Proud2Bme | Growing Into My Own Skin

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Growing Into My Own Skin

By Mason Timm--As a teenager, I learned that the ideal man is strong, muscular, handsome and essentially perfect without even having to work for it. These images were constantly shown to me as the golden standard that I should work to achieve. My dad was a bodybuilder when he was younger, and he had high hopes that I would follow in his footsteps and obtain the physique he sported in the 80s.

He would always talk about it with me, never explicitly saying anything, but heavily alluding to his hopes for me. I was never an overly-active kid, but a skateboarding accident left me with a broken leg and two months of sitting around in a cast. That summer, I overate and wasn’t able to be physically active. Several weeks of sitting around caused a shift in my body weight and a dramatic change in the way I looked.

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Going into my teenage years being overweight was unforgiving, and I would constantly feel uncomfortable or out of place. I specifically remember dreading the start of seventh grade, as that was when I would be required to change into gym clothes around other boys. My self-confidence was low, and I had difficulty thinking of anything other than my weight and my appearance. I tried to wear clothes that would cover up the parts of my body that I didn’t like, but no matter what I did, it never seemed to work.

Other boys would make fun of me for my weight and I was often called names like “fat.” I was always self-conscious about my weight, but I never really shared this with anyone else, not even my own parents. It was a personal issue I dealt with for years and years.

       Related: Bringing Male Eating Disorders to Light

As I got older, I tried to change my clothing style to what I thought a slimmer person would wear: skinny jeans, smaller shirts and hoodies to cover up the fat. None of this worked. When I finally went through puberty at about 15, I grew up, grew into my body more and grew a bit more confident with the physique that I had.

Something that I realized along the way was that even though I was upset with my body from time to time, it’s the only one I have. To this day, I still have issues with it, but I don’t let the unrealistic expectations of society influence how I should feel about my body. My body is my body, and nothing can change that.

About the blogger: Mason is a 21-year-old student at Cal State University, Northridge. He lives in Simi Valley, California, and works as a busser at The Cheesecake Factory. In his free time, he plays video games, watches movies and TV shows and spends time with his girlfriend.

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

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