The world seems to finally be catching on to a simple truth… that human beings come in all shapes and sizes. For too long, both men and women have had to compare themselves to unrealistic standards of beauty. And while this might not bother any of us in our younger years, when our bodies start to age we can drift further and further away from the ideal of what we’re supposed to look like. Yet, while women most definitely share the brunt of this, with airbrushed images of feminine perfection occupying every billboard, every magazine, every catalogue and every fashion website, there’s surprisingly little help and advice for men who experience issues with body confidence.
While the world appears to be warming up to the notion that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, sometimes has stretch marks and doesn’t always need to be silky smooth from the eyebrows down, men seem to have endured no such liberation. We’re all expected to be 6’3”, muscular and with a thick set of locks that remains unchanged since out teen years. What’s more, there’s an unspoken rule that we’re not allowed to be upset about it. That we should soldier on regardless of how a little part of us dies every time we look in the mirror. That we should “man up”. For many Latino men in particular, machismo is a big part of male identity, and this means suppressing feelings of weakness and insecurity.
But here’s the news… Guys deserve to be body confident, too. You deserve to look in the mirror and not think “what the Hell is my Dad doing there?”. You deserve to turn heads when you walk down the street. Whatever your height, your weight, your body type or your hairline, every man deserves to feel good. Whether you’re married, dating, single by choice or just now thinking of getting back in the game you deserve body confidence. And here are some ways to get it without living at the gym, neglecting an entire food group or making yourself miserable…
Want to look taller? Here’s what not to do!
There’s this absurd notion (that’s pretty much exclusive to the western world) that a man’s worth is directly proportionate to his height. And for many hispanic men, particularly Mexican men (who average an adult height of 5’7” compared to their white counterparts who average 5’9”) this can be a common pain point. But being under 6 feet tall (even significantly under) doesn’t make you any less worthy or desirable as a man.
Still, if you’re feeling self conscious about your height do not- repeat – do not wear shoes with lifts. Not only do they look unbelievably fake, they’re clumpy and affect your gait in unflattering ways. They’ll either make you look like Boris Karloff in Frankenstein or make your feet look absurdly large.
Instead, try these tips to give you more of an illusion of height;
- Wear fitted clothes to give you a slimmer profile – The wider you look the shorter you look
- Dress in vertical stripes which give the illusion of height and are also slimming
- Add accessories higher up on the body to draw the eye upwards
- Choose jackets with a high waist button to lengthen the leg
- Wear pants with no break which can also lengthen the leg
- Dress in the same colors- This gives you a longer looking silhouette
Bothered by a bald spot? Try this surgery-free solution
Hair loss doesn’t make you less of a man. In fact, the hormone that results in hair loss Dihydrotestosterone or DHT is a male sex steroid, which is why baldness has often been seen as a sign of virility. So, if anything, it can be argued that bald men are manlier.
When their hair begins to thin, many men choose to own their hair loss by shaving their heads. However, you are certainly not without options. Hair transplantation is an increasingly available and affordable procedure whereby the hair follicles are removed from the back and side of the head where they are most dense and repositioned on the scalp or hairline to restore hair to its former thickness.
Still, if the idea of getting a hair transplant (which is lengthy, uncomfortable and doesn’t always guarantee great results) makes you nervous, it is by no means your only option. Topical minoxidil has been shown to provide good results over time when rubbed into the scalp as have DHT blockers like finasteride.
Or, if you’re looking for faster and more visible results, keratin hair fibers are a great way to conceal thinning hair in a way that looks totally natural. These are electrostatically bonded so they cling to your existing hair for an instant and natural looking result. Lock them in place with a little hairspray and you’re all set… Just be wary if your significant other likes sliding their fingers through your hair!
Invest in a good vest
It’s rare these days that we ever see a Hollywood movie where the male lead has anything but perfectly sculpted pecs, shredded abs and arms the size of hams. But while regular exercise is its own reward, not everyone has the free time nor the genetic advantages of these big screen idols.
If you have a little extra fluff above the waistline or are self-conscious about Gynecomastia (man boobs) you might not be able to get the results you crave from diet and exercise. Its very scarcity can make it a common point of self-consciousness for those affected by it. A Gynecomastia Compression Shirt can give you a leaner, straighter silhouette and help you to feel much more confident no matter what you’re wearing.
They look and fit just like a plain white vest and go with just about any garment or outfit.
Beards… they’re basically contouring for guys!
As we get older, we gain fatty deposits on our cheeks and around the jawline. As such we don’t necessarily have the same facial definition in our 30s, 40s, and 50s that we had in our teens and 20s. What’s more, the bone of the jaw can deteriorate, creating a softer and more rounded jawline. If you feel that this detracts from your youthful looks- fear not. There are much easier and safer solutions than fitting a metal plate to your jaw (yup, that’s a thing). Instead try growing a beard.
In the same way that makeup contouring helps give the ladies more facial definition and confidence, your beard can re-shape your face and jawline to make you look slimmer and more youthful. They cab help to fill out your jawline, add length and definition to your chin and make you look generally younger and slimmer. Here are some great beard contouring tips that will help you get the right shape for your face.
Dude… look after your skin!
Finally, you can’t expect to look handsome and youthful if you don’t take care of your skin. It’s your body’s largest organ and it wears the impact of your lifestyle. So if you drink excessively, eat a whole lot of fast food, smoke and get way too little sleep you can expect to wear it on your skin.
Taking care of your skin isn’t hard. It’s a case of staying hydrated, moisturizing, exfoliating, getting plenty of shuteye and eating lots of the right foods.
When your skin is healthier, you look healthier. And that’s attractive in all men- old, young, short, tall, gay or straight!
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