Women Must Be Fit; Men Can Be Flabby

Can men be valued even if their bodies appear flabby and “gross”? What about women? Can they be? Maybe. But men may have more leeway.

While looking thru the archives at Sociological Images, I ran into this. The pictures are from a few years back but they’re still relevant. Dr. Lisa Wade makes some interesting points here.

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By Lisa Wade @ Sociological Images

Mercedes DeM. sent in this Vanity Fair cover (for April 2009)…

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…spoofing this previous cover

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The women on the original cover are sex symbols.  We should expect gratuitous nudity.  The men in the spoof, in contrast, are comedians and so a direct comparison, arguing that men’s bodies are more off-limits, would be misguided.  (Not that I think an argument couldn’t be made, but I don’t think this set of images supports it.)

Nor do I think that these images support the idea that we’re more accepting of variation in men’s bodies than women’s.  If that were so, I think the men would actually be nude.  Instead they’re covered up.  My sense is that they’re covered up because their bodies are, according to rigid cultural standards, gross.

The relevant comparison, I think, would be between the spoof cover and a similar spoof cover featuring non-skinny women in nude body suits.  The fact that the former is funny points to how men are allowed to be many things.  They can be good-looking and fit, OR they can be not-so-good-looking, but rich, nice, or funny.  And we still like them.  There is no disdain for these men.  We may even like them MORE because they’re willing to pose in ways that reveal how imperfect their bodies are.

I think we would be unlikely to see a similar cover featuring women, even women comedians, because women are allowed to be rich, nice, or funny but they must ALSO be good-looking and fit.  A cover featuring chubby women would JUST be gross.  It wouldn’t be gross and funny.

Being good-looking and fit is ONE way for men to be admired in our society.  Being good-looking and fit is a REQUIREMENT for women to be admired, no matter what else she brings to the table.

I asked myself: in the entire history of Vanity Fair, would we be able to find three women with a similar body type to those men on the cover?

I found two, both featuring Roseanne Barr (images here and here):

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The covers feature a comedian who is well-known for being successful while bucking social expectations for women.  She’s the exception to the rule that proves the rule.  Or is she?  I certainly think so.  That “Oh, Roseanne!” is about how crazy she is.

In any case, notice that she’s still a sex symbol, while the men in the spoof are decidedly not.  They’re spoofing such symbolism.  Roseanne, despite her wacky resistance, still has to abide by it.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Flip Gender, Flip Ways of Seeing
If Sports Were Covered Like Women’s Beach Volleyball
Men Need Clothing. Women Need To Be Sexy.

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on May 25, 2015, in body image, feminism, gender, men, psychology, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 86 Comments.

  1. I agree! Women are taught at a young age that their only role in society is to birth children and be a trophy wife. Men are taught that they could be anything they want. I’ve always thought this whenever I would see a skinny woman with a man who had a beer belly or was heavier than she was. Nobody really says anything, because it’s normal for a woman to be skinner than a man, but if you flip that around and find a skinny man with a larger woman, everyone will lose their mind. It’s outrageous, really. But I do agree with the fact that larger man in hollywood tend to lose a lot of weight in order to fit in a little more (Sam Smith is a great example of this!) but nobody really expects them to in contrast to how people use to bully Adele.

  2. I think is a great article reflecting the double standards of men and women in society. There is always that view that men can be deemed unattractive, as long as the good sense of humor or money is in the picture, but when it comes to a woman being unattractive, she is completely written off. Women are definitely required be in good shape and attractive to be recognized by society, and the moment they lose this approved appearance, society rips them apart. As for men, their appearance plays a role in whether they are deemed attractive, but it’s not everything. When they are comedians such as Seth Rogan, Jason Segl and Jonah Hill (pictured in the spoof photo), it does not matter that they are not attractive, because the humor factor is what is important. This reminds me of this new comedic concept of “dad bods” held by male college students, and how unattractive bodies are just accepted.

  3. I found this article to be very interesting regarding the perception of men and women in society. The idea that men have the option to be flabby and women do not is very true. Women are crucified in the media if they gain even a couple of pounds and sometimes even embarrassed by the occasional pregnancy watch that occurs because a woman’s stomach is not perfectly flat. However I believe this perception to be one that is unique to our present culture. Women are encouraged to be thin, toned and flawless at all times, while in the past they were expected to be soft, supple and round. Women in the past were painted as almost cherub-like, they were expected to be heavier in order to please men and as signs of their health, fortune and fertility. Men have not felt this as much as women. Society has kept a very standard idea of men as the leader and his appearance as just a secondary attribute to his economic status. I have noticed however in recent years that men are starting to feel pressure to change their appearance. For example two of the comedians featured in the spoof picture, Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen, both lost significant amounts of weight in order to gain better roles in movies, which leads me to conclude that though they make fun of the pressure that is projected on to women to be perfect, men are now being objectified also to meet societal ideas about the perfect “leading man.” This growing equality of objectification can be both a good and bad thing, in the positive aspect it may cause men to become more sympathetic of the plight women face to be perfect and cause change, but in the negative, it may cause men to see perfection as easy to achieve and judge women more harshly who do not attain this goal.

  4. Men and women have different attraction triggers.

    A man can be flabby and still attractive due to his height, charm, confidence, money, power, etc.

    A woman usually cannot.

    • And that’s a problem. Guys on my blog complain about this all the time. And so do women.

      Historically women weren’t allowed to get educations and good jobs so they didn’t have anything like that to offer when going into a marriage. All they had to offer were there looks.

      And since they weren’t allowed to get a good job, They had to be concerned about how much money a man made.

      Very disempowering for women.

      But as Charles Darwin pointed out when he criticized evolutionary psychology (once it was taken over by lesser minds than his) the extent to which “different attraction triggers” is true varies by culture and class. And in the upper classes of Darwin’s time (Think Jane Austen) men cared more about a woman’s wealth than how she looked, Darwin points out as critique.

      And now that women are able to get their own jobs and make money, they are caring much more about men’s looks. And men are beginning to care more about how much money a potential spouse could make.

  5. This article was super interesting and its a topic that I have never thought about myself. I can think of many plus sized women who are respected like Oprah! The difference is that they are respected but not looked upon as sexy, they are just respected! A woman has to fulfill a certain criteria and look to be “sexy” but being respected and doing influential things doesn’t make you sexy. That is what I don’t like! I do agree that men have more leeway. I think that using Seth Rogan was a great example! Sometimes bigger guys can be considered cute and “teddy bare”. Many woman think you have to look a certain way to be noticed but I believe that it is whats on the inside that counts in the end!

  6. Society always expect more from women. Nowadays we see it a lot on magazines or other ads or the internet, women should look this skinny or sexy, it makes men feel good and powerful. They should dress this way otherwise they don’t attract but for men nothing is required. They can express their uniqueness.

  7. Muriithi Alafia

    The paradox between what is considered attractive body types and weights of men and women is, yet, another social construct of male superiority: “when men are over weight, it’s funny and cute. When women are over weight it’s’wrong’”. Like other handiworks of male superiority, in that, it is being constantly reinforce from a multitude of angles, and areas of daily lives.

