Cultivating Shame about our bodies for profit… now for men, too!

As women, many of us are very critical of our bodies.  We have an idea of what we “should” look like, and the belief that we are not attractive unless we conform to the cultural stereotype of beauty.  I think this is starting to change and most of us realize that the models portrayed on the fronts of magazines have often been Photo-shopped.  We have been trying to live up to an impossible ideal.  Despite some increased awareness, millions and millions are dollars are made by companies who profit on perpetuating the belief that we need to look better in various ways.

In my experience, men tend to be more accepting of their bodies and don’t have the level of shame around them that many women do.  Well, guess what – now men are learning that there is something wrong with them too!  A local spa has been promoting hair removal for men with the slogan, “Because you’ll never hear a woman say, ‘I love a man in a fur coat.'”

I know someone who thinks her husband is totally hot – because he has a lot of body hair and is bald.  To her, that is desirable and attractive.  I think she would say that she DOES love a man in a fur coat!  But my point is that there is a profit to be made by planting the seed that there’s somehow something wrong with us that needs to be fixed.  Maybe it’s a hairy back.  Maybe it’s cellulite.  Maybe it’s gray hair.

Let’s raise our awareness and just say NO to profiting from cultivating shame about our bodies.  Let’s celebrate natural beauty, and be grateful for all the gifts our bodies give us.  When you think about it, it’s really quite miraculous!

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