Comparing My Physique to the Stereotypical Masculine Image
When comparing myself to most ideals of masculinity across American culture, I find some mild similarities to the stereotypical masculine image. The extreme images of bulging muscles, chiseled abs, and an expansive body presence lend some elements to my physique, but not very many. Although I do consider myself to be somewhat sportive, the general results of athletic activity don’t reap the usual results on my body.
I find my strengths to be more intuitive than physical. I am an introvert, and gather much energy by spending time in solitude. This doesn’t allow much room to benefit from the usual athletic activity that tends to spawn the prototypical masculine figure. Ironically, while many of my male counterparts engage in brutish activities such as lifting weights and playing football, only half of them appear to come even close to possessing the perfect physical physique of American cultural masculinity.
Cultural images lend the strengths of both men and women to aesthetic value in their bodies and appearances. Yet, I personally find little real value in aesthetic appearance in relation to a person’s social and moral status. As a Roman Catholic, I place many of my values in faith, and find that cultural ideals that place excessive value in image take away from true values in morals and principles. For this reason, while I do place some value in my aesthetic appearance, I do not place nearly as much as the rest of American culture appears to, yet I do place some.
In terms of body physique, I find myself fortunate to maintain a moderate form of body regardless of diet. While my eating level fluctuates, my physique somehow remains consistent. I am 5’8”, weighing roughly 150 pounds. These numbers have, remarkably, been the exact same for the past three years, regardless of any rises or declines in diet or physical activity. My body physique is somewhat meager, yet not at a level that would result in personal dissatisfaction. The figure in my limbs is well-defined, and my biceps and calves have quite a definition. Since these parts of the body are the most often revealed, they cover up the meager muscular definition of my torso, and make me appear to fit the common cultural ideal of masculinity.
Yet, I would not care if it did not. I have no shame in admitting I have no bulging pectorals, and nothing even remotely resembling a six-pack of abs. I personally believe that placing a common standard on body image and appearance and using that to judge a person’s value in society is wrong, and thus any incongruence with this image is irrelevant. While I do find that some body physiques and physical appearances can be revolting, I am satisfied so long as I do not portray that physique. I find no...