Friday, October 28, 2011

David (Gandy) vs. GOLIATH

It appears that even male super models have body image problems. The very attractive and successful David Gandy, famous for his Dolce & Gabbana ads, is just like the rest of us. I'm not going to pretend that this info is necessarily news to me (that a male model is body obsessed), come on, it's his job to look good. But, what I do find interesting is that someone who is hired to be the body and face of a company, someone who beat out hundreds of (if not more) models to fulfill that role, can still fall victim to the mischievous tricks of the mind when logic would have to argue that you're doing just fine.

In a recent interview in DETAILS he had this to say about his struggles with body image:

“I don’t particularly like much of my body. I’m very critical of myself. I think I’m pretty much a perfectionist in anything I do so I’m never going to be happy. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, believe me. People can criticise me and try to being me down but I tell them, ‘You can’t be as hard on me as I am on myself, so don’t even try.’”

That last sentence is incredibly telling and it brings forth a much larger issue: why is he so hard on himself? Is it the stress of staying relevant and competing with younger, so-called, "hotter" models? Is it linked to his childhood; is he an "ugly duckling" type who was made fun of at school? Was there an overbearing parent that subtly, or possibly not-so-subtly, informed his ideas of what a man should look like? Or, any number of other factors? 

That is where the lines tend to blur, and one of the reasons body image issues are so prevalent and difficult to locate the root cause. Often times it is not as simple as just one contributing factor (for me it was a mix of parental influence, being made fun of and shamed, the gay community's glorification of, and the medias emphasis on, what is essentially an unnatural body type). 

So who knows why Mr. Gandy is so hard on himself? Maybe that is not the real issue here. It is most likely more constructive to focus on how to get the mind to move beyond the "ideas" is subscribes to. Especially when there is strong evidence that suggests your beliefs not grounded in reality. 

We've all got bodies. We've all got issues. And it seems, we all (or a whole lot of us) have body issues.


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