MAN IN THE MIR­ROR Do men suf­fer the same in­se­cu­ri­ties as women? The an­swer is a sim­ple Yes.

CLEO (Malaysia) - - YOUR LIFE, YOUR RULES! -

It would be glib and easy to go straight to the pe­nis jokes but I won’t. Nor will I get into the topic with­out ac­knowl­edg­ing that women face a greater daily de­gree of body in­se­cu­rity than men do. That said, the gap is clos­ing. Once upon a time, most men be­lieved they’re just a few weeks of sit ups away from a Zac Efron six-pack, but those days have gone the way of fax ma­chines – go ask your mum – and Hot­mail ad­dresses. Men may joke about their beer guts be­ing “in­vest­ments” or “the bal­cony over the tool shed”, but in­side, we are hurt­ing. The bravado is al­most as hol­low as a Kar­dashian-Humphries mar­riage.

I could throw a bunch of sta­tis­tics at you about the in­creas­ing preva­lence of men show­ing up at hos­pi­tals with eat­ing dis­or­ders, but this one yells the loud­est: A 2015 Aus­tralian study found that the largest group of new drug in­jec­tors pre­sent­ing at nee­dle ex­changes were not on heroin, but rather, per­for­mance- and im­age-en­hanc­ing drugs. It’s a cat­e­gory grow­ing so rapidly that they now have their own nifty acro­nym (PIEDs), and the il­licit steroid trade is a multi-bil­lion dol­lar in­dus­try. So, what do men worry about phys­i­cally? Let’s just start with the head, shall we? Do those hair at the bot­tom of the shower mean bald­ness is on the hori­zon? Wouldn’t it be great if our noses were just a touch more aquiline? And is that first hint of chin a dou­ble or one and a half? And we haven’t even started on weight (not to men­tion the dreaded man boobs). There’s a male equiv­a­lent of does-my-bum-look-big-in-this, and you could see it in the way we suck in even a healthy stom­ach when try­ing on a new shirt or catch­ing a glimpse of our­selves sans chemise in the mir­ror. Head to any gym from Langkawi to Lom­bok, go straight to the free weights sec­tion, and you’ll see a pha­lanx of men Can you imag­ine that Robert Pat­tin­son has body im­age is­sues? He’s re­port­edly said: “I don’t have a six pack and I hate go­ing to the gym.” pump­ing away their in­se­cu­ri­ties. Sure, there’s a valid pre­text of good health at play, but as some­one with a life­time of dis­carded fit­ness mem­ber­ships, trust me when I say it’s 90 per cent van­ity – in other words, the feel­ing that who I was and am was never quite enough.

It’s the gnaw­ing cho­rus fa­mil­iar to so many of both gen­ders. You see, in­stead of be­com­ing that lit­tle bit more for­giv­ing of our own and oth­ers’ so-called “im­per­fec­tions”, we now live in an era of equal-op­por­tu­nity body sham­ing. Rak­ing in over 6 mil­lion views, this Buz­zFeed video went vi­ral when it tack­led the is­sue of men’s bod­ies be­ing pho­to­shopped to the ideal shape. Go­ing from the love­able bum­bling Andy in Parks and Re­cre­ation, Chris Pratt ba­si­cally mor­phed into a sculpted God in Guardians Of The Gal­axy in 2014.

“I need to get rid of that butt chin!”

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