What are the common insecurities men face?
On the subject of insecurities, women typically dominate this conversation. I mean really, it makes sense. Advertisements hounding women to change their bodies, skin colour and entire facial structures are plastered everywhere. Anything for business & industries to get that $$$, right? Capitalism be damned!
However, this article is shifting the focus onto men – more specifically men and the insecurities they face. Because as much as Woke believes in feminism, we also believe in empowerment. And empowerment constitutes ALL genders.
Thanks to the perception of men needing to “man up” and be emotionless robots, it’s no surprise why we rarely get men speaking up about their insecurities. But it is 2020, people! And it’s time to start viewing men as humans too.
So what do men have to feel insecure about? A lot of things! We personally interviewed a few of our male friends* to spill the beans of what keeps them up at night.
*Names have been changed
1. Body Issues – Being too short or having a ‘dad’ bod
Just like women, men also have certain body expectations to maintain a certain physique or be a certain height to be considered “attractive”.
“I always feel insecure about being topless because I don’t have the best body. I feel like other guys and girls are gonna laugh at me because I don’t have abs or muscles. Social media has definitely perpetuated the gym body. Who has time for that? I don’t. I just don’t wanna feel the pressure every time I go to the beach or the pool.” – Azri, 24, Student.
“I’m a short dude, my height is less than 170cm. Luckily, I’m Asian so there’s a bunch of guys like me. But you know how the media always portrays the short guy as just a comedic caricature that no one would actually take seriously or want to date. Girls rather date tall guys – for reasons ranging from being manlier, more able to protect them (what if I had a black belt in martial arts???) and even having bigger dick sizes. – Lee, 19, Student.
2. Hair – Difficulty growing a beard or looking like Lord Voldemort
Go to your local drugstore and head over to the hair care aisle and you’ll realize hair loss treatments aren’t just exclusive to women. God forbid to have thin hair or balding. And yes, beards are included in this category too.
“As a guy with thin hair, I get a lot of comments asking if I’m going bald or suggestions to go Yun Nam. My hair’s always been thin so I never thought of it as a big deal until these comments started becoming more frequent. I want to shave my head bald just so it’d be an intentional look instead.” – Daniel, 35, Employed.
“For the moment I hit puberty until now at the age of 27, I can’t grow a full beard. And that’s always made me insecure. Men with beards are seen as more manly and more mature so it sucks that just because of my clean-shaveness, I’m seen as a little boy. – Nazim, 27, Employed.
3. Sexual Performance – Does size really matter? Should you keep going at it for an hour?
Although the majority of us are starting to realize porn is as realistic as a Hollywood movie, the expectations it produces about sex and our bodies still remain a big issue today. And yes again, it’s not exclusive to women. Men get affected by it too.
“Porn was the only way to get any form of “sex education” and it definitely affected my self-esteem because in the videos, you’ll never see an average or small sized penis. This insecurity haunted me for a long time until I found out the majority of guys were the same size like me.” – Daniel, 35, Employed.
“I love watching porn as much as the next guy but you get a certain type of inferiority if you watch it too much. Porn makes you think sex should last a loooong time but realistically, a session (not including foreplay) would normally last 20 minutes or so. Any longer than that, I’m gonna be worn out and yes even my girlfriend prefers a shorter session so we can go back to just hanging out.” – Azri, 24, Student.
4. Finances – Being the only provider or breadwinner in the family
Remember how men were always viewed as the family breadwinner? Then feminism came along and women weren’t solely relying on men for finances. However, in Malaysia, chivalry or at least the expectation of it still isn’t dead as we realized that a lot of girls still expect the man to “pay first”.
“When I got my first girlfriend, I was expected to pay for everything. Our dates, gifts, even when I just accompanied her shopping. It was hard because I was still in school and working at a job that only paid me RM5 an hour. If I couldn’t pay, she wouldn’t get angry but remarks would slip out. Then I met my current girlfriend who loves going Dutch and well, I think that’s the way it should be.” – Nazim, 27, Employed.
“I grew up in an old-fashioned family where the men were expected to work and the women were expected to stay at home & take care of the family. There were many financial issues growing up which could have been avoided if my mom was allowed to work. Even now my sisters aren’t allowed to get part-time jobs but the moment I turned 18, I was the only one pressured to. My relatives always advised me that “working women” aren’t suitable candidates for marriage. Uhm yeah, if you live in the Dark Ages. – Lee, 19, Student.
5. Emotions – Men are told to not have any feelings
As stated earlier, being a man means “manning up” and being an emotionless robot. This hinders a lot of men to form meaningful intimate relationships out of fear of being seen weak or “a pussy”. WRONG. Embrace your emotions and you’ll soon realize how better communication is, not just with your partners but with everyone around you.
“Typical boy stuff growing up, never allowed to cry or never allowed to be “too” emotional unless it was anger or whatever emotion is considered manly. This caused lots of issues in my relationships, I never allowed myself to be fully vulnerable. I’ve learned since then, it’s weaker to avoid emotions.” – Nazim, 27, Employed.
“Years of suppressing my emotions led to a very angry self. I ignored it at first but when it started being directed to my loved ones, that was the beginning of a very long self-reflecting process. I kinda still get angry at myself for being emotional but I definitely accept it more.” – Daniel, 35, Employed.
Many of these insecurities & issues are kept in the dark by men themselves. Fortunately, they’re not bad things at all – in fact admitting you have insecurities is just admitting you’re human. So, let’s embrace our insecurities, regardless of gender and start breaking down stereotypes that men have nothing to be insecure/worried about!
Continue reading more of our Taboo Series articles here!