It wasn’t long ago that Adnan Sami was under the spotlight for losing Kgs of weight and reinventing a fit self. As news circulated that his wife left him because of his weight, many men began to panic. Today with Anant Ambani grabbing the national headlines for losing 108 Kgs, the spotlight is again on the silent prejudice that fat men face. While being unhealthy is obviously not desired, so isn't society's fascination for sculpted, beautiful - and might I add, unreal - bodies. It's worse in the case of men, because it is never acknowledged.
What happens to you when you see a new Ranbir Kapoor movie? Your heart thumps right? Just like women, men too have a lot of expectations to live up to. We have to fit into those 24 waist jeans but that guy out there has to constantly work to attain those unattainable 6-pack abs. A girl being fat might be a source of embarrassment for her and she might hate her body type all the time, but then there will be revolutionary quotes and inspirational talks that make her believe that the best love is self-love. But do boys really get that kind of inspiration?
Have we ever accepted chubby guys into our lives? Has a woman ever preferred a 100 kg intelligent man over a 70 Kg well-built muscular but intellectually dim guy?
With notions like these living in our own head, where do you think this leaves the men of the world? You can even look at our own Bollywood industry, where actresses like Vidya Balan and Huma Qureshi are celebrated, while there are no popular mainstream actors who can be proud of their paunch. Men in today’s day and age have grown up to believe that the idea of a perfect man is well-built, with biceps and pairs of abs. The vision of a perfect man has been imprinted in all our heads and they constantly strive to achieve it. Honestly since my school days I remember some lean and slim guys, some were fat and chubby, while some were naturally muscular due to sports. But today all of them have grown up to be gym junkies, spending majority of their day doing leg muscles and pulling weights, while at the same time flooding their body with protein powders, steroids and weight gainers.
All of these supplements might even have a negative impact on their body but in order to achieve that macho look they are more than willing to risk it. Yes, men do constantly face insecurity when it comes to body image. Even today when I see a slim guy I can see other muscular guys mock him and question his masculinity. But at the end of the day, in less trivial pursuits, the one with the least power might turn out to be the greatest man of them all.
Somewhere down the path of life, the idea that strength is proportional to masculinity came into being and soon it was forgotten that manliness came from other aspects other than just a bunch of swelled up arms. This has left a major impact on those who fail to achieve it and make them feel inferior to those who spend their hours in the gym.