Men feel self conscious, too

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Photo by Victoria Van

IIllustration

Story by Cameron Murry, staff writer

Commercials and photos of perfectly toned, smiling young men accompany every women’s swimsuit advertisement. Women are encouraged to dress for their body type with different options of swimsuit styles, whereas men are limited to just two choices: trunks or speedos.

During the warmer months, stress is piled upon women to ‘get in shape,’ but women often neglect to recognize the social standards set for men’s bodies. There are men who feel self conscious about their outward appearance.

“I always feel like I have to get in shape which is why I started working out,” junior Adrian Tran said. “I normally don’t care what people think, but when it comes to my body, I get really self conscious about it.”

Many young men, like Tran, often feel pressured to fit the societal standards during the warmer months. Sometimes it’s easier to just conform to those standards, rather than suffering the possibility of humiliation when the time comes to take their shirts off by the pool.

“The societal status is judged by the majority, not by the minority, of us teens,” Tran said. “Just fit the change as the standards change. Work out more, eat healthier.”

Some adolescents, on the other hand, would have to disagree with Tran’s outlook on conforming to fit society’s mold.

“I think that [the increased amount of pressure on young men] will only lessen with society being more accepting,” senior Nick Sisk said. “Most men don’t express or show how they feel so if it was addressed, I think it would help more men open up about things like this.”

Despite the stress and self-consciousness young men go through, Sisk believes in a solid piece of advice.

“You are who you are and no one can change that,” Sisk said. “If someone makes fun of you, just ignore them because they don’t deserve the wonderful person you are.”

Other young men, like senior Keenan Parker, ignore the opinions of others altogether.

“I don’t feel pressured when swimsuit season comes around,” Parker said. “When I go to the beach or the pool, I am there to have fun and to cool off, not to show off my body.”

Always being worried about how others view your body can only wreak havoc on a person. Parker tries to stay focused on how he feels about himself.

“I’ve never cared about what people say on how I look or what I wear,” Parker said. “I do whatever makes me happy and whatever is best for me at the end of the day.”

Parker and Sisk agree that being happy is the best thing to be.

“There are always going to be people who judge you for even the smallest things like your shoes, your hair or things like that,” Sisk said. “I think that our generation has become more accepting and will teach our children the same things, to accept people for who they are.”