High self-esteem and self-worth are extremely important for mental health. However, men are often put to serious tests, and their self-perception depends largely on the standards set by society. Toxic masculinity, or the toxic image of masculinity, is a huge problem that has been fought against very recently. See what factors can unduly affect your self-esteem negatively.
Aversion to “masculine” activities and behaviors
According to common stereotypes a man should be able to repair all the equipment in his house, plaster the walls and make his own furniture. This is not true! The image of a man only with a hammer or a drill in his hand is a relic of the past, which unfortunately is still present in people’s minds. It is time to abandon the division of passions and duties into men and women. If you feel great in the kitchen, baking a cheesecake, this is no reason to be ashamed. Men are no longer obligated to build a house, plant trees and beget a son, don’t let yourself be told otherwise.
Toxic perceptions of masculinity are also associated with certain expectations of men in the bedroom. The socially created ideal of a partner is a guy who can spend several hours in bed with his woman. Because of such unrealistic expectations and myths, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are a source of shame and even depression for many men. If you are struggling with intimate problems, there is nothing wrong! Go to a doctor, because the problem is probably health related. For example, it may be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, sleep deprivation or hormonal imbalance. The doctor will certainly recommend you to change your lifestyle and introduce medications that help to fight the symptoms of the disease, such as viagra or kamagra.
Being overweight or obese
The impact of appearance on self-esteem is a problem faced not only by women. Dissatisfaction with one’s shape, lack of a six-pack, and poor fitness can significantly lower self-esteem. The body and metabolism change throughout life and these changes are natural. Of course, for health reasons, you should look for the cause of your weight gain and try to reduce it, but putting on a few extra pounds is nothing to be ashamed of. In every commercial or movie, the protagonist is a muscular, wealthy businessman with a beautiful woman at his side, while his funny friend with a slight overweight is never a match for him. By portraying the male body as a marker of success, unhealthy mechanisms and harmful connotations are created in the mind. Taking care of your health and shape should be dictated by self-love and the desire to take care of your health, not by the need to fit into unrealistic standards of male beauty.
Who has never heard “boys don’t cry” or “don’t act like a woman”? These phrases also echo the toxic masculinity that has been nurtured in society’s consciousness for years. These stereotypes have made men uncomfortable showing emotion. Highly sensitive men in particular, who find it easier to get into difficult emotional states or experience their emotions more intensely, can feel unmanly. This is a big mistake, because showing your emotions, talking about them and dealing with experiencing them is a sign of maturity and something to be proud of.
Men have been taught unhealthy and toxic behaviors for many decades in order to feel masculine. These practices unfortunately still bear fruit today. Toxic masculinity and other stereotypes of what a “real man” should look and act like often have a negative impact on male self-esteem. Remember, you can be who you want to be and do and wear what you want as long as you don’t hurt others by doing so.
Main article photo: photo by Nik Shuliahin, source: unsplash.com