Obesity in Men More Acceptable Than Their Chubby Counterparts?

The living Teddy bear myth?

Obesity and men

It seems to be a worldwide trend that obesity in men is more acceptable than their chubby female counterparts when it comes to that extra weight. Some may reason that a husky man is more socially acceptable because it tends to be viewed as a more masculine trait. While others may say that men’s apparel are more geared to mask those pounds. On the other hand overweight women are viewed as less appealing? Even in the workplace studies have shown extra body mass in men seem to not affect job performance in the workplace or in marriage and divorce. Women with a little extra weight tend to be judged not by her ability to do a job, but by her height to weight ratio. Husky men are more likely to be hired than that of an obese woman despite her experience or credentials, especially in jobs that require her to be in view of the public. Tolerance for obesity is once again being defined by general consensus.

The standards for body mass index or BMI differ so much between the sexes, the margins for acceptable, even within medical views, are biased. Meaning that a woman of about five and half feet who gains a mere 13 or so pounds over her body mass index can be considered obese, where for men it can be an upwards of 35 pounds before falling within the guidelines of obesity.

I suppose what it really boils down to is personal preference for body type. Some trends seem to have embraced the curvalicious female more so in the last few years. Granted it depends on their style, how they wear it, and how she works what she’s got. Discrimination is still less apparent when it comes to women liking the bigger man versus men accepting a girl whose “beauty is on the inside”.

Many “big-boned” boys I am sure have been called a “Teddy bear”, a common nickname for that special guy who can be viewed as cuddly because of his husky stature. I suppose men everywhere may embrace the stigmatism of being thought of big and snuggly and maybe they even consider it as a sexy reference. I wonder if men within that group fully accept the plushy reference or if it is a term dreaded by those who are sent on their lonely walk to “friend zone” by the women in their lives.

As it stands currently, there is almost no proof that discrimination is less prevalent for that of the husky Teddy bear type. So the consensus could be that obesity in men is more acceptable than their chubby counterparts by sheer observation and still depends on individual preferences of body types, and that one “fun” word that often comes up in such a reference, personality. So to all the teddy bears out there, embrace your somewhat larger margin of social acceptability. Accept the occasional stroll to the fabled “friend zone”, a path more traveled by the “big and bold” women in the general population. Or better yet, visit the gym, go on a diet, and drink a tasty protein shake. Be healthy and beef up that sex appeal or just be acceptable for who you are on the inside and the outside.


By Teidi Bishop


New York Times



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