Masculinity and Physical Condition the Universe John Darcey Darcey 1 Professor Garber Hm 46 April 8th, 1999 Idea of Masculinity and Physical Condition In today’s society, there is a lot of pressure on young men to be in the best physical condition possible.
The idea of masculinity seems to be related to the picture of a perfect man with bulging muscles that excels in sports. A boy growing up who does not make the football or baseball team is ridiculed and tormented by his classmates and is labeled as a “nerd” or a “loser”. These images of the macho man are put in adolescent boys heads mainly by the media. They see the Arnold Schwaztanagers and other muscle men and grow up thinking that is what they have to look like in order to get a good-looking girlfriend or to be popular.Movies portray the big strong man as the one in charge, and the one with all the ladies. Strength has become symbolic of not only Masculinity, but of power and sexuality. The main problem with this image is that not all children can Darcey 2 live up to it.
A boy with an illness such as asthma or diabetes may look fine, but is not able to perform as well athletically than his classmates. The boy will often end up hating himself and pushing harder than he is physically able in order to perform as well as his peers. This is not only dangerous to the physical well – being of the child, but can also mentally harm him when he realizes he will never be as quick or as strong as the rest of the boys.Along with peer pressure comes pressure from the gym teachers or coaches. They always want to push the extra step, but sometime that extra step is unattainable.
The only way that a child with a disability can cope with this is to realize that just because he is not athletic does not make him any less masculine. Some boys that do not even take interest in sports pretend to, just so they are not labeled as “weird” or “gay”. They act like they enjoy watching football games with dad or basketball games with his friends, even though he would rather be reading or writing.Just because a boy is not interested in sports does not make him a homosexual, but that is the image some adolescents get. This is a shame, because instead of focusing on their real talents, these boys Darcey 3 are faking interest in something to protect their masculinity.
Being strong and physically fit can also become a dangerous addition for men. Some will work out until they cause themselves pain, and others will go as for as to inject steroids into their system to get bigger. Many men that have worked very hard to get into the Olympics or professional sports lose all they have worked for because of the means they used to make it to the top.In a society where the kid who is picked last in gym is chastised and laughed at, we must remember in the future that the kid who did not choose him will probably be calling him boss. Just because someone is not as physically capable as another does not make them any less masculine.
Although it is not likely that this stereotype will fade away anytime soon, it can be hoped that other things will be looked at in accordance to masculinity in the future.