Being Macho; Over Rated?

Feminism is nothing but equality, and actually, feminism benefits men because it liberates us and it releases us from many stigmas imposed by the macho culture on us as well. So if more of us could understand that it’s nothing but equality, I think many agendas in terms of equality would have advanced quicker because it really helps us as well. Edgar Ramirez

Growing up I was not a big kid. Tall and skinny. Going to into high school I weighed less than one hundred pounds. I am not big bone when it comes to my body size.

I use to ask myself, “what was wrong with me?” There were guys in high school that looked like giants, big, muscular type jocks. Many had already grown a full beard. For me I really didn’t start shaving until I was in my mid twenties. Even then my facial beard was not full.

I never tried out for any contact sports because I just didn’t have that type of strength or endurance. The best I could do was play soccer, I was able to run quite fast and the gym teacher thought I was good at the sport.

I was very self-conscious of my looks and because of that I did not try to fit in with many during my high school years. The most difficult part of high school was being in the men’s locker room before and after gym class. Some guys were just out there, no qualms about stripping down and then walk into the shower area. Other guys, myself included, hid behind the doors of the lockers, slowly changing from gym clothes, quietly and consciously walk to the showers and then back again.

As I grew older I became less self -conscious. I would go to the public pool to swim. Would enter the men’s changing area and get into my swim wear without any bashfulness.

I blame Hollywood and the programs they produce that is aim at young boys. Saturday morning, at least when I was young, was full of super-hero cartoons. Super-heroes with bulging muscles, perfectly shaped bodies and able to do anything. Men and women who showed no fear no matter what situation they faced. They impacted many young boys and it was evident on Halloween night. Many boys dressed up as their favorite super-hero. Some were, Spiderman, Superman, Aquaman, The Hulk, and of course The Batman.

In the eighties along came on television, Wrestling. Back then wrestling was quite tame compared to what is being broadcast. Today’s wrestling is a total show of complete hard core violence. Men and women being tossed from heights unto a table, the canvas, and sometimes landing on the cement floor of the arena where the show was setup.

Back in the early seventies, my father and grandfather took me to London Square Gardens to see some wrestling. The big name back then was, “Haystacks Calhoun” . It was very mild compared to that which we see on flat screens. Much of the wrestling was funny, funny because of how it was scripted. You always knew who the bad guy was and it was the bad guy who lost. Sometimes, the bad guy one, afterwards they would be lots of booing and complaining.

Haystacks Calhoun

So dear reader, I wonder if this thing called “being macho” has been overdone. Are young boys getting the wrong message? Is this a body image game relative to the image and message being sent to young girls by the “Barbie” doll. I can remember, during those early seventies that my brother had a G I Joe doll complete with a plastic knife and a army dog tag around it’s neck.

Has being macho been over-rated?

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  1. Angie

    Boys are definitely still being sent messages constantly of how they should look and feel and talk and behave. It’s so much worse these days because of the many ways it can be consumed. YouTube, social media, schools, etc. Not so much magazines anymore though. Personally, I think it’s much harder for males than females. This is just generally speaking, without the added weight of race, gender, etc
    When I was in school, the boys who acted “macho” were also the biggest jerks. Just saying 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rts – Facing the Challenges of Mental Health

      Angie, I agree that it is much more difficult for young men with social media, television, and other forms of entertainment.


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