Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
“Men Feel Pressure About Their Body Image Too” is an article that was written by article writer Lee Suckling. Lee Suckling is a weekly columnist for the New Zealand Herald and also writes many feature articles for publications in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Within these articles he covers a variety of topics which include nutrition and fitness, modern culture and the arts, design, architecture and interiors, and technology. This particular article regarding men and the pressure about body image is published on Stuff Limited, a news media company that that is operating in New Zealand. Suckling has published many other articles on this news media website other than the one that is known as “Men Feel Pressure About Their Body Image Too”, also writing about a lot of other serious topics within our society besides this one. This article has a specific subject of how men feel insecure about what their body looks like and feel pressured by everyone to have a desirable bulk body. Over a long period of time, women speak out about how they feel very pressured by media to have a slim, good-looking body. The standards of beauty the media pushes on women to have this desirable body has affected many women with their body confidence and their self-esteem. However, no one has talked about how men feel a lot of pressure from the media as well to have a bulk body with big biceps. The purpose of this article that Suckling is trying to get across is that men have insecurities about their body just like women do and has a lot of pressure put on them to obtain a ripped, bulky body.
The messages that are being presented is that not many men can control certain things about themselves to achieve that ideal male image. They cannot control how tall they are, how much muscle mass a person can obtain, and how their body shapes to these changes. Suckling is also saying that men don’t talk about their insecurities with their body image, as other men such as male celebrities and other important male figures don’t talk about their insecurities either. Men have learnt to just hide their insecurities with themselves and don’t talk to mates about it, since they have never learnt to speak out about it. The theme of men hiding their emotions is constant throughout the article, and how men should ignore this and share their insecurities with each other to know they aren’t feeling this pressure alone. The main message is that men have many insecurities about their body image just like women, and men shouldn’t feel pressured to achieve the desired male physique of a bulky and muscular body. Lee Suckling also reinforces that men should start to talk to each other about what the pressure of the ideal male physique is doing to the way they see their bodies.
Cultural assumptions that are evident in society is that women need to look thin, shapely, and toned. In men, the cultural assumptions is to be tall, bulky, muscular, and also toned. Many are constantly pressured to achieve a certain body image, whether that is the bulky and ripped image being pressured for men or the thin and shapely image being pressured for women. Knowledge that the reader needs to bring to this article is that men feel the same pressure from the media to have a certain body image too, that women are not the only ones who feel the pressure to look a certain way and that women aren’t the only ones that should talk about how it is affecting them, but men should speak out too.
This article is fairly reliable, as the evidence to back up this claim was a primary source. This primary source is his own experience with his own insecurities with his body when he was young and also while he is an adult. Lee Suckling shares that he has been a male that has been affected by the media’s portrayal of an ideal male body since he was aged 14, saying that he was a skinny teenager that felt jealously when someone had muscles. He stated, “[I] recall taking two buses after school to get to a gym so I could train my puny biceps into something out of a Popeye comic.” (Suckling, 2017) Although going to the gym after school every day, he didn’t get the results he was looking for and was “dissatisfied” with his body. According to Suckling, it took ten years of many training sessions and different diets to get to his “happy-ish” body that he now has as a male in his 30s today. He has never hit seventy kilograms even though he is 1.83 meters tall and ensures that whenever he weighs himself at the gym there is no one nearby that could potentially see his number. This personal story from Suckling is reliable as it was his own experience with the media and their body image pressuring affecting him, which made this experience fairly insightful since it was his own.
A viewpoint that is not presented is that some men may feel happy with their body being smaller and not as muscular as others. Not all people are affected from the pressuring that the media presents with its body standards, so not all people have insecurities about their body not being bulky or muscular. The viewpoint of people actually being happy with where their body is now, being slightly thinner than the standards and not as much bulk, is not present in this article. The only viewpoint that is presented is that people feel insecure with what their body looks like and are trying to match the body standard that the media supplies, and not any viewpoint that some men may be happy looking the way they are now.
The way I feel about this article is that it is completely fair. Women feel much pressure from society through media to have this body standard that is difficult to obtain, and that due to these body standards many women feel insecure about their bodies. Men also have a body standard that is pressured through the media, but men don’t talk about what they feel about this pressure and how it is pressuring them because they have never been taught to share these feelings about it. This article explaining that men feel the pressure from society and the media about their body image too is completely fair, which is why men should talk about their insecurities with their body images because they are feeling pressured too.
Overall, this source is reasonably credible. The writer of this article known as “Men Feel Pressure About Their Body Image Too” is a journalist that writes many feature articles for many continents, and quite well known. As he is a journalist and have written many legitimate articles and columns in the New Zealand Herald, Lee Suckling would be a very good journalist that knows his research. The primary sources of his personal experience that Suckling added to the article helps his article relate to the audience that is reading, and help the audience understand the message he is trying to get across. This message is that men feel pressure to have the ideal male body image, and that men feeling this kind of pressure needs to talk to each other about the insecurities that they have with their body too.