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Body Positive Workout Clothes Women's Thing, Not Men's?

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  • steveko89steveko89 Posts: 1,520Member Member Posts: 1,520Member Member
    My n=1 on how men view how they look goes as follows.

    I have a more healthy view of how I look now compared to when I was 17. I look back on photos of me when I was 17 and ask how I could have thought I was not attractive.



    Probably good in the long term as I may have turned out differently had I realized how attractive I was. I may have been even MORE of a jerk than I am :)

    As I got older, and fatter, I was able to lie/fool myself into believing that I wasn't fat.


    It would be interesting to see how accurate people, in general, view themselves vs how others view them with respect to attractiveness.

    I find it interesting that my n=1 is very different. I've never fancied myself considerably attractive, or even much above average-looking. At 17 I'd reached a healthy weight for the first time and my eyes were opened to the possibility that I actually had some semblance of control over "how I was built" which was what my mother oft recited in attempts at salvaging my low self-esteem whenever I'd bemoan being mild-moderately overweight as an adolescent. Being the chubby little nerd that I was, I was (and still am) a big fan of superheroes. Looking back I see now just how formative watching Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and 90s XMen cartoons were to my perception of how people are supposed to look. As and adult, it was the MCU which brought me to start weightlifting... better late than never as I'd scarcely touched a barbell before 26. Now almost 31 (when did that happen?) I'm healthier and happier in my own skin than at any time in my life. I'll never having leading man looks but I'm almost getting to the point I could maybe pass myself off as a stunt double from a physique standpoint.

    As far as the OP's primary discussion. When I was overweight it never mattered if anyone told me it was ok to look how I did, I didn't want to look like that, I wanted to be lean and muscular and powerful, and seen as attractive by girls. I feel that those are fairly universal attributes for men's advertising (to certain degrees brand-to-brand, of course) whereas there seems to be more variability and in some cases mixed messages in advertising targeted to women, at least by my judgement.
    edited January 2
  • Sunshine_And_SandSunshine_And_Sand Posts: 1,320Member Member Posts: 1,320Member Member
    Just my take on it, others may differ, and that’s ok. But, I feel like with Fat Acceptance and HAES there is a lot of media pressure on women to “be proud” and wear this body positive clothing, even when they don’t feel comfortable in it. If people do feel comfortable in it, go for it. I’m not obese and have only ever been slightly overweight, but I don’t like wearing legging with clothes that don’t cover my butt other than around the house. I’d rather not feel self-conscious and constantly picking at my clothes when I workout, but I’m sure some people would consider that as me not “being proud” of my body, and that’s just not the case. For people who aren’t self-conscious and wear that stuff, they aren’t hurting me. I do feel like see through leggings aren’t a good look for anyone of any size though, but again that underwear glowing under the black light in spin class isn’t hurting me so I’d never say anything to anyone about it.
    I don’t really feel like larger men get that same pressure to “be proud” and show off their bodies that women do, but that’s just from what I’ve seen. Honestly, I think nobody should be feel pressured to dress in a way they don’t feel comfortable. Being self-conscious is not good for any look.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 4,501Member Member Posts: 4,501Member Member
    Interesting, as my take on body positive clothing was clothing that was more flattering (i.e., covered more, not tight in certain places). For me, working out definitely made me feel better about myself and my body even when I was fat, but feeling like my clothing showed off everything in an unflattering way (i.e., was tight where I didn't want it to be) made me uncomfortable and was even distracting.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 1,107Member Member Posts: 1,107Member Member
    wmd1979 wrote: »
    This thread has shifted substantially from the OP's question, but to address that, I think it's simply that many (if not most) guys, regardless of reality, can look at an ad full of typical male fitness models and tell themselves "yeah that's pretty much me" or "a few weeks in the gym and that's pretty much me," whereas females may have a less inflated sense of how they look. Seeing models who represent their actual body type in the ad probably has more of a benefit, whereas if a guy sees his actual body-type in the ad, he might think "these are workout clothes for fat guys.. and that's obviously not me!" even when it very well may be.

    I couldn't disagree more. I don't believe for a second that most men believe they more or less look like fitness models. I think that's actually a pretty insulting statement to make. You may be correct that women overall may be harder on themselves when it comes to their body image, but I don't believe that makes it true that men generally have an "inflated" sense of how they look or are out of touch with reality. I struggle with body image as much as anyone else, and definitely have areas I am looking to improve, but I also think its important to try to feel comfortable in my own skin. I think a lot of a woman's perspective may have to do with the body types you see glamorized every day on the cover of Cosmo, or a hundred other magazines, but that has nothing to do with how men perceive themselves.

