Male body image
by Bre Woligroski
Dear Ate Anna:
I have a worry I need your help with. I am a young man in my 20’s and am very shy about my body. I am afraid if I get close to somebody they may not like me. What can I do?
Dear Body Worrier:
Thank you for your e-mail. Body image, which is a term that describes how we see our own bodies, is very powerful and can affect our sense of confidence in both good and bad ways. I am happy to let you know that, even though your concerns are normal, you do not have to worry. Your body is just the way it should be.
Every person is different, and every body is different. This is a good thing! Diversity is important. If we were all the same, the world would be very boring, and humans would not thrive. Diversity in body shapes and sizes means that together we are stronger.
This may feel hard to believe if we watch movies, television or Internet ads that value one type of body over another. The idea that one type of body is more valuable than another type of body is very harmful and not based in fact. There are many different types of bodies, and all different bodies are valuable.
Believing that our bodies are not perfect or valuable can cause us stress and impact our mental health. This affects us in bad ways. Because of this, it is important for us to accept and love our bodies the way they are. Our bodies are amazing and do great things for us.
Sometimes men worry that their private areas are not good enough, and this can cause them a lot of mental stress. Sometimes they are worried that their penis is too small or not the right shape. Please don’t worry about that. Every penis is different, and there is no one penis that is better than another.
A study published in the British medical journal BJU International recorded the penis length of over 15,000 men. Researchers discovered that penis sizes were similar in 90% of the males they studies. They also found no link between penis size and other factors including race, age, or height.
Another study in the same journal talked to men’s sexual partners, asking them about how they felt about their partner’s penis size and 85% of women were happy with the size of their partner’s penis. In heterosexual relationships, it seems that the people who worry about penis size the most is men!
Women’s bodies are also diverse; there is not one correct body shape or size. Female genitals come in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes. All bodies are good bodies, and there is not one correct size or shape of any body part.
All the best,
Ate Anna welcomes your questions and comments. Please write to: Ate Anna, Suite 200-226 Osborne St. N., Winnipeg, MB R3C 1V4 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit us at www.serc.mb.ca for reliable information and links on the subject of sexuality.