The Today Show recently ran a piece exploring the booming trend of pre-teens that lift weights, entitled “Is It Safe for Young Boys to Pump Iron.”
Their whole angle seems to be that the body beautiful obsessions of popular culture is now trickling down to our precious young boys – oh the horror!
Thankfully, they make the connection that young girls have been dealing with body image issues, make-up, fashion and more for the past decade. “Body building is basically the same thing as beauty pageants,” says one expert.
We put so much beauty pressure on our girls, so why not our boys as well? Why should boys be any different? The pursuit of perfection, after all, seems to be the American way.
Everything is advertised by perfect bodies, from burgers to toilet paper. If sex sells, then it makes perfect sense that everyday youths – and adults – feel the pressure to be effortlessly perfect.
As gay.com points out, this is a very real issue to the gay community. We are constantly pressured to live up to this hyper-masculine image, playing straight into the “Adonis complex” that causes dissatisfaction with the way we look.
Indeed, for many people, the ideal male body is defined by the size and definition of a man’s muscles. Some could argue that this attitude was popularized by gay male culture, which has always placed high value on a person’s face, fashion and physique.
The theory goes that this sensibility spread into mainstream culture through the rise of metrosexuality, where straight guys realized they could look and feel better (and get laid more often) if they emulated the look and style of those gay men their girlfriends hung out with.
What about you? Do you feel the constant pressure from society – and your friends – to be effortlessly perfect?