This essay John Darcey Darcey 1 has a total of 577 words and 11 pages.
John Darcey Darcey 1
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
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
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
Topics Related to John Darcey Darcey 1
Masculinity, Gender, Anthropology, Men, Man, Machismo, gym teachers, darcey, baseball team, extra step, classmates, adolescent boys, masculinity, muscle men, macho man, strong man, garber, peer pressure, perfect man, nerd, loser, hm, peers, muscles, sexuality, young men
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