My husband has a perfect body. I don’t mean he’s hot-hot-hot (of course, he is), but that you can crack any male fashion mag and see all forms of gorgeous men possessing a height/weight ratio with my husband’s exact dimensions. I can go to a store and buy fabulous designer pants in a size 34, bring them home, and they’ll look great with no hemming required. At 6’3” and 175lbs, he doesn’t think twice about adding half a jar of peanut butter to a couple scoops of ice cream and calling it a smoothie. He thinks skipping dessert, doing a bunch of push-ups, and taking the stairs to the bathroom at work is a diet/exercise regime. And for him, it works! But lately, things have started to change. While he hasn’t morphed into the 40-something puffy guys who turn up in greater numbers at each high school reunion, his metabolism is adjusting. He just cracked 180. He has shirts he avoids because he feels they aren’t flattering in the midsection.
I find myself being less than sympathetic.
After all, I’ve spent the better part of the last 30 years fretting over such issues as whether those slightly-too-tight jeans will ever earn their rightful place back in the rotation. (Doesn’t that earn me 100% market share in the Twisted Body Image department?) Now that I’m watching my husband develop his own form of body insecurities, I’m beginning to see how annoying I — and countless other women — have been. And I intend to fight back, not just with the humor I find in poking fun at a guy who wouldn’t know a metabolism challenge if it bit him in his not-so-fat ass, but with a renewed perspective on my own imperfect parts.
Next time you hear a man fret about his body, think about whether you’re the type to launch into a lecture on the history of female objectification or if you’ll play the the “Don’t be silly honey, have another beer” role.
Tags: body image, dieting, forty, forty-plus, husband, losing weight, men, men over 40, metabolism, middle aged women, over forty, weight gain, women, women over 40, women over 50, women over forty