Beauty Pressure Male Students Face on Campus

Megan Armenta (12th), Reporter

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From social media to television to radio, the media pushes the “perfect body” image through pop culture icons such as Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. However, these beauty standards are usually focused on women.  The expectations of males are very easily and quickly forgotten.

 

Influence from peers, sports, as well as girls greatly affect the appearance of males. This leads into self seeking towards pleasing others and leaving a memorable image before college.

Much of the standards of males consist of influence towards working out and using supplements, sometimes developing into more of an obsession than towards becoming physically healthier. This causes a circle of constant personal revision until a breaking point is eventually reached. It has been found that nearly half of all men are dissatisfied with their bodies, and up to a quarter of people suffering from eating disorders are men.

 

PHS student Matt Costa discussed struggle with the “perfect male body image” from 8-11th grade, dealing with the peer pressure of the standards of perfection and how they led to his current style and the final discovery of himself. He stressed that much of his appearance from about four years ago was made up of the pressure of pleasing others and adapting to the always-changing media preferences. However, presently Matt has settled on his own style based on the “grunge era of the 90s” in which he feels entirely himself without outside bias.

 

Additionally, Brent Curiel introduced his sudden decision to entirely change his look due to his fear of being forgotten and his longing towards being remembered for years to come. Brent indicated, “I took a look at myself and thought, this is not how I want to be remembered.” Following this, he decided to put several hours of his time into researching popular styles and male fashion icons in which he now bases much of his looks on. These include Aaron Marino from Alpha M. and Blumaan (his go-to hair advisor).

The cruel irony of both of these stories is that for generations the world has heard of the thousands of millions of women subjected to beauty standards, and yet it is only recently that light is being shed on the ways in which men are and have been faced with similar strict beauty standards and products over the same span of time. So the question remains: why are we hearing about this now and what can be done to help aid the many men kept in silence for so long?

It can be assumed that the main rationale behind this protected hidden side of males is due to the overcompensation decades ago that set men as the stereotypical hardworking husband with the steady job. He is mighty and masculine, fearless and built on solely protein and facial hair. In modern times, this can be seen in Justin Bieber, Chris Hemsworth, Brad Pitt, amongst many others. It is important to be well-versed in the issues regarding male beauty standards, as well as to spread acceptance and respect towards those struggling with peer pressure themselves. In this way, society can come to acknowledge the hidden truths behind male perfection and strive as a whole towards understanding that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes regardless of gender.

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