    Let’s be clear, everyone has a responsibility to themselves to remain “in shape”. This does not mean fitting into a specific model of popular image. Instead, everyone should be concern with what “fit” means for themselves as a component of all around health. This will lead to an holistic attitudes in how we view ourselves and one another. Let’s focus on developing social construct around ideas that reflect healthy living within our individual and collective life-worlds.

    For example, It is natural for women to gain some weight after giving birth. This is a biological response not only to baring children but also from being so busy in the first year after childbirth that there is less time to exercise. This is especially true among lower income mothers. So why would we tilt social stigma against women? Men, on the other hand, do not have this excuse to such a degree unless you subscribe to idea that being a mother is not really “job” and time consuming .

  8. The current society does not generally judge a flabby man as they do to a woman with the same appearance. The images in the Vanity Fair cover show women pictured as sex symbols while women are seen as comedians which is a great contrast. Even if the images do not seem to support that fact, it is a well-known fact that people are more accepting of variation in men’s bodies as they would do to the variation in women’s bodies. The scope to which men are allowed many things seems to be somehow interesting as it is said they can either be good-looking and fit or they can be not so appealing in their image but on the other side are funny, nice or rich and they still command likeability from people. They can even use their imperfect bodies and pose and this may help them even get more liked by people, a strange case as opposed to that of women who tend to be criticized and may not be liked due to flaws on their bodies. It is therefore almost-unanimously agreed that women are more of sex symbols while their male counterparts are not seen to be such. This remains to be a topic of discussion which will still elicit great debates even in future.

  9. Are you familiar with the photographs Leonard Nimoy took as part of his collection “The Full Body Project”? [Full disclosure: I wasn’t even aware he had been a photographer until I came across these!] Your post made me think of that project, and how he talked about the learning experience he went through, as he learned to “see” and appreciate a wider range of women’s bodies.

    I wrote about it myself, sometime before Nimoy died, so if you’re unfamiliar and want to get a sense of his work: http://coffeeandablankpage.com/2013/07/26/of-bodies-beauty-and-deviance/

    • This is great! As I commented over on your blog:

      It’s so great that Leonard Nimoy was able to get outside our cultural box and develop an appreciation for a body type that isn’t normally appreciated in our culture. Thanks so much for posting on this and making us aware of it — helping to get us outside of our own boxes.

  10. I agree that in our current society, most people expect more from a woman’s body than men. Women are expected to be fit and attractive to be valued while men do not. A flabby man is given much more leeway and can still be liked for his other qualities while a flabby woman is definitely given much more heat for simply being larger than what society expects. That particular poster received positive feedback for showing how ridiculous the actual poster was and made a joke out of it, which everyone thought was funny. However, I agree with the author that if it were done by a chubby woman the reaction would not have been so great. There probably would have been a larger number of people who criticized these women and questioned why they would put their bodies out there when it wasn’t even attractive. This did not really happen with the actual spoof poster though and I think that it tells a lot about our society and its expectations for men and women.

  11. Neha Nandini

    In my opinion women have been mostly valued by their looks throughout history mainly because 1. Men are visualizers. 2. Better looking women= better looking off springs, and 3. Good-looking women could be considered as a “trophy wife/girlfriend”. Men want to gloat their trophy wife in order to rise their power of dominance, or status. Women who are not visauling appealing according to their weight are often seen as ugly, not able to produce healthy off springs, and not trophy wife material. However, why aren’t mean seen the same way? Especially in our generation… why is it okay for men to be flabby, and still be accepted, but women are undermined? I believe the answer to that is media. Media sexualizes women to look/act a certain way which it is often represented as how all women should look and act. But men do not have that same pressure as women do. And if they do it is not judged as harsh. Social media has become a larger part of our generations necessity, and women are consistenly sexualized through social medias. If women see these sexualized women enough then their self esteem will hinder. On top of that men will expect women to look thin, and sexy because all the girls on social media look like that. There is an allusion that is created. If we look at pressure on men through social media the likely hood of them being sexualized is less. This is why flabbiness with men isn’t harshly judged because social media has a harsher consequence on women.

    • Interesting thoughts but here are my thoughts:

      1. men aren’t naturally visual. They learn to be. In tribal societies men don’t get aroused by women’s naked body parts. In societies where men regularly see nudity, like in parts of Europe — particularly around the 1980s — meant didn’t get really aroused by women’s naked body parts. On the other hand, if you always cover a woman’s hair because it’s so” sexual” make can start to get very excited by seeing women’s hair. Heck, even women can start to develop a breast fetish. That makes no reproductive sense at all.

      Have you seen these posts?

      Men Aren’t Hard Wired To Find Breasts Attractive
      https://broadblogs.com/2010/11/04/men-aren%e2%80%99t-hard-wired-to-find-breasts-attractive/
      Women Learn the Breast Fetish, Too
      https://broadblogs.com/2010/11/29/women-learn-the-breast-fetish-too/
      Why Aren’t Men Objectified?
      https://broadblogs.com/2015/05/13/why-arent-men-objectified/

      2. looks don’t necessarily equal health. Victoria secret angels are not healthy — there way too skinny to bear children. The angels get in shape by eating only kale, and I’ll sort of thing. In some societies of West Africa men think that obesity is hot. Plus, plenty of so-called and attractive women are plenty fertile.

      And if evolutionary advantage were behind it, Women should be just as concerned about her man being fit.

      3. men and women both care about looks and both choose attractive (by cultural standards) Partners to boost their status.

      Based on the reasons you gave, there is no reason appointment shouldn’t be fit, Too.

  12. There is definitely a distinction between what is socially acceptable for woman and men in terms of body weight. Growing up, my parents were strict about the weight of my sister and I but would often refer to chubby boys our age as “a growing boy” or–if the kid was really chubby—“a big man!”. Though these boys were never described as fat, or really criticized for their weight at all, me, my sister and plenty of other girls our age were constantly stressed about not becoming fat. Most of us hadn’t even reached puberty yet. It was easy to believe in these unequal and strict expectations of weight in women vs. men because the media is offering these conflicting examples that lead audiences to disapprove of overweight females. Now that I am older, it is easier for me to see the false symbols in the media but it still surprises me when I remember how deeply ingrained we were into the system as kids.

  13. Personally, I believe that due to the media the figure of people in modern society is defined. For sure, the fact that female figure is strictly required is the leftover of the previous gender inequality. For a long time, humans’ appreciation of beauty has been influenced by the time. Some negative definitions later turn into people’s rigid impression after being hyped by the media. In my view, from the article topic “women must be fit;men can be flabby” we can see that such phenomenon is changed. Now men must be fit too. In future, men will pay increasing attention on their looks seen from present costume design and ad posters. Such as the ads of Calvin Klein’s underwear, figures of David Beckham and Justin Bieber are more muscular after processing, which has been increasingly obvious. Moreover, more people like to go to the gym and talk about obesity, which consequently shows that everyone should keep fit regardless of gender. After reading this article, I find that the society does not define one’s figure based on gender. Instead, the media defines the figure.

