant, there is only so much I can do without straining myself, but I also find that I’m enjoying the new and amazing things that my body is doing now. I’m creating life while growing stronger every day. My body is my temple,and because I view it that way, it can be His temple too.

What I have found out over the years is that men tend to see in you what they love most. If you have a big backside – and he’s an “a$$ man” – chances are he’s not obsessing over the dimple you have there. Those heavy breasts you want lifted may make his mouth water if tig ole bitties are what he favors. In your eyes, he will detect the spirit you have chosen. Your smile and frown both speak volumes. He will see you how you see you; and if you have an issue with your body, so will he.

If I’m too busy worried about what he thinks of my body, how can we both enjoy it? You see me, it’s too late now. Clothes are off. We’re here! Turn on the lights and take a good look. My body is a playground – swing on my swing! While most women are especially self-conscious while pregnant, I feel the most beautiful. I’m not embarrassed by what anyone might see. I don’t cringe at the sight of my unclothed body. Oddly enough, I don’t like looking at myself in pictures, with clothes on.

But my brown, soft skin? I love it! My hands? I love getting manicures to show off my long, pretty fingers. My teeth are white and straight. I love the way my bubbly breasts bounce when I have on a good bra that shows off my ample cleavage. I’ve even grown to accept my curly eyebrows. Yes, I said curly eyebrows! Looking in the mirror, I see that it’s quite possible to love everything in its reflection. I look at myself directly, and rather than risk the pain of experiencing everything I am not, I savor the sweetness of who I am and how my body is changing.

The woman I saw in the mirror this morning was glowing! She was more than the sum of the color of her skin, the texture of her hair, and the shade of her knees and elbows. What I saw went deeper than a surface appreciation of beauty, a superficial measurement of self. What I saw was empowering. I didn’t just consider my exterior, but also my heart. I danced around to music playing in the background, with my swollen belly whirling around, joyous and happy. I sang to my voluptuous curves and they gave a standing ovation. There was no shame or negative inner visions. I was beautiful and whole and free. And this is how every woman should feel about herself.

Ladies, You’re Not Off the Hook! 9 Mistakes That Women Make in Bed

December 29th, 2012 - By Brooke Dean
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Not too long ago, we posted an article on the most common mistakes men make in bed. Well guess what, ladies It’s YOUR turn. You didn’t think you were getting off free and clear did you? Sure, Madamenoire.com is geared towards women but that doesn’t mean we can’t check ourselves every once in a while – especially when it comes to sex. While I’m sure a lot of my sistas are holding in down in the bedroom, there could be a few things we probably need to address. Men often say that it is hard (no pun intended) to have bad sex but ladies, please don’t pat your collective selves on the back. We have work to do! Let’s explore these common female frisky faux pas.