    I think there might be a bit of a Dunning-Kruger effect to men's assessment. I worried about being or considered myself fat less when I was morbidly obese than when I was at single digit body fat levels. When morbidly obese I had plenty of thoughts similar to "I have a large frame, I'm not that far out from my weight just because of BMI".
    Now? If I wear a medium shirt that's looser, I feel I just look like any other guy - I'm not obviously, slim, and I don't think I look discernibly fit. The pool I assess myself against is probably very different. I even find my view can rate down others - I watched a show called Insatiable and thought it was silly that the Bob Barnard character was supposed to be the super fit guy on the show - I thought he was in better shape than average, but not near the level the characters talk about it.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 1,107Member Member Posts: 1,107Member Member
    steveko89 wrote: »
    My n=1 on how men view how they look goes as follows.

    I have a more healthy view of how I look now compared to when I was 17. I look back on photos of me when I was 17 and ask how I could have thought I was not attractive.



    Probably good in the long term as I may have turned out differently had I realized how attractive I was. I may have been even MORE of a jerk than I am :)

    As I got older, and fatter, I was able to lie/fool myself into believing that I wasn't fat.


    It would be interesting to see how accurate people, in general, view themselves vs how others view them with respect to attractiveness.

    I find it interesting that my n=1 is very different. I've never fancied myself considerably attractive, or even much above average-looking. At 17 I'd reached a healthy weight for the first time and my eyes were opened to the possibility that I actually had some semblance of control over "how I was built" which was what my mother oft recited in attempts at salvaging my low self-esteem whenever I'd bemoan being mild-moderately overweight as an adolescent. Being the chubby little nerd that I was, I was (and still am) a big fan of superheroes. Looking back I see now just how formative watching Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and 90s XMen cartoons were to my perception of how people are supposed to look. As and adult, it was the MCU which brought me to start weightlifting... better late than never as I'd scarcely touched a barbell before 26. Now almost 31 (when did that happen?) I'm healthier and happier in my own skin than at any time in my life. I'll never having leading man looks but I'm almost getting to the point I could maybe pass myself off as a stunt double from a physique standpoint.

    As far as the OP's primary discussion. When I was overweight it never mattered if anyone told me it was ok to look how I did, I didn't want to look like that, I wanted to be lean and muscular and powerful, and seen as attractive by girls. I feel that those are fairly universal attributes for men's advertising (to certain degrees brand-to-brand, of course) whereas there seems to be more variability and in some cases mixed messages in advertising targeted to women, at least by my judgement.

    I seem to be finding twins on MFP today.
  • Sunshine_And_SandSunshine_And_Sand Posts: 1,320Member Member Posts: 1,320Member Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Interesting, as my take on body positive clothing was clothing that was more flattering (i.e., covered more, not tight in certain places). For me, working out definitely made me feel better about myself and my body even when I was fat, but feeling like my clothing showed off everything in an unflattering way (i.e., was tight where I didn't want it to be) made me uncomfortable and was even distracting.

    Good point. I do see the side of body positive clothing as not necessarily being exactly the same as all the smaller size clothes, but rather something that is flattering rather than frumpy. I also see a big push to offer extended sizes of the same clothing you find in regular sizes as well.
    Either option is good, but I just think it’s also fine that not everyone wants to wear the stuff that was traditionally only made for sizes (insert whatever smaller sizes you want here). I do agree with you that unflattering clothing can be uncomfortable and distracting. As someone who’s not magazine cover thin but always been able to shop from regular sizes, I still feel that clothing you aren’t comfortable in is distracting, and I’m not sure that I’d change my tastes much even if I was traditional cover model material. I personally almost always wore under armour twisted tech capris (I don’t think they make them anymore) to spin class. They are fitted enough to not get caught on the bikes, dry fit and wicking, loose enough that I wasn’t self conscious about underwear lines (not that they bother me when other people have them), opaque so I wasn’t worried about them being see through, long enough that I’m not picking at them like shorts riding up, and high waisted enough that I wasn’t constantly pulling my shirt down for fear of showing underwear or buttcrack. I suppose that could definitely be considered “body positive” to some people.
  • Hearts_2015Hearts_2015 Posts: 12,141Member Member Posts: 12,141Member Member
    Hollis100 wrote: »
    I'm a woman and a normal weight now. When I go to the gym, I'm the only female who wears $10 Walmart sweatpants and any old top. All the other females are wearing black leggings and matching tops. The men wear whatever. Nobody is rude to me. Some smile hello. Mostly people ignore me, which is what I want, to work out in peace and then leave.