  14. I have to agree with this post that men are not expected to be fit and rich and funny. A lot of actors these days are average women who are petite or skinny, but there are also other ones who may be a little bit curvier, and then there are the ones that people make fun of or say are “gross”. Personally, Seth Rogen and James Franco disturb me, but the fact that Seth always has his man boobs out makes me even more uncomfortable, and I think its gross. Then there are actresses like Melissa McCarthy who is more on the big side and is only cast in movies where she is playing a funny role. I don’t find it fair that women of a larger size can’t get a role in which they are taken seriously

  15. When I first seen the picture of these comedians posing, I immediately started giggling. But, It had me thinking also, if they were women would it be funny? I believe some people would not find it funny.
    Also, the post says that men have a bit more leeway for being on the heavy side. However, everyone is different, theres men who do not mind heavy women. Or women whom mind or do not mind heavy men. It all depends on who you speak to about the subject. However, it is true that women are more scrutinized when it comes to the body. You do not see a lot of celebrities who are heavy.. and if they are they most likely while be made fun of by media, or fans. For example: I remember when Cristina Aagulara gained a lot of weight, and she was ruthlessly made fun of, when she was really fit most of the time anyway. But, if a guy celebrity gains weight, it is not that big of a deal. Which makes no sense because it is easier for men to lose weight over women ! Plus, women gain a lot of weight because of pregnancy, so it is really unfair.
    However, men do not have it all that easy either. Women are given a little more leeway than men clothing wise and behavior. Women now a days can dress in basketball shorts and a t-shirt. ( Which I do all the time without a glance ). But, if men wear a skirt or a tight shirt showing theres stomach, they can be sure to be started at with silent remarks.. So, in a way gender is hard on both women and men.
    When I was in High School we had a parade once a year where the seniors got to dress as the opposite ex. I did this myself when I was a senior, and no one laughed during the parade. But, I see students in tears laughing at the guys wearing skirts and high heels. This shows just hot big society places on gender roles. And what is acceptable and what is not.

    • You are right. Because we rank men above women, when men do “Girl things” there seen as demeaning themselves. But when women do “Guy things” they aren’t seen as demeaning themselves, And so they have more freedom to do more things.

  16. I do believe that we are living in a fitness obsessed society where we all are constantly being told how to look. “No excuses” is becoming the common motto targeted at fat people. We as a society are so used to this idea that being “flabby” is bad. I feel this for the large part targets women mainly. Men do have some pressure to have fitness too, but they have slightly more leeway than women do. If a man is slightly overweight , our society has an easier time accepting that than an overweight woman. Woman over the years internalize this message that they have to look good, no matter what field they are in. Majority of fitness blogs and channels are directed toward women. Everywhere you look , you get this idea that fit is good and nowadays, that fit is sexy. I have read about how we are now sexualizing women in fitness too. Another thing is that women are constantly fearing being judged by their partners and others. You have mentioned that in your other article about how that leads to sex dysfunction amongst women. If a man is overweight, yes he still may be judged as not as good looking, but at the end of the day, society will not pressurize him the way they would a woman.
    Another interesting thing to note is that all of the fitness trends are all targeted toward women and their body parts. In the past years we have all heard of things like ” thigh gap” and the ” gap bridge”. Apart from this we have other things targeting female parts, such as breast lifting workouts or how to make your booty perky. We don’t see these things with men as much.

  17. shelby mancini

    Women’s bodies are objectified in almost every magazine I have ever flipped through. I unfortunately didn’t notice it until I started taking Women’s Studies classes in college. The fact that women on magazine covers have to be a size two to be considered beautiful is astonishing. Unfortunately, I agree that men are not necessarily held to this standard as much as women are. When you look at someone like, Jason Segel and Seth Rogen, one usually thinks about how funny they are or what they have accomplished in their acting career. But when someone looks at Scarlett Johansson or Keira Knightly, all one can truly see is the way that they look because society often tells girls that the way they look is the most important thing about them. Even in Rosanne’s cover of Vanity Fair, she is in compromising positions that show off her sexuality, rather than her accomplishments. And even with this said, she is still not taken as seriously as a skinnier model would be, because it is seen as a joke that she is on the cover in a compromising position. A larger sized model on the cover of a big name magazine is certainly not seen as often as a size 00 model on the cover, because the media places this weight on girl’s shoulders that tells them that they need to look this way to become famous or to seem accomplished. Unfortunately, this standard does not seem to be held for boys as much.

  18. Society has always been accepting men to be floppy, messy and disgusting. There’s nothing wrong for a men to be floppy is normal, but for a women to be floppy, messy not good looking and sexy she is ugly and disgusting. Even beauty magazines has been very judgmental about what type of women should be featured in the front page of their magazine. Personally I have been very judgmental too. But during the years I been saying myself that what beauty really is not what’s in the outside but what’s in the inside. But a huge percentage of our society does not care, they just want beauty rather than floppy ugliness.

  19. It is acceptable for men to be flabby, to a certain extent. Men are supposed to have masculine , big bodies. Extra fat, contributes to it. As long as you do not turn obese, having extra flab, makes you look more superior( because you look bigger). If we were to have a man with some extra flab on his body, stand next to a skinny man with little muscle and fat, who would look more superior? Obviously the man with the fat. Since it can show some sort of superiority, men could get off the hook with some extra flab. Girls on the other hand are supposed to look skinny/ attractive. Extra flab on a girl, could cause a man, to feel less superior than her( especially a skinny man) because of the size difference. Thus extra flab on a woman is usually looked down upon in our society. Even though i don’t think men and women should judge each other based on size, it is our society that gives men more of a leeway when it comes to extra flab.

    • That makes sense. And it’s one of the problems of patriarchy. Thinking that some people are superior to others because they’re bigger. Maybe that arose because hunter/warrior cultures are connected to patriarchy — and warrior cultures took over the more peaceful gender-equal societies. But being bigger would certainly be helpful in a hunter/warrior context. So that can really confuse things since a lot of smaller people are pretty amazing. And a lot of bigger people are pretty un-amazing. There’s no true correlation between size and superiority.

  20. I believed that time now has changed, surely there are still body images that people expect to see from their Hollywood stars but Pitch Perfect 2 and Bridesmaid has shown that it is possible to be opposing of body image and rise from that role. Rebel Wilson is setting out expectations and images that none of us would have imagined to see Hollywood can be this “open”. Personally, I see that women are still objectified much more severely than men in the media. But times are slowly changing for an equal status quo.
    In my personal relationship, I have always feel the need to be slimmer or weigh lesser than my partner. I see it as my fault if I do get called out fat beside my boyfriend and it is a daily struggle to be reminded of being able to self-love when all others could do is mock you for your weight and compared it to the significant other. I am even worried about the future if I do get pregnant and gained so much weight that I could lose them even if the baby is out. The image and perceptions women have to hold up to is tiring and I cannot wait for the time to come where the weighing machine do not define our worth.

  21. Unfortunately, I do believe that woman will and always will be held to higher standards in terms of being physically fit in society. I believe that a lot of that has to do with the media. Some of the images they portray in films and magazines are just not realistic. Us men growing up see images that we think are beautiful because they are on television or in the paper, so we deem beauty from that. When is the last time there was a plus model who was Hollywood’s biggest actress. I cannot recall one. I think this puts tremendous pressure on woman to stay fit. Men on the other hand I believe do not have to be as in shape to get woman for some reason that still shouldn’t give us an excuse to not exercise and live a fit and healthy lifestyle. I think the media should start sending different kind of images of beautiful women, so that we as men can get a good idea on the different types of beauty at hand.

