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Body Stereotypes: Cancelled Pt.II

Hey everyoneee! It’s been a long whileeee

오랜만 !!!✨

I didn’t blog throughout this week, yeah? I only put out the series review cause I felt bad for not putting out anything. Truth is, I fell sick. I was so sick, I couldn’t get out of bed myself. I just finished my prescription last night but I’m still feeling a little down and hazy. I’ll be fine in no time, as long as I keep streaming Permission to Dance!

Okay so from the title, you’ve probably already figured out what we’re talking about today! We already did Body Stereotypes two weeks ago but someone asked if I could do a male POV since the first part was female, so here we are! This is to the men! 🥂

Introducing the blog guests

Salmon Abdullah Akinola
I’m a management student in University of Lagos. Hobbies: hanging out with friends, football, intellectual conversations.
Ibrahim, i like reading and eating good food.
Hiii, I’m Joseph. I’m a music student at tenstrings institute. I loveeeeee animes and And any other good series. 🙂

Let’s get it?

1. What comes to mind when you think of body stereotypes?

Salmon: Body stereotype refers to the belief or promoting an idea of how everyone (body shape) must look like.

Ibrahim: What comes to my mind concerning body stereotypes is the mental picture or perception that is held in common by a group or individual concerning a certain body type which is usually unrealistic and oversimplified.

Joseph: I feel like it’s a combination of the thoughts and feelings that you have about your body. It maybe positive or negative.

2. Do you believe that stereotypes are often created as a result of the media?

Salmon: Yes, but body stereotype has been in existence before media i.e the belief that a Fulani man is usually light skinned, curly hair and pointed nose but in the case of media, body stereotype is actually different i.e muscular body, hour glass body, thick body etc

Ibrahim: Yes, i strongly believe that the media played a huge role in encouraging body stereotyping. For example, in movies, most times certain characters, maybe the Male protagonist;he’s always protrayed as a muscular/finely toned body with certain facial features such as chiseled jaw and straight nose while the chubby guy can play the role of the random guy. Chubby guys are handsome too

Joseph: YES, I believe so
Because most people have nice body shapes but social media portrays all those slim bodies around making them felt worse about their own appearance.

3. Can you describe a time you have felt self-conscious due to portrayals of body image in the media?

Salmon: Sometimes I go on Instagram or Pinterest to search for model pictures and try to assume I have same body shape as them.

Ibrahim: Well…growing up,all my favorite superheroes were muscular and buff and at that time I looked up to them,wanted to be like them but i was a chubby kid and whenever I made my declaration of being a superhero while I played with my friends I was always reminded of my body weight so I wasn’t worthy of playing the role of my favourite superhero. As a kid, that made me too conscious of my body or a time when an older cousin told me my spirit animal should be the elephant and not the lion which I chose out of admiration and there were my teenage years where I was made to think that only guys with six packs got the girls,I remember working my butt off so I could get six packs😅.

Joseph: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, during junior school days
I was a bit big and my male classmates were not. Like they’d post themselves shirtless on their social media pages. Most of them could even send nudes to their significant other, but me with no babe and no body to show off….mehnn😪

4. Did you feel like you needed to change yourself as a result of that or maybe because of what someone has said?

Salmon: I’ve been affected by both..especially when people tell me my head is kinda big

Ibrahim: Being call fat,orobo and sorts of derogatory words that comes with being chubby geared me into becoming fit. I remember working out tirelessly to prune myself and get that coveted toned body, maybe then these girls would see me in another light, maybe people would stop assuming I’m not all that smart due to my size without even getting to know me and I wasn’t even obese…just chubby.

Joseph: Well…I knew I had to start eating healthy? I didn’t get like depressed or anything
I just needed to look and feel fit, for my sake.

5. Do you think women are equally objectified in the media like men?

Salmon: No, women are more objectified than men in the media. Mostly because women are used as sexual objects in media advertisements, pornographic contents beauty contests and so on, to capture people’s desires rather than using men.

Ibrahim: I believe both genders have suffered equally in being objectified by the media. Look at all the Male superheroes or lead characters in movies; they are always lean, toned and muscular while the fat guy gets to be the funny guy or the random guy or even villain in most occasions. And Alpha females are being portrayed has the size 10-12 woman who’s always on heels and curves here and there and with perfect skin too,and Female superheroes are dressed scantily to expose their curves and make them look sexier than they are supposed to be,imagine Wonder Woman having a nip slip while she’s try to save someone just because her costume barely covers her bosoms.

Joseph: I believe so!
I think they’re even more objectified more than men?

6. What are your thoughts on stereotypes as a whole? And do you believe everyone is a victim of stereotypes?

Salmon: My thought on stereotypes is that everyone wants you to believe in their own idea of a perfect body image which I find to be totally wrong and unacceptable. I believe everyone is a victim directly or indirectly.

