FIVE COMMON INSECURITIES WOMEN AND MEN HAVE ABOUT THEIR BODY
By: Mbalenhle Sithebe
“Selfies” have become one way that people use to boost their self-esteem and as a way to escape from their insecurities. According to recent Benenden Health research men are as insecure about their bodies as women and share the same uncertainties.
A detailed look into the body confidence of 2000 men and women documented a vivid rise in appearance related anxiety for both sexes.
• Over weight
Women are afraid to gain weight especially around their waist, the fear of being fat is created by the way society describes beauty. All over the world women are struck with messages and images that slim is the ideal, especially by the media.
Research has shown that the fear of getting fat is a leading cause of eating disorders.
A few number of women were concerned about their weight increase in terms of health issues like diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases.
Even healthy and positive women who have no sign of doubting their image are hiding an anxiety about getting fat under the surface.
“I love my petite body it makes me able to dress however I want without having to think twice. I guess I am more confident with my current size 30 waist than I would be if I were to gain,” said Gugu Msibi.
• Yellow teeth
While some people develop worse anxieties than others, the appearance of one’s smile tends to be much more a concern to others than their physique and may come on as a sudden insecurity.
Unlike weight gain, which generally goes away over intense workout after months or so, yellow teeth can be a life-time complication.
According to Dental Health and Tooth Discoloration, the most common causes of yellow teeth are Tobacco use, smoking or chewing tobacco, poor dental hygiene and in addition, certain infections in pregnant mothers can cause tooth discoloration in the infant by affecting enamel development.
Drugs for high blood pressure, Dental materials and some of the materials used in dentistry, such as amalgam restorations, especially silver sulfide-containing materials, can cast a grey-black colour to teeth.
Tshepo Moteka said, “For some reason I always assume people with yellow teeth to have a smelly mouth, so I wouldn’t date a woman with yellow teeth.”
According to a post on Remedy Land, most people may have no option but to live with their stained teeth because tooth whitening may commonly make teeth tender.
Cellulite- “the fat all women fear”! Actually women wouldl kill for the beach look, especially during summer. The fear of fat and cellulite is prevalent across all women age groups.
According to sport nutritionists, cellulite is not an object, but rather a description of the dimpled appearance the skin takes as a result of the accumulation of fat under the skin.
Though most of the time cellulite is due to excessive fat under the skin, what people don’t know is that high stress levels cause the formation of catecholamines which cause cellulite formation.
“To me cellulite is defiantly inevitable,” said a “wana be” Model.
Some young women even accused contraceptives of playing a role in the appearance of cellulite but this isn’t scientifically proven.
Apart from exercise, change of diet and body massages there are other things that may work to decrease the visibility of cellulite like dry skin brushing using a brush with soft natural bristles stroke the affected areas using circular brushing movements on the problem areas, this increases blood flow to these areas and also boosts lymphatic drainage.
• Eye bags
It is the fear of looking older than you are rather than the issue of having eye bags that cause the insecurity, and eye bags tend to make one look older. But doctors at the Skinrenewal site say eye bags show age-related changes. Changes related to gravity become more pronounced and signs of facial ageing are the development of crow’s feet, excess skin around the eyes, dark circles and the development of prominent under eye bags.
There are reasons why eye bags are at number four of this list; this is because solutions have been found.
Now women can not only depend on home remedies like placing tea bags or cucumbers over your eyes that may take time to work.
For those who can afford to, go for some procedures.
Plastic Surgeon, Farbod Esmailian MD, said “Surgery would be one option to reduce the bags or rewrap them; another option is to have filler placement at the junction of the bags and cheek to help smooth the transition area”.
• Flabby arms
Flabby arms are one of the problem areas that many women face. While flabby arms may result from excess weight, they can also just occur naturally over time due to age. According to the Health&Wellbieng website, as the skin sags, arms tend to look flabbier, especially in the bicep and triceps area. The good news is there is something you can do about it. Toning your muscles is a great way to keep your arms from looking flabby. Women are obsessed with how they look because most summer dresses expose arms and women feel troubled by shaky arms.
“Especially when they also have stretch marks on them,” said Sthembi Ndlovu.
Many women may worry that toning exercises will result in overly muscular arms but the good news is that strengthening arm muscles will help keep arms toned, not bulky and mannish looking.
• Beer belly
Benenden Health research shows that men now spend more than three hours a week on average stressing over their image and feel the level of expectation placed upon them is rising.
The results also showed a increase in men dressing for their body shape and discussing their image with partners. One in eight men is even dieting in secret. This is proof that not only women are faced with appearance insecurities.
Men in the study admitted that “beer belly” cause the opposite sex to judge them as lazy and unsexy.
The insecurity kicks in when women drawl around men with six-packs. Men are not only worried about how women see them but also bothered about how other men look at them. According to the study 37 percent said being overweight and having a ‘beer belly’ is their biggest fear. A small number of black South African men feel belly fat is a sign of money.
“This is money baby,” Kenny Kunene once said on his reality TV show, So What.
A healthy eating guide on WebMD Expert Column indicated that beer belly is not necessarily beer but too many calories that can turn your trim waistline into a belly that protrudes over your pants.
The column also said that Beer belly doesn’t only reduce your chances of flexibility and winning races. It’s linked to a variety of health problems, from type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
• Yellow teeth
Just like women, men believe that a smile says a lot about a person. Those who are genetically born with yellow teeth are mistakenly seen as smokers and this pose as a problem for men who are trying to impressed women who are not into smokers.
Even though there are many factors that may cause teeth staining smoking is the most commonly known. Not many specific reasons were given by men who fear getting yellow teeth but I guess it is just one of the things people worry may be a huge turn off.
• Lack of muscle
Just like it is every woman’s dream to have the right curves and straight-up boobs, men would kill for muscle.
“I’m a skinny 24-years-old guy and I weigh 54kg, clothes hang off me like a scarecrow, and other guys tease me about how skinny I am, so you can imagine why I would kill for some muscles,” said Themba Nala.
Head of research at Benenden Health, Helen Smith said that the research shows that body hang-ups can have an effect on men of all shapes and sizes, whether it relates to weight, body shape or clothing, both men and women can feel at times under pressure to live up to expectation.
“Whilst many of us may feel that there are areas of our body we could change, what is worrying is the levels of people who are experiencing real anxiety or stress as a result of these negative views about their appearance,” Smith added.
Many body changes are influenced by aging but people don’t want to accept any change even in things that we can’t run away from. It is found that almost 90% of men fear balding as they grow older.
The sad thing is that balding can start as early as adolescence and over 50 percent of men have it to some point by age 50.
Some men think they can live with baldness because it can be disguised unlike weight gain amongst other things.
This is a huge issue amongst young men because they don’t want to be seen as older than they are.
The fear of balding is even displayed in movies where men wear wigs to hide their bald.
• Men boob “moobs”
Men may love them big and sexy from the opposite sex but it is a definite no, no on them. The reality is that “moobs” can strike anyone, anywhere, at any time, particularly if one’s diet consists of fat or one is genetically pre-disposed to frontal weight accumulation afflictions such as fatty liver disease.
Gynecomastia is a medical term of “moobs” and many men suffer with it for at least half of their adult life. And unlike women, men don’t like bigger boobs because it destroys their sex appeal.
Losing man boobs is vital since men desire a flat and hard upper body
The anxiety of people’s body image goes across all sexes and ages, it can even cause deeper emotional damage in those who can’t cope with their insecurities.