Mirror, mirror – who is dictating male body image?

Our reflection to others and to ourselves is not about what stares back at you in the mirror, although this has unfortunately been the predominant aspect of how we see ourselves in society, and indeed what is judged by our peers.

Our looks have become the tension point in a society where you will only be accepted or deemed worthy of interaction if you look the part! For example, if you dress a certain way that is accepted by another or have the physical appearance that fits into society’s narrative.

Do we then change the way we look to fit into a social group or our workplace? We lose the essence of what we truly bring by placing ourselves into a box – a box that dictates how you should be, look and feel.

When we step outside of the parameters of what is deemed acceptable, are we in fear of being ridiculed or laughed at because we have dared to be different?

What if being different in how you express yourself is in fact not different but a version of you as a total equal, but just in another flavour?

So much pressure is put on us to conform to either a fashion statement or a new trend, but why are there so many new looks that are churned out almost weekly for us to constantly keep up to date with, to execute, to be the first to indulge in, to make ourselves feel ahead or in line with the fashion game? A game that is ceaseless in its endless dictation of how we should look for a period of time, to invest ourselves fully in it for it then to change once again.

How much of our life is taken up in the pursuit of getting “The Look“; a look that makes us feel part of society – an acceptable society – that only includes those who are defined by what is dictated by a few that deem what fashion is and what it is not.

If we start with the opening line here, “Our reflection to others is not about what stares back at us in the mirror”. How many of us have stood in front of the mirror and pulled apart every aspect of our face and body? It’s a practice each and every one of us does or has done since we first became aware of how we look could influence others.

This process of mirror gazing magnifies nothing but the faults we deem are not acceptable; it reflects an ideal we have been fed by others, and in that ideal we give ourselves a marker of how or what we should look like, and in turn we do not truly see the obvious fact of the true beauty before us.

What if every time you looked in the mirror, you could see the true beauty you are, the true magnificence held in the very gaze of your reflection; what if this was our starting point, our moment of deep appreciation for ourselves, for the deep magic held in that reflection.

If we started to see this first, would that then bring about a deeper appreciation of our inner beauty?

Inner beauty is a given, we all hold this equally; we may look different on the outside but each and every one of us reflects a deep magnificence that is constant on the inside. When we overlook this very true aspect we only see a reflection of our choices, our hurts and our disappointments staring back at us and in that we completely ignore the deep beauty of our unique expression. And hence, become consumed by the picture of how we should be perfect in every way.

But is perfection attainable or is it just a construct, a setup to make you feel less and to stop you from seeing the true beauty you hold?

In fact, each time we only see the negative this then magnifies that very destructive part that holds us, and only deepens and entrenches us further into the despair of not either being beautiful enough or to us picking fault with our bodies.

When we constantly berate ourselves, this becomes our perceived reality; this becomes a movement in our bodies that confirms back to you and others an apology or a justification of how you look.

In effect you walk around silently apologising for being you!

How awful that we take what is already magnificent and deeply divine and play it down to be less because a society that is driven on looks, money and fame dictates it so.

Firstly, start with yourself – look in that mirror and begin to see how utterly amazing you are; start to surrender to the love you are, and your natural beauty will shine through.

Once you start to see yourself as magnificent then that radiates out, that reflects to the world true beauty, true power, true Love.

Filed under

Body imageMen's healthWell-being

  • By Andrew Allen

  • Photography: Clayton Lloyd