When I looked in the mirror last year I didn’t like what I had become…..weak and overweight. This was not like how I want to see myself and it’s also not how I want other people to see me, As a father of sons and also a public figure it’s important to present an image of health and wellness as I have always been one to lead by example and not one to tell other people how to live their lives. I also have a father who has been a very good role model of what can happen when unhealthy dietary habits catch up on you as he had part of his bowel removed when I was young due to diverticulitis. So in my teenage years I adopted healthy eating such as fruit for breakfast and avoiding high energy, nutrient deficient processed food. One of my majors was environmental pollution and health so I have always tended to eat healthily and avoid chemical pollutants.
This year, 2023, I have leveled up my health and fitness training because I didn’t like the look of my reflection nor the numbers on the scales. So I restarted swimming 2 or 3 times per week, I am lifting in the gym 3 or 4 times a week as well as my daily breathing, meditation and yoga routine. I have also begun eating less bread and high glycemic index foods. The results are showing and although I’v only lost about 4 kilograms, most of the fat has been converted to muscle so I am visibly slimmer and stronger.
Why am I telling you this? The Guyra Ag Show is coming up and there are prize categories for Guyra Show Girl and Guyra Show Guy, I said half joking (because in all humility, I think I’d have a good chance at winning) that I could go in it to a friend. She was horrified and ranted about how the Australian of the year got her award for the work she’s done about “stopping the objectification of people. ” She was so insenced by the “Guyra Show Guy” competition that she said she was going to write to the “Guyra Show Society” She’s wrong, the Australian of the year is documentary director Taryn Brumfitt who leads the Body Image Movement, an Adelaide-based organisation that teaches people to look after, love and appreciate their bodies. It is a body positivity movement that Taryn Brumfitt leads.
This lead me to doing my own research on the objectification of people and looking at both sides of the argument. I will begin by arguing why the objectification of people can be harmful and then I explore arguments why is is OK for a man to objectify himself and then how self objectification by women is sexually empowering.
Why objectification of some people is harmful.
The objectification of individuals, regardless of gender, is a harmful practice that reduces a person to nothing more than a physical object for others to admire or desire. However, the objectification of men and women is different in both its form and consequences.
The objectification of women has been a widespread issue for centuries and is still prevalent in today’s society. Women are often objectified through the media, advertisements, and other forms of popular culture, where they are shown as passive objects for the male gaze. This type of objectification often sexualizes women’s bodies and reduces them to nothing more than objects for sexual pleasure. The consequences of this type of objectification can be damaging to a woman’s self-esteem, self-worth, and can lead to a negative body image.
On the other hand, the objectification of men is a more recent phenomenon that has been brought to light in recent times. Unlike the objectification of women, which often sexualizes their bodies, the objectification of men tends to focus on their physical strength and athleticism. This can be seen in advertisements and media that depict men as strong and muscular, promoting a particular type of masculinity. While this type of objectification may seem less harmful, it can still have negative consequences. For example, it can contribute to the pressure on men to conform to a particular body type, leading to anxiety and body shaming.
Furthermore, while both men and women are objectified, the consequences of this objectification are not equal. The objectification of women is often tied to sexism, misogyny, and the patriarchal system, which is why it can lead to gender-based violence and discrimination. On the other hand, the objectification of men is tied to toxic masculinity and the pressure to conform to traditional masculine gender roles, which can lead to harmful behaviours such as aggression and the suppression of emotions.
In conclusion, the objectification of men and women is different in both its form and consequences. While both are harmful, the objectification of women is can be tied to sexism and misogyny, while the objectification of men can be tied to toxic masculinity. It is important to acknowledge these differences and some people think it is important to work towards ending the objectification of all individuals, regardless of gender. This could be achieved through the promotion of body positivity, challenging harmful societal norms and expectations, and educating people about the harmful consequences of objectification.
How self objectification by men promotes body positivity.
The objectification of individuals, whether it is someone else objectifying them or themselves, is often seen as a negative and harmful practice. However, there is a growing argument that self-objectification can be a positive and empowering experience for some individuals, including men. In this essay, I will argue that it is okay for a man to objectify himself and explain why.
Self-objectification is a process in which an individual evaluates themselves based on their physical appearance and sexual desirability. For men, this can involve striving for a particular body type or physical appearance that they believe will make them more attractive to others. While this may seem like a negative practice, some argue that it can be a form of self-expression and a way for men to assert their individuality and control over their bodies.
For example, some men may objectify themselves in order to feel more confident and assertive. By focusing on their physical appearance and striving to achieve a particular body type, they may feel a sense of pride and empowerment. This can lead to improved self-esteem and a more positive body image, which can have a positive impact on mental health and well-being.
