In the Year of Our Lord 2021, It’s Time We Stop Body Shaming Men
When you work in radio, you have a lot of the same types of stories that come across your desk, so to speak. Frequently, I see "New Study Finds..." this or that. Most of the studies are about how people behave, think and act. The one I read today really stuck in my craw. (I'm not sure what a craw is, but there's definitely something stuck in it.)
Today's study had to do with how people stigmatize folks with hair loss. Granted, anyone can experience hair loss, especially if it's caused by an illness, medical treatments, etc. But hair loss is something many men will face as they get older. And people's opinion of folks with hair loss just sucks:
People without hair are seen as unattractive, dirty, contagious and unintelligent by the general public, a study has found.
Over 50 percent of men will experience androgenic alopecia -- that is, male pattern baldness, by the time they hit 50, and many do well before that. Does that mean half of men are unattractive, dirty, contagious, or unintelligent? No!
Body shaming gets talked about a lot with women, as it should. I can attest to being constantly bombarded with messages since birth about how my body/face/hair/everything is less than perfect, and therefore I should be burned at the stake. But it seems as if men are still supposed to just "suck it up" and be okay with people's horrible and unjust opinions. But it's not okay, and it's never been okay.
How do we make things different? We think before we open our mouths or start typing. I'm sure nearly all of us are guilty of making fun of guys for being bald, short or having a "dad bod," thinking what we said or wrote was harmless. (As an aside, I must say there are many of us who actually prefer the dad bod, myself included.)
Men, listen to me: you are amazing. You are beautiful. And you are worthy of love, no matter if you have hair on your head or not. Or hell, hair on your back. Your height and weight and fitness level do not determine your worth. The content of your character does.