    • I’m hoping things will change. There is some evidence that women are feeling a bit better about their bodies than he used to. So that is at least good news.

  22. As a girl, I basically agree with your point of view in this article. In fact, not all of the girls own skinny body, but the majority of girl desire and pursue the skinny body. And I think the main reason is that they care how people view them at the time that the standard of beauty is to be skinny for girls. Some of my female friends always try to diet and be skinny because they worry their boyfriends might not like her if she fail to be skinny anymore. And for a chubby girl, sometimes not only the boys judge her but also girls. Therefore, in my opinion, our society has been too strict on women about how their bodies should be. On the contrast, society has been much generous for men about how their bodies could be. Just like you mentioned in the article “They can be good-looking and fit, OR they can be not-so-good-looking, but rich, nice, or funny“, if a man fails to have fit body, they could still be rich or funny. Still, people will forgive him for that, and girls would still love him. However, if a woman happens to be chubby, people will criticize her even she might be rich or funny as well. It seems that skinny and sexy body is the basic requirement for women, while it could just be the bonus point for guys.

  23. It amazes me that some people cannot see the pressures women face about their bodies. I have guy friends who are a bit flabby and they joke about it with each other and grab the skin on their stomachs and laugh. However, if a female approaches them or walks by who has some extra meat they freak out and think its “disgusting”. The only thing disgusting is how easily some men judge other women, when they themselves haven’t achieved “social media’s look”. They said that because they are guys, that they don’t need to try as hard but women need to try to feel good for themselves and other men. It upsets me that that kind of mind set exists still! I think all people should strive to be happy for themselves and not to meet social media’s criteria of a perfect body. Perfection is constantly changing and there is constantly a new body type that is being desired. Unfortunately social media TENDS to choose to celebrate only one type of body type on a woman instead of celebrate the different skin tones, body shapes, etc.

  24. This article had some great points. Women’s bodies are policed much more harshly than men’s because their bodies are expected to exist as inherently sexual objects only for the viewing pleasure of others. Fat and larger women are often only valued for being funny- or rather, to be laughed at. Men are viewed as multidimensional beings capable of being smart or funny even if they aren’t conventionally attractive. Sadly, I’ve even witnessed incidences in which a woman will put another woman down-“Gross, why is he dating her? She’s overweight!” or something like that, when I never hear that about an overweight man dating a conventionally attractive woman-because we are made to assume that he must compensate for his “unattractiveness” by being hilariously funny or smart.

  25. We can’t deny the fact that nowadays the definition of being sexy is by having a curvy body or you would have to be at least slim. for women, there is no other way around it. Whereas for men, they can be unattractive and get away with it and still be called sexy if they have good personality and charming. Perfect example of this is Jonah Hill. He is overweight but still most of my friends who have watched him act in movies and interviews find him sexy due to his charm. It’s funny because sometimes men who don’t look good expect their women to look physically attractive.

  26. Oh brother…c’mon alot of women judge,berate and slander men on penis size as the day is long (and it hurts men-BAD!) No amount of posting links to studies…surveys etc are going to make the guys feel one ounce better.I cannot believe how some women continue to poo poo that.You may be right that most women do not care that much about it.But there are countless women who do and ask any guy who have heard the conversations,have seen the comments or have had a chick do that to him.Its almost as if alot of women refuse to own up to the FACT that many do it.Its bizzare.Huff Post slams men on size all the time whenever one of those ridiculous size studies comes around.The bloggers and commenters have a field day ridiculing,bashing and boasting about their so called “preferences”.I find it amusing whenever that topic and height come up it is turned around and then laid at the feet of men.I think some women have some kind of guilt about because they know they do it and/or their friends do it.Im so sick of hearing that kinda stuff.Guys see this behavior from women ALL THE TIME..we aren’t making it up to get sympathy it is what it is and what it is- is sad.Pornography can play a role in alot of things,but people cannot continue to scapegoat that to cover up the fact that people behave irresponsible and say derogatory things to other people be it “weight,height,looks age,size,income etc whatever.Oh and some women trying to tie it to the male ego yeah that takes the cake.Female comedienes
    play this up all the time with the dick size bashing bit…but a male comedian makes a boob joke and is a misogynist pig who hates women and should never work again? Doublestandards all around indeed:( That said i agree about the media and society the doublestandard on weight…and age and even looks when to comes to men and women.Men are often given a pass on that while women take the lumps.Women do however in my experience have a golden hall pass to light men up on height,size and income whenever they deem fit and rarely does anyone ever call them on it.

    • I’m not saying that no women ever do this. I’m just saying that when they do it doesn’t reflect reality.

      Similarly, women sometimes hear men make negative remarks about and women being too fat or having boobs that aren’t “big enough” and that hurts too. And but again, it’s not reflective of most men’s reality.

      Unfortunately, a lot of women and men are hurt by insensitive comments that a few insecure women and men make. And to many of us actually believe this crap. It can be helpful to understand that these sorts of things are said in an attempt to put someone down in hopes of lifting themselves up by comparison. It doesn’t do that. These hurtful comments only reveal how insecure these people are.

  27. I think I first looking at the men on that vanity coverwas quite hilarious after reading this article I do think that most of time we will just only think that is funny but at the same time I kind of think that it’s brave that they would expose any kind of gives us a better perception of what we don’t accept in society and at the same time now with the times I think it Queen Latifah or even Jennifer Hudson or Oprah Winfrey pose like that we still would be judgmental we would either think that oh they’re not being ladylike like enough or there exposing too much in the stud successful successful women that they don’t even have to do that so regardless of the fact I think that we would always judge But it takes but I think that we do need to start having different body images so that the young women that are coming up in the world are able to see themselves in the images that we perceive through media

  28. In my everyday life, I definitely see the immense pressure women go through because of society’s unrelenting standards. I do think it is much more acceptable to by chubby as a man than a women. You see male lead actors in movies like Jonah HIll and Seth Rogen, who are a little more chubby than the “normal” actor, yet they still get lead roles and women find them attractive. They are liked for their comedy, whereas a women who is funny and more chubby than society’s standards is criticized constantly. For example, a comedian like Amy Schumer is constantly in the media for her weight, however, a male comedian who is a little overweight is rarely criticized to the extent of a woman. Women are just expected to reach higher standards, because women are the objects in society.Women are more sexualized, so more emphasis is placed on their appearance. Nowadays, sadly a woman’s worth is largely based on how she looks.

  29. The point I forgot to make is according to your own logic, women are more easygoing on looks and weight. There’s your answer, right there. Men hold women to a higher standard of account physically. Women are more easygoing. So when asking ‘why are men allowed to be flabby’ you have answered your own question. Being slim is attractive to us, but to the girls, its not a big deal. you can’t expect men to have the same standards.

    I could very well ask ‘men are expected to be wealthy/dominant/successful, women are not. But that would involve looking from another’s point of view, I would imagine this would be flat out denied that these things are a burden on males, linking to some study, by feminists, proving that actually women like poor, deadbeat, submissive losers.