Moreover, self-objectification can be a way for men to express their sexuality and explore their sexual desires. By focusing on their physical appearance and sexual desirability, they may feel more comfortable and confident in their sexual identity and expression. This can lead to a more fulfilling and enjoyable sexual life, which is an important aspect of overall well-being.
It is also important to note that self-objectification is a personal choice and individual experience. While it may not be right for everyone, it is important to respect an individual’s right to choose how they want to present themselves and express their sexuality. The pressure to conform to traditional masculine gender roles can be harmful and restrictive, and self-objectification can provide a space for men to reject these norms and assert their individuality.
In conclusion, while the objectification of individuals is often seen as a negative and harmful practice, it is okay for a man to objectify himself. This can be a form of self-expression, a way to assert individuality and control over their bodies, and a way to explore their sexuality. As long as it is a personal choice and not used to harm others, self-objectification can be a positive and empowering experience for some men.
Can Self Objectification by Women be Sexual Empowerment?
The objectification of individuals, particularly women, has long been seen as a negative and harmful practice. However, in recent years, there has been a shift towards a more accepting and even celebratory view of women who objectify themselves. This essay will explore why it is becoming more acceptable for a woman to objectify herself.
One reason is the rise of the body positivity movement, which encourages individuals to love and embrace their bodies, regardless of shape or size. This movement has challenged traditional beauty standards and encouraged people to see their bodies as something to be celebrated rather than criticised. This has created a more accepting and inclusive environment for women who choose to objectify themselves, whether it is through posting sexy selfies or showing off their bodies in tight-fitting clothing
Another reason is the increasing visibility and representation of women in popular culture, who objectify themselves. From music videos to reality TV shows, women are increasingly presenting themselves in sexually suggestive and provocative ways. This has led to a normalisation of women objectifying themselves, and a greater acceptance of this type of self-expression.
Furthermore, the rise of social media has allowed for women to have greater control over their self-presentation and objectification. Through platforms such as Instagram, women can curate and control their online image, and choose to present themselves in a sexually suggestive or objectifying way if they so choose. This has given women greater agency over their self-expression and has made it more acceptable for them to objectify themselves.
It is also important to note that self-objectification can be a form of empowerment and self-expression for some women. By choosing to present themselves in a sexualised or objectifying way, they are asserting their individuality and control over their bodies. This can lead to a greater sense of confidence and body positivity, which can have a positive impact on mental health and well-being.
In conclusion, it is becoming more acceptable for a woman to objectify herself due to the rise of the body positivity movement, the increasing representation and visibility of women who objectify themselves in popular culture, and the greater control and agency provided by social media. While self-objectification may not be right for everyone, it is important to respect a woman’s right to choose how she wants to present herself and express her sexuality.
Poetry: When Body Positivity Meets Gaslighting.
When body positivity meet gaslighting. (Satire) While researching for the above article I came across some phrases used to promote body positivity and also some phrases used to “body shame” and thought what would happen if you combined the body positivity phrases with the body shaming phrases. This is meant purely as satire.
“You are beautiful just the way you are but you’re too skinny/fat”
“Your body is amazing and you need to lose weight”
“Although you’re not toned enough you are worthy of love and respect, regardless of your size or shape.”
“Your body is a temple with love handles and cellulite treat it with care and respect.”
“You are more than your appearance and your flabby arms and legs.”
“Your body is strong and capable even with a muffin top.”
“Embrace your unique features, imperfections and thick waist, they make you who you are.”
“Focus on what your body can do, not your small breasts, big butt and double chin..”
“Health and happiness are more important than any physical characteristic like your ugly face”
“Your body is a work of art with a big belly, created perfectly for you.”
“Be kind to yourself and your body, it’s the only two you have. “
“Your body and thunder thighs are a reflection of the amazing person you are.”
“You need to work on your abs and acne but you are enough, just as you are.”
“Every body is a good body except that you have bad posture.”
“Your body is a source of pride and joy with a pot belly”
“You deserve to feel confident and comfortable in your own dry, flaky and wrinkly skin.”
“Celebrate your body for all the amazing things it allows you to do like sit and watch TV.”
“Focus on nourishing and loving your body, not changing your flat butt.”
“Your body is perfect in its own unique way with that squashed face and no teeth. “
“Remember, beauty comes in all shapes and sizes even very wide hips.”
And that is that…. Except the last thing that I wanted to say is that we are currently in the most unhealthily obese period in human history with over 50% of the entire population of the planet overweight or obese. That sure is one big opportunity for improvement. Stay well and let me know what you think in the comments.