Ibrahim: In my own opinion, I believe we’re all stereotypes just on different grades and levels, I still judge most people based on their looks and body shape even though I try to shake it off and prefer to know the person before forming an opinion. It just happens subconsciously, I think it’s an innate thing that been embedded in us to make quick judgment and decision, where I have an issue is when an individual goes as far as making it obvious that he has formed an opinion about the other party based on these stereotypical thoughts or beliefs.
One way or the other, subtly or conspicuously, we’ve all been victimized by stereotypes, even with me being fit and looking muscular now, I still get the ”you will know how to fight”talks and ”you should join a military force” talks why cause I am fit and automatically I should be able to do all these things with ease cause of the assumed superpowers that comes with being muscular. Someone even told me to pick up boxing😂,Helloooo; I’m only doing this for the sake of building core strength and staying healthy, i don’t plan on picking up fights.

Joseph: We should respect our body types. It gives us the uniqueness, or we all would look like replicas! Some women are curvy; others have an apple shape, or a pear shape. Even if, you follow a healthy plan diet carefully and, works out most of the weekdays, you may not attain the thin skinny body you are dying for. I’m not telling you that to frustrate you, but to be realistic and so you will not anticipate something that may not happen. What I’m trying to say here is that, the culture we live in has a strong influence on the way we see ourselves in the mirror. We may struggle changing the culture that judges us by our looks, but we should work tirelessly together to change the way we see ourselves and others.

7. How do you feel we can combat body stereotypes in our society and maybe even the world at large?

Salmon: By promoting self love

Ibrahim: This is where I believe the media should step in and take the reins cause I strongly believe they play a huge role in the portrayal and ingraining of this thought in the public. I’d even go as far as blaming them for all these body stereotyping, adopting certain body type for certain roles and blowing the whole thing out of proportion. So they should normalize including certain body types into more active roles and stop portraying them in a certain way that breds stereotyping, include them in adverts, fashion lines and wherever it can.

Joseph: We should change the way we think honestly. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, besides we were created by God in his own image

8. What is the most embarrassing experience you’ve had as related to the topic?

Salmon: Someone told me my head was big.. I began checking the mirror consecutively to be sure if my head was actually big or not.

Ibrahim: An incident where a close relative got into a fight with someone and i had to step in and diffuse the matter, without my fists of course. Later, some individuals who witnessed the incident threw subtle jibes saying they thought I was going to put my muscle into good use and join in the fight instead of being diplomatic about it. In their words, I just carry muscle for nothing 😂

Joseph: 😹I had to change the way I looked to impress one girl I really had a crush on
Little did I know she was going behind my back saying or spreading false rumours about me

9. How best were you able to overcome or block off people’s opinions or thoughts on your body?

Salmon: I tried asking random people especially my family and they told me I’m okay…Also, I had to learn that no one has a perfect body…it’s all about your mindset.

Ibrahim: At the moment, I have it in my head that my fitness or abs are not solely for aesthetics or fighting even though that was the initial reason i picked up working out. Right now it is more than that for me, it’s about stability, endurance and healthy living so whatever is expected of me by someone else that doesn’t conform with my own philosophy is their problem not mine. And besides I am more than my body, if you can’t look beyond that or form certain assumptions from it that’s shouldn’t be my own cup of tea.

Joseph: I turned off my care switch.
I could care less now what other people think of me honestly as long as I know I’m an otttttt kekkkkk (trans: hot cake)…in my own way sha

To end on a sexy note,

10. What are three things you like about the way you look?

Salmon: My legs, skin and nose

Ibrahim: I like that my looks brings me satisfaction of the mind,cause being fit as always been something I’ve coveted for a long time
. I like that it earns me compliments even though I’m the kind of person that doesn’t want to thrive off people’s compliments or attention, I still like that I’m being complimented 😊
. Lastly, I like the confidence that comes with the way I look,the confidence it fills me with,I am not saying only a certain body size or type can bring confidence, it depends on what you want and how good you feel about yourself. Shalom😌

Joseph: 😹😹😹
I love my eyes because they are distinctive and they serve me well. I like the way I speak and I like my smile.

Ibrahim mostly talking about stereotypes around Superheroes reminds me of one of my favorite songs “Anpanman”. Basically, it talks about a superhero animation, Anpanman. Anpanman is a round cute superhero made of bread and even the beginning of the song, there’s a line that says “I know I don’t have the biceps, I don’t have the super car like Batman but all I can give you is Anpan”

The song is very beautiful and inspiring. It’s Korean though but if “for some reason, you can’t listen to non-English songs” then you can just look up the English translations to the lyrics. It’s very nice

And that concludes Body Stereotype: Male POV! I would do a short motivational speech here but like I mentioned before, my body still isn’t in the best shape and so is my brain but you can go back and check out the first part of the series, the ladies POV and of course, let me know what you think in the comments!

Thank you for clicking my link and staying till the end. I promise to be back with more posts when I feel much better. Adios!🤍

Salmon: IG: @salmonakinola

Ibrahim: Twitter: @OGMarshmallow1

Joseph: Instagram: _jdieux

By Ib Adepoju

I’m Adepoju Ibukun, a writer and student of University of Lagos, studying Real Estate. I’m a young adult trying to sort out life.

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