    • First I want to say that “Patriarchy” and “men” are two different things.

      Patriarchy arose due to forces that did not include men wanting to hurt women. Things like big agriculture, attempts to avoid inbreeding, and attempts to reward especially good hunters in societies that we’re more hunter than gather. And their actually have been cultures that were not patriarchal:

      Is Sexism Men’s Fault?
      https://broadblogs.com/2011/01/24/is-sexism-men%e2%80%99s-fault/

      A World Before Male Dominance
      https://broadblogs.com/2015/04/17/a-world-before-male-dominance/

      I’ll be posting more on this to explain the ins and outs of how the transition to patriarchy arose, soon.

      Once you have patriarchy, men and women both internalize it (Society unconsciously ends up in our heads) so that men and women both behave in ways that re-create it because, when it’s all you know, it seems natural and normal. [The process: As babies the world seems chaotic. But we must cope. So unconsciously we notice patterns and start classifying things. Reducing a complex world to simple categories leads to oversimplification and stereotyping. “Men are leaders in business, politics, and priesthood. Women stay home with kids or work outside the home as nurses, teachers, and secretaries.” And we are so little and unsophisticated that we don’t thing to question the way things are.]

      Otherwise, I can expect men and women to have the same standard. I think that men can — and very often are — more accepting of women who don’t fit cultural ideals than most women realize. I think the bigger problem is media images that are impossible to achieve — which helps to sell a lot of product. It makes women feel unnecessarily bad about themselves.

      To the extent that men ARE part of the problem it can end up backfiring on them:

      Does Sexual Objectification Lead to Bad Sex?
      https://broadblogs.com/2011/07/27/does-sexual-objectification-lead-to-bad-sex/

      But I do agree that men are also burdened. Under patriarchy men feel a need to be wealthy/Dominant/Successful. It’s a standard that both men and women internalize. If there were gender equality men wouldn’t have this problem. I’ve written a little bit about this:

      It’s Not Easy Being A Man
      https://broadblogs.com/2012/06/18/its-not-easy-being-a-man/

  30. I couldn’t agree more! Being an actress I’m faced with this on the daily. Women’s bodies are judged so harshly, so that if you even have an inch of fat on you, you are considered thick. It drives me crazy. You see all over the movies middle aged men playing the husband who are completely out of shape. Not necessarily fat or obese but most of the time there is some fat on the body. Now if you watch that same movie the women is absolutely fit ass possible. Not a drop of fat on her. Unless of course it’s a Melissa Mcarthy movie where the only things thats funny about the movie is ” Look how fat she is. isn’t it funny” Another thing that upsets me is the fact that Megan Trainor is this huge icon for curvy or plus sized women. When in reality she is pretty in shape. She is 5’3 and 150 pounds. She isn’t the thinnest around but she is definitely no where near fat. Yet she is praised on how brave she is to be so proud of her body. That even if your fat you are still beautiful. I could only imagine that people who are actually obese and really struggling with their weight feel angry or even more self conscious. They must feel if Megan Trainor is what is labeled as fat than what are they?

  31. The majority of female pressures are controllable. Make up works wonders, some time at the gym, eat right. Most women look fantastic when dressed correctly.

    I’m lucky to be tall as a man but that’s it. You would not believe how hard it is for slightly overweight men..,.seriously! My weights been up and down from 18 stone, down to 12, currently 14. The different reaction is INSANE! I know slightly overweight women who do fine. Men don’t mind a bit of rump, if you excuse the expression. Most women I know are far more picky, and would rather have a half relationship with a fit and healthy man than a full one with a man with a little gut. Seriously, the alpha male thing is real. The only time I ever get girlfriends is when I’m lean. Women with a few extra pounds can still look great.

    What about a significant other body part men are judged on constantly? Lol. You know what I mean. You girls need to recognise not all men are the top athletic ones who have it easy. There’s not a lot we can do – I’m kind of goofy looking and no make up can change that! We are kind of stuck with what we have but girls have a huge range of stuff they can do. If a girl has lovely long hair it’s enough for me, as long as she’s not vastly overweight or anything.

    Back on point, yes, men are visual and if you want to sell magazines we need to see hotness. Not socially imposed or anything. It’s tough as being honest, in the public arena, a standard women has a hard job getting noticed on what she says, there has to be some element of looks. In the real life, you know, stuff that matters like having a partner or having children, the stuff I have dreamt about as a boy….it’s much better to be a chubby woman than a chubby man. Looks are very, very important to most women, I have found. More so than money and job. I have stability, I’m a decent bloke, but contrast my single life with that of my female counterpart. She wouldn’t be lonely like me. Sad, but true.

    We used to have wars for this thing. The average to lower males would either die, or be victorious and have the glory. Now we have a pool of the top 30% of guys all being chased by 100% of women…and lots of lonely men in dead end lives, vainly working on their career in the hope it will get them what they want, which will never happen. Better to be an attractive ex con than an ugly CEO. You would have more fun.

    • In this society we are much more accepting of extra weight on men than women. Surveys have found that women who are a healthy weight too often see themselves as fat. On the other hand, men who are overweight are more likely to see themselves as “Just right.” And in fact about 80% of young women have poor body image.

      Also:

      Women Want Betas
      https://broadblogs.com/2013/08/12/women-want-betas/
      Nice Guys Are A Turnoff?
      https://broadblogs.com/2015/01/05/nice-guys-are-a-turnoff/

      And to the extent that penis size is considered a big deal, that idea mostly comes from porn — which tends to be created by men.

      A study in Africa found that the bigger a man’s penis was the more likely his wife was to have had an affair. Because four an awful lot of women a big penis hurts. And these women just wanted to have sex it didn’t hurt. Among American women, about 20% to prefer a larger penis size, Because about 20% of women find it easier to orgasm with a long penis that hits the cervix. But another 20% finds that same sensation painful. And most the rest don’t really care. Less than 30% of women have orgasms with partnered sex. The vast majority of women have orgasms through outercourse much more easily than through intercourse. (Apparently when a man enters a woman it feel so off the charts amazing that guys can’t imagine it doesn’t feel similarly for women when a man enters her. But for most women it doesn’t feel like much of anything, no matter how big — unless it’s too big, and then it’s more likely to be painful.)

      Men are only visual in Western societies because they are taught to be. In tribal societies men aren’t visual. It actually, Women are often taught to be visual in Western societies — but to see women as the sexy ones. See these:

      Men Aren’t Hard Wired To Find Breasts Attractive
      https://broadblogs.com/2010/11/04/men-aren%e2%80%99t-hard-wired-to-find-breasts-attractive/
      Women Learn the Breast Fetish, Too
      https://broadblogs.com/2010/11/29/women-learn-the-breast-fetish-too/
      Women Seeing Women as Sexier than Men
      https://broadblogs.com/2011/01/10/women-seeing-women-as-sexier-than-men/
      Men: Erotic Objects of Women’s Gaze
      https://broadblogs.com/2011/04/14/men-erotic-objects-of-women%e2%80%99s-gaze/
      Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze
      https://broadblogs.com/2011/10/24/man-as-object-reversing-the-gaze/

      Men, Women React to Male/Female Nudity
      https://broadblogs.com/2015/01/19/men-women-react-to-male-female-nudity/

      Men tend to flock around the most attractive women. Women are more equal opportunity

      Here’s what Dan Ariely and colleagues concluded from their study of HotOrNot members:

      [Men] were significantly more influenced by the consensus physical attractiveness of their potential dates than females were. [Men also] were less affected by how attractive they themselves were . . . In making date choices, males are less influenced by their own rated attractiveness than females are.

