Boys, Body Image and Sexualization

Recently, the subject of raising boys has come to the forefront of my mind. After all, now I have BabyBoy to bring up.

However, with no brothers and relatively few younger male cousins, I am painfully aware that my experience of raising boys has been limited.

So now I’m learning…and the interesting extracts below from Shaping Youth indicate that while objectification of women has been around for what seems like forever, it is now causing more of an issue for men too.

Increasingly, boys’ body image has gotten hammered by PhotoShop assists, iconic “Taylor Lautner abs” and muscular physiques resembling The Incredible Hulk more than healthy fitness, so it’s no surprise that teen boys are joining girls in socioemotional sidewinders impacting their health at ever-earlier ages in adolescence…

Jacob, played by Taylor Lautner, may be a teenage heartthrob, but his continual depiction without a shirt shows how over sexualized, exoticized, and macho the fictional Quileute wolfpack is…

How low can we go? Welcome to the pornification of pop culture.

Marc Jacobs “Bang!” cologne, for example, says it all. [For a look at the advertisement, follow this link.]

Jacobs…objectifies himself as the model, with the bottle between his legs, mirroring countless poses of female models degraded into hollow, detached vessels for product and profiteering…The cologne is housed in an unusually eye-catching crushed container design sending a narrow message about how masculinity is perceived at its most base-level.

Lots of food for thought here. And questions raised as to how to protect our boys.

Original article can be found at Shaping Youth.

1 thought on “Boys, Body Image and Sexualization

  1. Valerie

    It’s true that boys are being raised with unrealistic expectations of role models just like girls are. 😦 I don’t know how to remedy it, but it’s true.


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