15 Men Confess The Body Issue They Secretly Struggle With


1. “I’ve got an average body and I work out around three or four times a week. I eat pretty healthy food for the most part but for the most part, the little bit of belly fat that I have makes me feel fat. I think it has to do with where I live in New York. Everyone seems impossibly thin and it seems effortless. I sort of feel damned by my genes.”

—Marlin, 22


2. “I have a concave chest. The medical term is pectus excavatum and although it’s a cosmetic issue and not the life threatening kind where you could die I’m constantly self conscious about it. I literally dread having to take my shirt off and have avoided beaches my whole life. I also got made fun of for it growing up so that didn’t help. The first time I had sex I kept my shirt on.”

—Jamie, 24


3. “Men have generally been able to get away with having ‘normal’ bodies and that’s been well represented in movies and TV. I tell you all that has changed now that Chris Pratt went from doofy normal looking guy on Parks and Rec to intergalactic ripped hunk in Guardians of the Galaxy. None of us are safe from criticism now. It’s funny, I always thought that equality would move the other way where women’s bodies would gradually be more accepted for being whatever shape they were but instead it seems like those unrealistic standards are just moving to make sure everyone, everywhere is constantly body shamed. I’ve been husky all my life, called pudgy at various points, called cuddly by friends that were girls. I didn’t mind until the last few years but now I’ve started to feel like it’s no longer acceptable.”

—Scott, 21


4. “If you look up the word ‘ectomorph’ online, the first 300 pictures you see will be of me. I’m the prototype for the waifish, skinny guy with zero fat who can’t gain any muscle to save his life. That was fine when I was 18, 19, or even 20 but at 26 I generally feel like everyone looks at me and thinks I’m a boy. I also don’t grow much facial hair which doesn’t help either. My parents always said that I’d be glad for it when I’m 40 but in the meantime I just don’t feel like I look very masculine and I feel like I’m taken less seriously overall.”

—Greg, 26


5. “My eyes are too close together and my nose is pointy. I feel like it makes me look shifty and untrustworthy, like a villain or something.”

—Chad, 23


6. “Porn has destroyed my ability to think of my average penis as normal and acceptable. I don’t think I’m the only guy out there with this thought but I don’t think most would admit to it. I know intellectually that I’m an average, normal 25-year-old but psychologically I’ve been seeing literally the biggest dicks in the world on screen since I was thirteen years old being presented as the norm.”

—Mike, 25


7. “Definitely my height. I feel like if you’re under 5’8″ in the U.S. then you’re basically considered a child by a lot of girls, instantly called cute, etc. I don’t want to be cute. I want to be handsome.”

—Johnny, 26


8. “I have old man eyebrows and I pluck them. I also get ear hair which I tweeze and have to trim. I am 24 years old…”

—Gavin, 24


9. “I think guys probably have a whole bunch of body issues that they don’t talk about cause they’re told body issues are for women. If you go into a gym locker room today you’ll see dudes don’t even undress until they’ve walked all the way to the showers are nervous to get dressed again without a towel tightly wrapped around their waists just in case somebody might see their pee pee. Older guys don’t worry about this stuff. You’ll see some 40 or 50-year-old just letting it all hang out while humming Foreigner and putting on his deodorant and this dude won’t think twice about carrying on a conversation with other people totally naked. Yeah, guys have body issues now that they didn’t have before and I have no idea what’s caused it.”

—James, 32


10. “I’m short, not like minuscule but I’m short, 5’5″. I cannot tell you how many dates I’ve been on with women of average height who’ve looked at me with a kind of restrained disappointment that I wasn’t at least 6’3″ even though I never claimed to be. I can tell you the only women that I felt like didn’t care how tall I was were all over six feet. They know my pain.”

—Richard, 25


11. “I used to be the kind of kid that wore underwear under his swimming trunks. I was in the military and I can tell you that any body issues I had before I went in were chewed up, burned, and then burned again by the time I got out. After a month in the Army you’ve seen more naked men than in all of the eighteen years that came before.”

—Steven, 24


12. “Mine’s a bit different because my body looks great, I think. But I also work out almost every day and run every day. The thing with me is that I started doing all this because I have really terrible social anxiety and I figured that working out and looking good was easier than getting rid of the anxiety especially if I could overcome the hurdle of just forcing myself to go to a gym and work out in public. It’s helped me a lot and at least now when I get that nagging feeling that everyone is noticing me I know that what they see looks good and fit. I still have the anxiety though so you could say that my body is totally a way of compensating.”

—Hudson, 24


13. “My beard isn’t full. That probably sounds lame but I have enormous gaps in my beard that are super obvious. I used to worry that it was a testosterone problem or something because all the beards I saw were full for the most part. I even went to the doctor for a T test that came back normal. When the doctor heard my reason for being there, he, an older guy in his 50s, said it wasn’t anything worth worrying about and totally normal. It still bothers me though.”

—Jerry, 27


14. “I grew up watching action movies with huge muscle dudes. I always wanted to look like one of those guys but I was heavy (fat) and my whole family was the same way. They ate badly and so I ate badly. When I got older I definitely got into shape and I exercise daily but in my mind I’m still a fat kid with fat parents. Like, if I don’t go to the gym every day I have this image of myself as a young fat kid dreaming of being an action hero and shudder. It’s definitely something I’m always running from by working out. It might not be healthy mentally but I’m at least healthy physically. For me it’s a trade off.”

—Rick, 25


15. “I now realize that a lot of the body issues I had when I was a teenager weren’t body issues at all. I was skinny, I’m short, I’m not particularly good looking. All those things made me nitpick specific things about myself like my eyes, my nose, basically everything. I finally figured out that I didn’t have body issues, I had one big self image issue. I thought of myself as lame and ugly so I felt that way. It’s taken me years to get the confidence to care less and I also take care of myself so I know I’m doing my part for my health and looks.”

—John, 28 Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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