      Another dating site, OK Cupid, found a similar pattern when they looked at data about who gets messages. They asked their customers to rate profile photos of the opposite sex on a scale of 0 to 5. They then tracked the number of messages for people at each level of attractiveness. The graph below shows what women thought and what they did – that is, how attractive they found men, and who they sent messages to.

      Men who were rated 0 or 1 got fewer messages than their proportion in the population. That figures. But even men who were only moderately attractive got more than their share. Generally, the fewer men at a level of attractiveness, the fewer total messages women sent. The 4s, for example, constituted only 2% of the population, and they got only 4% of all the messages. The Vanessas on OK Cupid are not sending a lot of inquiries to guys who look like George Clooney.

      Men are more generous in their estimates of beauty than are women. But they also ignore the Vanessas of the world (or at least the world of OK Cupid) and flock after the more attractive women. Only 15% of the women were rated as a 4, but they received about 26% of the messages. Women rated 5 received messages triple their proportion in the population.

      The charts they refer to are here:

      http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2014/06/10/louis-c-k-on-assortative-mating/

  32. In the media, heavier male and female comedians are typically accepted. In contrast, heavy male actors who don’t take on the “funny guy” roles, are still commonly accepted- but this is not true for female actors also not in the comedic realm. Of course, with the booming age of social media, negative comments about weight are there even if the general tone is acceptance. It is interesting to see how the confident and self assured Roseanne was still objectified with the Vanity Fair covers.

    This posting immediately made me think of Melissa McCarthy, who has become very well known and liked from her funny roles. I searched her magazine covers and found several that contrast with Roseanne Barr’s Vanity Fair images. She looks like a beautiful and strong woman that was not objectified.

    I didn’t find any racy pictures of her online- but still, I did see plenty of criticism and one cover that went against the empowering portrayals of the others. It was actually for Vanity Fair and it grouped her with two other female actresses and one male actor. It showcased the group of comedians and the other two women, Leslie Mann and Megan Fox, were dressed to look sexy and were in the forefront of the image. McCarthy was presented as a covered up, unattractive clown and was positioned in back.

    Our society is obsessed with appearance. Social media and the internet generate a large platform for people to judge others to the greatest extents. What I have noticed is that often when the girls I know or are acquainted with get together, they talk poorly about other people- a lot. I believe that they do this to feel better about themselves and also to almost bond over the shared judgements they express about whoever they are talking about. Maybe they have nothing of value to say to one another and they resort to this type of communication to feel like they are closer than they actual are. Why I bring this up is because I think there is a similarity here between the cattiness of people in social settings and how people excessively judge via the internet. Online users may also not feel great about themselves so attacking others allows for reduction of their own dissonance. I am sure that some of the men and women who critique media figures don’t meet the high standards of physical perfection they hold everyone else to. Furthermore, when one person writes a malicious comment or writes an attacking blog, it is commonplace to see a gang of people join in, find it funny, or express agreement. People need to look inside themselves, understand their behavior, and reevaluate what is actually of value and what is not.

    Lamese

  33. This is really unfair that we see women need to be fit but men don’t. Me and my friend always talk about on diet, do exercise and also make ourselves beautiful. However, men don’t have to worry about these. They can have any food they want and they don’t have to worry about their body. Somehow I don’t know why I think that men should also care about their look. According to the article “Being good-looking and fit is ONE way for men to be admired in our society. Being good-looking and fit is a REQUIREMENT for women to be admired, no matter what else she brings to the table.” I really agree this idea here. Actually it may say that the society is really unfair. I think the society should see both women and men on the same standard. Successful women don’t have to also be fit and good-looking to be admired. To be fit and good-looking should also be ONE way that women to be admired.

  34. Cathy Ancheta

    I can see how this argument is still relevant today, but also there are more and more plus sized models in the industry who are being accepted. Comedians like Amy Shumer and Rebel Wilson are praised for their work and for their bodies. Recently, plus -sized model, Tess Holiday made it on the cover of People Magazine. It still sparked controversy and of course she received nasty comments about her body as well as compliments. Men who are flabby are still more readily accepted since they are famous comedians or actors. They receive much more praise than women who aren’t up to par with the “ideal” body standards. It’s always women who spark controversy on topics regarding our body. I mean female celebrities are always on the radar when it comes to gaining weight. They often receive hate mail for not losing baby weight. It’s very uncommon for men to spark controversy over their bodies. I would like to see an actor who is flabby and who’s not a comedian on the cover of a magazine.

    • Well, the author isn’t making a direct comparison to comedians and actresses. She’s just saying that men can be valued even when they are flabby, But women rarely are.

  35. This article brings does a great job bringing to light the inequities of the perfect man and the perfect woman. It shows that to society the first step to being the “perfect woman” starts with looks and that can be shown off for everyone to see. To be the “perfect man” your looks are not important, we as a culture value your intellect, humor and work ethic. This inequity in the base values of the different gender can be further seen in the recent trend that has taken over the internet – “dad bods”. There have been countless articles, Instagram posts and listicles discusses how attractive it is to women for men to have “dad bods”, or in other words for them to be out of shape, have a beer belly, etc. Nearly always placed near this article is some how to guide for women to get the perfect bikini body. The “dad bod” is acceptable and praised while women are supposed to work tirelessly to make themselves as beautiful and fit as possible. It seems to me to emphasize the thinking that women have nothing better to do than perfect their bodies, the thing about them that is most coveted by men, while men are too busy providing and making progress to worry about how they look. Further, the fact that it is called the “dad bod” and that it is supposed to be attractive to women emphasizes that women are dependent on men for a family and future, and are attracted to the “stability” a dad brings to their lives.

    The constant media worship of the perfect womanly body paired with the writing off of how men look, or rather the acceptance of all male body types, drives into young girls, and women of all ages, the need to make our bodies into something they may not be. It drives into us this idea that we’re not good enough as we are and need to constantly work to achieve perfection. And this perfection has nothing to do with our minds or our work, rather what we look like and how that matches society’s view of perfection.

    • I saw another article that suggested that men base attraction on a woman’s arm length — over all else. I think these studies are incredibly overly simplistic.

      For one thing, it’s a survey. And it’s only about what they SAY they think is attractive. It’s not actual mate selection. People often think they feel one way when they really don’t. Or they feel one way for real, but other things end up being more important. For instance, I know a lot of “big breast men” who would answer a survey saying that’s the most important thing, who end up marrying small-breasted women.

  36. I personally have never noticed our irony until I see the difference in other cultures. So, our irony is that when couple gets married, the first thing the man asks about her beauty, and she asks about his financial status.In many many cases, young beautiful women get married to someone who is as old as her dad or her grandfather just for his fortune. Some of them even plans it in a way that she is giving him her youth, and waiting for him to die so she could inherent what ever is left over. I can also remember seeing on TV the mother advising her daughter to have children so she makes sure that he will never leave her. I mean, those people are looking at their relationships as doing favors and getting rewards.

