You can dress in the finest designer clothes. You can wear shoes that cost as much as most people’s cars. You can wear a watch that costs more than 3 months’ rent. But while fashion can help us to feel good from the outside-in, it’s not an instant fix for our self-esteem. Entire industries have been built around helping us to address our insecurities and personal foibles. Men and women are guilty of nurturing body issues and pet peeves about their appearance in ways that can impact on their self-esteem and psychological wellbeing. Yet, we have yet to normalise men talking about their insecurities openly. This can lead to the mistaken belief that those men who nurture their own insecurities and esteem issues exist in a vacuum amidst a backdrop of perfect peers.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common self-esteem issues that afflict men, and what can be done about them.
Hair loss is not a uniquely male preoccupation. Indeed, around a third of all women will experience hair loss at some point in their lives. Still, androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness is a common cause for concern among men from their 30s onwards. It’s a glaring reminder that our youth is behind us, and an impediment to being able to style our hair in the way we would like. Plus, let’s be honest, society isn’t kind to those of us who are losing our hair. Ever notice how bald or balding men play a disproportionate amount of movie villains?
The good news is that there are a number of solutions to the problem of male hair loss;
- Styling your hair around it
- Taking finasteride or a herbal alternative
- Using a topical treatment like Minoxidil
- Getting a FUE hair transplant
- Opting for a crew cut that makes the disparity in coverage less obvious
Chin / jawline
Most of us have grown up with the archetype as the square jawed, barrel chested action hero as our expectation for male adulthood. So when our own boyish features fail to coalesce into the perfect jawline of a Henry Cavill or Robert Pattinson, we might feel cheated. While there are chin and jaw surgery options that can enhance the jawline, there are also a number of exercises that can improve the definition of a weak chin or jaw.
Men tend to store a disproportionate amount of fat in their bellied. What’s more, a stressful job (or a love of lager) can exacerbate this issue. Stress can increase the body’s production of the hormone cortisol which causes us to store more fat in the belly. And when this fat is visceral (beneath the muscle tissue), it can be hard to shift through diet and exercise alone. Quitting vices like smoking and drinking, as well as improving sleep can all help to reduce fat in this problem area.
Finally, relatively few men have much of a skincare regimen to speak of when compared to their female counterparts. Again, this is something that society has yet to normalise. But the result can be skin problems like spots, dry skin or unsightly blackheads. The good news is that a good diet, good hydration, regular moisturising and swapping out soap for a gentler cleanser can alleviate many of the skin problems that plague men.