A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Males should not be held to certain pressures

Feminists assault the Barbie dolls and the supermodels and the photoshopped actresses for creating impossible beauty standards for women, while conveniently overlooking the flip side. Females are not the only ones on the planet who look up to unattainable images.

Every male model has sharp defined muscles that can be seen from miles away. The ripples in their flesh rival that of the Grand Canyon. However, the distinct brawn of the male image is yet another masterpiece of digital editing. We also cannot overlook Barbie’s Hasbro counterpart: G. I. Joe. The early images that young boys see of “real men” are simply muscle wrapped around bone. Their faces are sharp and intense with jawlines that you could cut yourself on. Oh, and in case you were wondering . . . G. I. Joe and the members of the Justice League never cried.

It is no wonder that males make up the majority of the weight room population. You are not a real man if your guns are not bulging out of you shirt. Protein shakes and supplements are gulped down by high school lifters hoping to build up beef faster and produce a leaner body. Muscle mass plays its own role in sports; I cannot deny that. However, I would be interested to see how much of a difference protein supplements make in athletics because I cannot imagine that it would be all that much. Those seeking extra muscle definition are not doing so in hopes of an all-star game under the lights, rather because that is what is expected of them.

Ladies, we are not the only ones facing pressure from the images surrounding us, because God forbid we see a male model without the convexed bronze of a Greek statue. While society will not change its tendency to over-edit or its obsession with perfection anytime soon, that does not mean we cannot help it along. Think twice before you smirk at the absence of a six-pack on that one guy in your history class.