Body-positive blogger wants men to learn to love their man-boobs and dad bods
The body positivity movement is growing stronger and stronger on social media. With rates of bulimia and anorexia rising higher with each passing year, self-care and self-esteem movements have sprung up to promote healthier self-esteem among the general public. However, it does seem as though the body positivity movement is more focused around woman and issues of femininity. Partly, this is due to the fact that women are disproportionately judged and valued based on their dress sense, looks, weight and youth compared to men.
But that's not to say that men aren't also judged and shamed based on their appearance. More and more, men are feeling the pressure of expectations bearing down upon them. If you aren't ruggedly handsome, chiselled and muscular, then you'll often find yourself at a significant disadvantage. Yet few - if any - men are willing to open up about their own insecurities, and it still seems as though body positivity is a female-dominant philosophy.
But now an Instagram blogger has vowed to make body-positivity appeal more to men, and is urging fellow-males to learn to love their dad bods and man boobs. Financial advisor Stevie Grice-Hart, who hails from Southampton, has taken to social media to share his warts-and-all selfies with the masses, to remind men that they can be happy with their own shape.
Stevie had always been overweight as a child and teen. As a young man he strove to lose weight, and began eating healthier meals and exercising regularly. However, he soon became trapped in a toxic weight-loss-obsessed spiral and began to develop body dysmorphia. Even when he had reached a slimmer weight, he felt depressed and dissatisfied by his excess skin and stretch marks. However, when he stumbled upon a body-positive plus-sized model on Instagram, he realised that, as inspiring as she was, there was no male equivalent: so Stevie decided to shoulder the responsibility himself.
Commenting on his body-positive ethos in a recent interview, Stevie stated: "I like to think that I’m helping to start something new for men and their body confidence. It’s usually hidden for us. I want to create a space for men to talk openly about it. The most humbling thing from my page has been hearing young boys aged just 11 and grown men in their 60s say I helped them to improve their body confidence. Even super-masculine, bearded, tattooed men who look like truck drivers thanked me for what I do!"
He added: "Some people say I should change the way I look and stop being lazy, but they are clearly so deep in diet culture that they think what they’re saying is right. I did the same when I hated myself too – I would comment on how other people looked to make myself feel better, just to deflect the pain onto someone else. I do remove the negative comments, but some stay with me, such as someone who said ‘if I had a body like that I’d kill myself’."
While Stevie thinks that social media is a useful tool to promote a positive self-image and raise self-esteem, he's very critical of advertising and reality TV for promoting unrealistic standards of beauty. "Reality TV is horrendous, everyone on it looks exactly the same and all it does is reinforce the idea that if you don’t have abs there is something ‘wrong’ with your body," he states.
"The problem with modern TV is that it doesn’t represent how people really look. Young boys are exposed to this even more than I was in the 90s – it’s worrying. For the men who are struggling, I would recommend following people who actually look different – stay away from the Hollywood actors who have airbrushed and edited photos. That’s why I don’t edit my photos – I don’t want to contribute to that side of social media."
Stevie and his husband Sam are currently planning on adopting a child together, and are keen to give the little one they raise a positive self-image. He hopes that future generations of men will find the support and visibility they deserve. Me too Stevie, me too.