The other night, my husband and I were talking (okay gossiping) about another couple we know. The conversation then moved toward the man of the couple in question.
My husband suddenly turns to me and says, "By the way, his chest is not really that big - it's mostly fat. He just sucks it in. My chest is actually more muscular than his."
I almost choked on my tortilla chip.
I have to say, I was amused and curious. My husband was quite serious. He really believed that he was more muscular than the man in question and it really mattered to him.
Wait a minute. Did I marry a shallow, self-obsessed man by mistake?
Nope. Men actually do size each other up and compare themselves. Just like women do (yes!!). If my husband is any indication, there must be more out there like him.
According to my man, the inclination to size up other men is mainly to determine the probability of being able to take them on in a physical fight situation. I think a good part of it may have to do with assessing attractiveness as well.
Nevertheless, this was a delightful piece of information my husband had just given me. I'm sure it's not a shock to a lot of people but I had never heard my husband say anything like this before. It was candid and - quite frankly - a relief. It's good to know it's not just women who eye each other up and down for surveying purposes.
So now the question is, how often do men check each other out? Every time they go out? Occasionally?
It's no surprise that men are competitive with each other as the instinctual male need to prove themselves the more desirable mate in order to breed with females has long been known.
But the way in which men size each other up is the interesting part. They look at arm size, neck size, width of shoulders, height, weight, and degree of mobility. The long standing joke about men comparing penis size is obvious, but apparently that's not the only body part men need to feel superior to.
I know that women glance at other women and make comparisons, because I am a woman. A lot of the time we earnestly attempt not to judge but there's always that one woman we'll see and immediately start comparing ourselves. When we check out other women we look at their faces, skin, hair, breasts, derrieres, legs, clothing, etc.
It's natural for women to check out other women and it's also the norm for us to discuss our thoughts about it with both women and men. It doesn't mean we're necessarily insecure or hating on anyone. But we look.
The intriguing thing about men is that we hardly ever hear them discussing their views on how other men compare to their perception of themselves. I think heterosexual men especially may feel it would be weird to mention what they think of other men's bodies.
I think it's fantastic that men are actually not that different than women in the respect that they do notice how others of the same sex look, perform, and dress in comparison to themselves.
I'd love to hear more men open up about their self-image or insecurities. It's comforting to know men are human too (tongue in cheek).
By Michelle Zunter
More from Michelle: "How to Stay Married Even When You Don't Feel Like it - http://hubpages.com/relationships/How-to-Stay-Married-Even-When-you-Dont-Feel-Like-it
Originally a Vancouver Island native, Michelle now resides in California. Besides pursuing her creative passions, Michelle is a mother, stepmother, and wife.
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