  37. Men and Women both get torched but for different things.In the circles i travel in if im not successful monetary-wise im seen by both men and women to be a failure,a loser and a scumbag.Trust me and it does NOT matter how great my personality is to the women.They like many women judge me (men) by income and what that can ultimately do for them (and these aren’t stereotypical golddiggers here many have jobs etc,)And it doesn’t matter if she has her own career and her own $,because more often then not women with money want a man with MORE money.Also,guys actually get skewered on their looks,height and hair all the friggin time by women.Didn’t get the memo?( i won’t dispute that women have it harder on the looks thing though) Oh and remember the whole “Tall,Dark and Handsome” thing ? There are countless women who have bought that Hollywood ideal for males over the decades don’t see any of you lamenting that…? I recall being turned down for a couple blind dates over the years because the girls had found out i was a blond.Hmm…go figure.

    • It’s unfortunate that it does happen on both sides. If we had a more gender-equal and more humane society, we wouldn’t have these problems. I have written a little bit about problems men face on this issue. But thanks for your perspective.

  38. I don’t talk about it much but my son-in-law sometimes cross dresses. I even gave him one of my new bras that didn’t fit me. His wife is supportive and we all know about it. Every single day he comes home from work and does his hair and his make up. However, over the course of a few years he has gotten heavier. We all live together and he was upset over his weight of 210 lbs a few weeks ago. He hasn’t cross dressed since Fall because of his weight. He feels unattractive and not desirable wearing his feminine clothing with weight on him. He once said feminine clothing is designed to hug the body and be restrictive. Meanwhile, men’s clothing is lose, fashionless (trends do not change much from season to season), and not form fitting. It isn’t designed to hug the body.

    My daughter and I were pretty much in awe about how much our clothing did form fit out bodies. I am an older lady and even my clothing is form fitting and sometimes shows minor cleavage. I buy my clothing from JC Penny’s plus size women’s section. I will say I have been both fat and thin and the realization is I don’t feel sexy or attractive being a plus size woman. I understand how my son-in-law feels to an extent. You feel less valued when you are heavy and you feel like people view you as lazy or a pig. I used to be a dancer and we were weighed all the time and if we didn’t make weight we didn’t go on stage. Men do not have this problem.

    The comedians in the spoof picture they have it easy. Men are forgiven for their weight blunders more easily because of charm, financial success, and their clout. Hollywood has a lot of overweight men and older men too who are big name actors. Older women and heavy women just don’t make the cut because it is about sex appeal no matter how much charm or financial success they have or have had in the past. When my son-in-law is dressed as a heavy man he feels it is acceptable but as a heavy woman it is not acceptable. I wish we could change Hollywood and society. Overweight women who aren’t attractive could be given more prominent roles on screen and not picked apart by members of society as a whole for their weight. If women can watch Seth Rogan I don’t see why men can’t watch a female who has similar body qualities.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experience. That’s really interesting to hear about how this is experienced by man who sometimes “does gender” as a woman. And thanks for adding the part about age.

  39. I think the whole #dadbod phenomenon really supports the idea you are getting at here. Part of it humor, part of it truth, the fad brought out men posting images of their not so physically fit selves listing their age and the number of children they had. Some media sources were calling it the “sexiest male body style of the year” and women were coming out in droves singing its praises. It draws quite the parallel between how we view the bodies of mothers. It seems like as soon as we give birth we are pressured to get back on that elliptical, wear that belly band to help shrink your stomach. We are faced with images of celebrity mothers who are a few months separated from giving birth and are in better physical shape than a lot of women are pre-pregnancy. There is a movement within the mom “blogosphere” and supported by many feminist groups to really accept and admire all the shapes of postpartum mommies but that doesn’t necessarily translate to the mainstream. It just goes to show that even when women are the most vulnerable emotionally (thanks postpartum hormones!) and physically (c section stitches and perennial tearing are not ideal for hitting the gym) our bodies are still battle grounds.

    If we want to talk about curvy actresses versus curvy male actors and the roles that they portray in films they are generally similar; the funny, lighthearted, self-deprecating, etc. They both can also play very dramatic roles but the difference is that actors are more likely to still be seen with a very thin and beautiful female lead by his side playing the role of his love interest (even filming scenes that are sexually charged) and I can’t even think of a similar example of that being true for a similarly shaped actress. Curvy actresses also rarely take on roles that depict them as being in a position of power but that is not true for actors that are not “physically fit.” While they may not play the role of the hero, he is still the mob boss, the political powerhouse, the wealthy protagonist (and often times the antagonist–but still powerful). The double standard exists and it is hard to deny.

    • Thanks for your insightful comment. The double standard sucks!

    • Well there are the thick women men celebrate and it really depends on the woman. But more often women can stil be attractive even if not thin. And I can’t define or tell what exactly the dad bod is. I’ve seen it on fecebook , but some men who have the dad bods, they have muscle and built, but thye just aren’t ripped or completely thin and have a layer of fat or some to their stomach. But then there’s pictures of men who just look chubby.

      The term comes from college and started there and fraternities. But there’s the downside in my eye in regards to this dad bod phenom. Because it celebrates to me, the frat guys or party guys or guys who are otherwise, very sociable and therefore, know many girls, so their egos already stroked and then now their imperfect bodies stroked and getting rewarded for their laziness, because they are popular. Meanwhile there are men who work out and nicer bodies, who didn’t get to live the frat life (I know the dad body relates to older men too and men in general), but are fit or good shape, but are shyer and not extroverted, and yet not being rewarded for their better physiques (sex). Seems like such guys get it all. The one knock they could face, now they get the ego stroke even for their less perfect body, when they’ve had all ego stroke for their life probably. The rich get richer. What I’m saying is the guy’s benifiting from it are the one’s who simply have the dad bod, but the many guys who are frat guys or even done with college, but popular, but many have the dad bods, and getting many girlfriends or hook ups.

      • I don’t even know where to start with this. Sex as a reward for working out? Sex as a reward in general? This is all pretty convoluted.

        I am generally referencing mombods vs dadbods and the social expectations we have set for bodies. This has nothing to do with college boys and their ability/inability to get laid. I am really not concerned with the sex lives of college students. I mean, am I supposed to feel bad for guys because they can’t get laid? I feel bad for good guys that can’t get girlfriends, experience romantic relationships or love but that works the same for females as it does males. But getting laid just because? No, don’t really care too much.

  40. i think that it is so crazy and interesting how it society brain washes us and think that is okay. There is so many girls out there that are not comfortable everyday due to this that it is not okay for crazy to “fat” “chubby” or whatever. i think that it is really sad and people should be able to live their life comfortable and knowing that they are confident and shouldn’t listen what the media tells and should really focus on being happy and comfortable with themselves, we weren’t all born to be the same size, i truly believe that everyone is beautiful in their own way. i think that if us girls didn’t care about what society said then their wouldn’t be a problem but since a lot of people get brain washed by the media it is so hard to solve this problem now and there is girls out there who starve themselves due to girls have to be skinny or else they are not consider beautiful and so many people get sick and ruin their health for this and it is not safe.

