Male Body Shaming is on the Rise

No one is immune to body shaming — not even "Aquaman" star Jason Momoa. But the uptick in body shaming of men says plenty about modern masculinity.

Celebs received criticisms (and some praise) for their less-than-chiseled bodies

Both men and women face body shaming — with 93% of women 83% of men reporting facing criticism for being too fat (or sometimes too thin). “Body shaming,” the act of humiliating someone for their size, can happen to anyone. However, equating the trials and tribulations of a model told to “eat a hamburger,” with the treatment of someone perceived as overweight is a dangerous conflation. To be called “thin,” in much of the Western world, is generally a compliment. To be “fat,” by contrast, means facing a stigma on a daily basis, particularly about one’s health. Though studies have shown that those with an elevated Body Mass Index (BMI) have a higher mortality rate, the health concerns of overweight and obese people are highly complex.

The BMI is a calculation to determine if someone is underweight, normal weight, overweight, obese, or morbidly obese. Even though there are huge problems and limitations of using BMI to measure for “ideal” weight, doctors, scientists, and researchers continue to use it. Because of the BMI’s ubiquity in the scientific and medical literature, its classifications are common definitions of “fat”. Studies show being visibly “chubby” is more likely to hurt your career, wealth, mental health, and love life. To conflate “skinny shaming” and “fat shaming” is to obscure the real shame in that. Yet this body image researcher Glen Jankowski, Senior lecturer, Leeds Beckett University, says he sees a new movement towards body acceptance.

Male celebrities such as Jason Momoa, Nick Jonas, and Seth Rogen have recently received criticisms (and some praise) for their less-than-chiseled bodies. Selena Gomez discussed body shaming on Ellen and Tyra Banks responded to body shamers on The Tyra Banks Show. Emily Ratajkowski has defended her friend against body-shaming trolls after their bodies were compared on Instagram. After researching male body dissatisfaction for 8 years, Jankowski says he hopes to highlight the harmful impacts of body shaming.