    @Hollis100 :+1::smiley:
    I'm glad you shared that. I workout at a Y and ppl wear various types of clothing, pretty much whatever they're comfortable in for the class they're headed too. For myself the better I've felt over the years mentally & physically shows in what I wear. I don't feel I have to wear a particular style to fit in but I've found some workout clothes that are more fit to the body work better for certain classes.
    edited January 10
  • jm_1234jm_1234 Posts: 142Member Member Posts: 142Member Member
    From an article online...

    Mark Simpson, coiner of the terms ‘metrosexual’ and ‘spornosexual', says, “Part of the reason why there are no plus-size male models is that there are no politics behind it. It’s not a controversial issue in the same way that it is for women. Men are objectified all the time in the media, but it’s not called ‘objectification’. There’s no male equivalent of feminist ideology.”

    Vox also has some interesting articles from a corporate / advertising perspective.

    Body Positivity Is a Scam
    https://www.vox.com/2018/6/5/17236212/body-positivity-scam-dove-campaign-ads

    When Brands Use Plus-Size Models and Don’t Make Plus-Size Clothes
    https://www.vox.com/2018/6/5/17236466/size-appropriation-brands-clothes-plus-size
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Posts: 6,710Member, Premium Member Posts: 6,710Member, Premium Member
    RCPV wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    I can only speak for myself but I have zero interest in body positive anything while I am still technically obese. I am fine with going to the gym in frumpy looking sweat pants and a tshirt.

    I remember hearing that the demographic for dieters is largely caucasian women which might explain why a fitness apparel company is directing their money in that direction.

    As an overweight female, when I first began going to the gym to workout I wore sweatpants and tee shirts. People pushed in front of me to use the equipment and were generally rude and unaccommodating. When I pointed out to one young guy that I had been waiting to use a weight bench that he had appropriated, he just looked me up and down and laughed. A friend suggested I get some serious workout clothes made for larger women so I at least "looked the part". I balked at first, but then followed her suggestion. Lo and behold, attitudes at the gym improved and I was treated differently. Men at the gym were actually helpful in pointing out how to use the equipment and exercises that would be beneficial. Maybe you guys can get away with "frumpy looking sweat pants and a tshirt" at the gym, but women are expected to show up in public a little better put together or reap the consequences of their own neglect.

    I am not sure what other guys can and do not get away with. I am fairly bold and I am not afraid to assert myself when needed. I don't care if someone thinks I am a joke but they should think twice before treating me like one.

    I am irritated you were treated that way initially. That really does suck.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Posts: 6,710Member, Premium Member Posts: 6,710Member, Premium Member
    This thread has shifted substantially from the OP's question, but to address that, I think it's simply that many (if not most) guys, regardless of reality, can look at an ad full of typical male fitness models and tell themselves "yeah that's pretty much me" or "a few weeks in the gym and that's pretty much me," whereas females may have a less inflated sense of how they look. Seeing models who represent their actual body type in the ad probably has more of a benefit, whereas if a guy sees his actual body-type in the ad, he might think "these are workout clothes for fat guys.. and that's obviously not me!" even when it very well may be.

    Once again I can only speak for myself. I am quite matter-of-fact about the way I look. I still have a lot of room for improvement. I am unconcerned that I am not there at the moment because I am just pleased to be making progress finally.

    It would be unrealistic of me to think that being anything close to a fitness model is in my future. I do not have a set goal in that regard. I will just keep chipping away at improvement until I hit either a physical limitation or a life balance limitation then I will just work at maintaining it.
  • jm_1234jm_1234 Posts: 142Member Member Posts: 142Member Member
    I’ve never heard of MRA, maybe they aren’t doing a good job or there is a stigma with men’s rights since we’ve always had the most rights.
  • jdh419jdh419 Posts: 36Member Member Posts: 36Member Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    I can only speak for myself but I have zero interest in body positive anything while I am still technically obese. I am fine with going to the gym in frumpy looking sweat pants and a tshirt.

    I remember hearing that the demographic for dieters is largely caucasian women which might explain why a fitness apparel company is directing their money in that direction.

    I am with you! I tried wearing the tight leggings to the gym a few times. Just too much for me! I am old school and wear sweats and old tee shirts. I am not there for guys to look at my "nether region"!
  • jdh419jdh419 Posts: 36Member Member Posts: 36Member Member
    I am 55 years old and only wear sweats and old tees to the gym. I am not one to fall for discriminated marketing. So many of the tights are just over the top tight! I just don't understand why women still allow themselves to be subjected to the sexualization of our bodies! Working out should be in a comfortable, stress free environment where we are looked at as equal; not some sex kitten in pants so tight you can see our labia! That's just my, humble opinion.
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