When It Comes To Health, I Wish I Was a Man

You only have to look at health magazines to realise there's a huge double standard in the health messages aimed at women vs those aimed at men. With women it's all detox, diet and slimming. The message is clear to women: deprive yourself so that you take up as little space on the planet as you can. Men's magazines however, are all weights, strength, power, protein! (All things I happen to find much more exciting and desirable than a bloody juice cleanse and salad!) Nobody tells men to slim down before a holiday, crash diet before they get married or watch their waistlines after having a baby. 

At the other end of the scale (pardon the pun) obese or overweight men are portrayed more positively in the media than women of same BMI...

This is particularly prevalent in American TV shows, even the animated ones! Family Guy, American Dad, The Simpsons, notice the male characters in these shows tip the scale considerably more than the women in these shows? 

There's also Man Vs Food, a show that probably wouldn't exist at all if a woman had pitched it. Nobody reduces male actors as merely 'plus size role models' like they would brilliant and hillarious female actors such as Rebel Wilson or Melissa McCarthy.

With men, heavyness is powerful, strong, or even jolly (Santa?), lightweight is athletic. Women however are seen to be either 'promoting obesity' or 'promoting annorexia' so at either end of the scale, women's bodies are always viewed to be making a statement.


As a society, we need to remove gender from the equation entirely. If seeing underweight or overweight women in the media is said to be sending out the wrong messages and promoting unhealthy body images, then surely so are the men from either end of the scale?

Or alternatively if we can easily accept that men come in all shapes and sizes, without this impacting on public health, then we as a nation need to reach this level of acceptance with women's bodies too.

No comments

Please note: a comment moderation policy operates on this site. Put simply, no spam, no links to commercial/spammy websites and no hateful language.