  41. What I find most interesting about this article is the role of the comedian as a measure of social change. I am a huge fan of comedy, and I think that one of the most wonderful things about it is the freedom to push the envelope; comedians can openly poke fun at sensitive issues like racism and sexism and use humor to shed light on the problems and consequences normally discouraged from being discussed. Most of the models in these magazines that do not fit the standard ideals of beauty are in fact comedians, that are using their own bodies as a way of satirizing societal beauty standards. Roseanne Barr is beautiful to some people as much as Seth Rogen is beautiful, and instead of trying to create a divide between them, I think that we should recognize that these comedians are poking fun at the patriarchy that is creating unrealistic and unhealthy beauty standards

  42. Exactly. I can somewhere relate to this point because even the flabby man expects a girl to be fit and skinny! Strange, but true.

    • I’ve seen that happen a lot.

    • because women allow it. As long as the man has money , is charming, smart, etc, than he can be attractive despite his body. Some chubby guys know this, so they don’t care about how their body looks and what women’s looks like. It seems like a good thing, except while women might overlook his body, a man has to show other things instead, maybe $,status, charm, confidence, etc in place of body, whereas women don’t usually have to as much. It’s a trade off. Sure that’s great for the chubby, but charming, funny, confident extroverted men. Then again men with nice bodies, who are shy, introverted, thus anxious about approaching women, aren’t showing their charm or humor to attract women, so their nice bodies arent’ doing that much help.

      Plus some guys just aren’t that funny or charming, so they could have it harder if say they are also chubby. Its the chubby guys who have the personality and other assests to attract and make up that do well despite their body. the ones who lack in the charm department or aren’t socially interesting or charismatic like other guys, well they aren’t getting much attention either.

  43. I seriously hope that change is happening. Am very excited about the conversations being had here and elsewhere about how such accepted double standards are no longer okay. Truly feel like there is a female body revolution that’s continuing to grow in waves.

  44. How about men posing on the cover of men’s health?
    I think the relavant comparison would be flabby women making spoof cover like men’s health cover.

    Also if that spoof cover featured Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp instead of these unfit men it wouldn’t look that funny

    Its like the media on purpose they are comparing the very most beautiful women to average looking or even unattractive men just to establish that men are unattractive unlike women who are beautiful

    Roseanne should have made a spoof cover of men’s health. That would be the equivalent of that spoof cover by the male cocomedians

    • Well, the author admits that you have to be careful in how you make the comparison. And this is what she sees as the key comparison:

      The relevant comparison, I think, would be between the spoof cover and a similar spoof cover featuring non-skinny women in nude body suits. The fact that the former is funny points to how men are allowed to be many things. They can be good-looking and fit, OR they can be not-so-good-looking, but rich, nice, or funny. And we still like them. There is no disdain for these men.

      • “They can be good-looking and fit, OR they can be not-so-good-looking, but rich, nice, or funny. And we still like them. There is no disdain for these men.”

        Hmmmm..I think you are being just a bit disingenuous here….Or I guess you must be saying if men are “not-so-good-looking” then women will like them IF AND ONLY IF they are either rich, nice, or funny?

        Have you ever thought about the percentage of men who are neither “no-so-good-looking” nor rich, nice or funny? I think the majority of men fall into this grouping. Yet, you would have me believe that women “still like them?”

        I think you are wrong when you say there is no disdain by women for these men…There is more disdain by women for the “not so good looking men” than men have for Roseanne type women. There are many men who certainly consider her sexy…Just how many women would consider a “not-so-good looking” man sexy (without being rich, nice, funny…..)? Few I would think.

        So, who really is worse off?

      • This article by Lisa Wade is talking about how we view the worth of a person. And how that is connected to their bodies. It’s not talking about how sexually attractive they are.

        And just because a woman doesn’t look at a man and think she might like to have sex with him it doesn’t mean that she disdains him. As I mentioned in another comment, when women get to know men they can become more sexually interested in them.

      • “It’s not talking about how sexually attractive they are.”

        Nor am I…I am talking simple visual attraction. That’s it!

      • Okay but attractive means you look at a man and say, “he’s attractive.” Section attractive means you look at a man and think, “I want sex with him.” Maybe because women are more sexually repressed, it can take more to get to that place.

    • “Its like the media on purpose they are comparing the very most beautiful women to average looking or even unattractive men just to establish that men are unattractive unlike women who are beautiful>”

      That’s because for most women most men ARE unattractive…..So, I really do not get your point here. The media is simply portraying reality.

      • I’m guessing that this won’t make much difference to you, huggy bear, but most women don’t find most men sexually attractive. Which means you could actually find a man attractive but not want to have sex with him.

        I should write about another study which found that getting to know people can make them seem attractive, than they were before.

        because women’s sexuality is repressed it takes more to get us interested.

  45. Just a few days back, I was discussing this with a friend. Men are allowed to be flabby, they can happily put on weight and yet people seldom criticize them. Women, on the other hand, no matter what other qualities they have, must look good and preferably skinny. Even those obese men speak a lot about those ladies who are not in shape! What an irony…

  46. btw Happy memorial day

  47. Well in those pictures, I’m telling you there were and are probably men who find rosanne sexy or sexually attractive there. A fat man posing shirtless, I don’t know about that. He may found sexy, if he’s a comedian and women like him but it would be because of his status, personality, charm rather than his body. It cuts both ways. Women deal with it more from the media with having to look good, but it;s because women’s bodies are seen at a higher level and worthy. A man’s body especially if fat is ignored and not worth being pre occupied with, because it’s not seen as worthy or sexy as women’s so lower standard. While men get that relief, I don’t know if having your body seen as less sexy or less worthy or irrelevant as good either. The problem is the media and what the perception is. In reallife women can be heavier and still get looks from men and checked out. There are men who like bbw’s or thick, more than you think. Whereas, do you see any women checking out the chubby shirtless guy?

    He’s pretty much non existent as far as being checked out. Sure the fat guy or chubby guy can still get a date with a girl at the beach if he comes over and his charming and funny. But not everyguy is funny or charming or bold enough to approach girls especially at a beach or what not. And if a girl likes said funny fat guy, it’s really having to do with being attracted to him, because of his personality and “accepting” his body and looking past it which is good I guess. Wouldn’t it be nice for the fat man knowng that the women isn’t “accepting” his body and found his body sexually attactive, sexy an lust worthy right from the beginning? As in checking him out the first moment she saw him shirtless at the beach?

    Fit, toned, even muscular/athletic guys, get glances from women time to time at the beach when shirtless. Whereas, fat, chubby and skinny/plain built guys are pretty much overlooked or not noticed or hardly noticed. Whereas, big women can still get noticed or I think more men noticing and glancing at bigger women in bathing suits at the beach than women checking out chubby men, fat men at the beach.

    • That maybe true but the Author is talking about something different. Here’s her main point:

      The relevant comparison, I think, would be between the spoof cover and a similar spoof cover featuring non-skinny women in nude body suits. The fact that the former is funny points to how men are allowed to be many things. They can be good-looking and fit, OR they can be not-so-good-looking, but rich, nice, or funny. And we still like them. There is no disdain for these men.

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