Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Thank You, Captain Obvious …

October 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Fitness, Guys

I seriously think men must just have thicker skin than women, because I have to say, I’m pretty sure I would have had to hold back tears had I been at the receiving end of the following exchange I heard this weekend at the gym.

Guy 1: “Getting a little chubby, eh?” with a twisted smile on his face (and yes, Guy 1 was a typical gym “meat-head”)

Guy 2: “Um…ha, ha, ha” (interject awkward laughter).

Guy 1: (attempting to redeem himself) “Let’s go do legs and back.”

And they went on their merry way.

Now here’s my thing. Most of us know when we’ve gained weight. If the gain isn’t welcome, it can make us feel uncomfortable, less confident.

Do we need someone to point it out to us!?

I wanted to say thanks, Captain Obvious …! Ugh.

But as it was none of my beeswax, I zipped my lips and filed this exchange in the back of my mind, realizing it’d be an interesting discussion about men/body image/weight gain.

Because let’s be honest here. Guy 2 definitely didn’t appear thrilled to hear his friend’s comment … but he didn’t exactly high tail it to the locker room, either. Did Guy 2 talk to Guy 1 later and say his feelings were hurt? I have no idea.

All of which makes me wonder … do guys just have a tougher skin when it comes to body image? And if so, how can we, as women, learn from them?

How about you? Do you think the situation would have ever happened among women, and if so, how would you have reacted? Do you think men let comments like that roll off their backs, or do you think it would have hurt them? Are any guys out there willing to speak up about how they’d have reacted?



No Responses to “Thank You, Captain Obvious …”
  1. KUrunner says:

    Some random person at the gym telling me I gained weight… um, no thank you.

    I don’t always watch the scale and it’s really easy to blame tight pants on TOM, those salty burritos, or not enough water instead of actual fat gain. My husband/sister/best friend telling me I’m looking a bit, well, fuller would be appreciated.

    I’ve noticed (as one of the few women at my military gym) that the men freely discuss weight and body fat like stats from Sunday’s football game.

  2. Geri says:

    From what I’ve seen of guys hanging out together, taking the mickey about anything and everything as weird form of social bonding, I would guess that guys might have developed a thicker skin about this type of thing. With my fiance’s friends, nothing is off limits for ribbing each other, weight, height, clothes, hair, sports teams, jobs, cars, everything. Nothing is taken seriously or personally, and maybe that helps – their weight is not perceived as a reflection of themselves, is not connect to self worth, from what I’ve seen.

    • lissa10279 says:

      I think that’s true. “– their weight is not perceived as a reflection of themselves” — My husband doesn’t loathe his reflection in the mirror if his pants are tight. Last year, he broke his wrist playing soccer, and couldn’t play soccer or racquetball–his two main activities–so when his pants got tight, he just bought a size up, as if it was no big deal. He definitely doesn’t internalize weight like I do.

      • raven says:

        i suspect that is due to the traditional roles women and men have played in our society. men’s ‘value’ has little to do with appearance and more to do with wealth. so who cares if he’s larger/smaller/balding/hairy/etc… b/c his intrinsic ‘value’ is in his bank account. (not that i agree w/that whole line of thinking… this is conjecture about why men don’t seem to care much about gaining weight or general appearance changes.) whereas women’s ‘value’ has come from appearance. so any change in appearance is met with a more critical eye. but i hope that is changing. that kinda dichotomy just seems rather limiting to me! and, of course, whether that’s going on in men’s not caring about gaining weight remains to be seen.

  3. Shhhh says:

    I believe it hurts them just as much as it hurts us. But being men they aren’t “allowed” to be “pussies” about it. But my sis has told me of convos she’s had with my BIL where he cried over the bald and fat comments his buddies made. I was there for those comments and had no CLUE he felt that badly.

    Eye opening, to say the least.

    Why is it okay in our society to say those things to a man, when it’s not okay to say to a woman.

  4. catgal says:

    I agree with Shhh. Met are taught as boys not to show emotion and to “tough” things out. Be a man, etc. I think it does bother them but if they were to express these feelings he would be seen as even less of a MAN.

  5. John says:

    As a man, I think that I should give my opinions… which is that first, men are less emotional than women. Women have higher highs and lower lows. Men do get hurt feelings, but it probably takes more the create a hurt feelings in a man than in a woman. Also, men probably compartmentalise feelings than women.

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