Healthy Living

19 Men On What Body Positivity Means To Them

"It means I get to love myself, even when I feel no one else does."

One might think body image insecurities plague women alone, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, one-third of guys have negative feelings about their bodies and more men are worried about their physical appearance than their financial circumstances or social life, according to recent data obtained by HuffPost reporter Tyler Kingkade.

Thankfully, awareness campaigns redefining self-love and acceptance, meant to break the stigma, have been popping up and not a moment too soon.

To gain insight into how men view body positivity, we reached out to our community of readers and asked just that. While their responses varied, one theme prevailed: body positivity means appreciating and taking care of yourself, without worrying too much about perfection.

1. "It's recognizing that your body is not just the outward appearance and that obesity and diabetes have substantial negative impacts on your body."

2. "Accepting your body isn't the goal. The goal is to be healthy. I accept my healthy lifestyle, not my healthy body."

3. "I accept my body by not altering it. No botox, no fake implants, no B.S."

“If you love your body, you will take care of it. That is truly positive.”

4. "Actually being positive, and taking care of your body in a way that is scientifically proven to beneficial, like vigorous 20 minute exercise daily, a balanced, healthy diet, going to the doctor when you need to, taking care of your mental health and encouraging others to do so, especially those who are [doing] none of those things. If you love your body, you will take care of it. That is truly positive."

5. "I work my ass off for my body. I push my limits and I sacrifice. For all that it does for me, I love my body. And I'm thankful for it."

6. "It means I get to love myself, even when I feel no one else does. It means I can look in the mirror and go, 'I am hot, I totally would have sex with me.' For me, it also means I get to love the person I am now and the one I want to become."

7. "It means letting myself enjoy a day at the beach without being preoccupied with my belly. It means realizing my body has a purpose and functions. It's not just for a person's gaze or approval."

8. "It's not attacking perceived prejudices of the opposite sex or interest because one has low self-esteem."

“It means realizing my body has a purpose and functions.”

9. "Take me as I am, or don't. I'm too old to care anymore."

10. "Work on the 'inside' and work your way out. Workouts rarely change the heart."

11. "I don't have to look at myself. I just look at how my wife looks at me."

12. "This was the body I was given, simple as that. My health has always been the primary concern, regardless of my looks."

13. "Being confident enough to remove one's shirt at a sporting event and having the body decorated to the point of drawing people's attention to it."

14. "It means when you see somebody happy at the beach or pool, you don't make fun of them!"

15. "Most guys, including me, know if we are average, hot or ugly, but we just don't care. There are much more important things to do instead of worrying about how our bodies look."

“There are much more important things to do instead of worrying about how our bodies look.”

16. "Not allowing self-doubt to be supported by the negativity of others goes a long way."

17. "I'm always at peace with my body because I don't judge anyone by their looks."

18. "It's all about heart, personality and sense of humor."

19. "Stop looking in the mirror. I considered my function over my form, and also realized that women actually don't go for looks. Our looks are enhanced by what we do ... Character and strength [trump] looks any day."

Some quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.

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