Handsome 31 year old Matt Oakes opens up about the pressure men feel to look ‘perfect’ and how he has gradually become more confident over the years….

We’re well into the New Year and flocks of people are still cramming themselves into the gym to kick start their new year’s resolution to shed a few pounds, build muscle or just get fit. But these days guys are becoming more and more pressured to achieve that ‘perfect body’ and going to extremes to do so.

Don’t get me wrong I will always try to get someone to be healthy, try a new workout regime or tweak their diet. But I will never make someone feel bad about the way they look. It has to be their decision and they have to do it for the right reasons.

I find these days’ social media and advertising campaigns are using guys with chiselled bodies, perfect abs, large pecs more and more, suggesting that that is what is desired. Yes, of course we know sex sells, but more and more guys are now under the impression that they HAVE to have THAT body and nothing else will do!

Not only is this pushing a lot of guys to extreme dieting and even steroids, but it is also causing lots of guys to lose so much confidence in themselves because they don’t match this ‘desired look’.

Not so long ago I made a small statement online wishing guys could look past looks and start looking for what qualities they want in a partner as I believe that looks do not make a good person. One response I received really got to me. It was a guy who said ‘Yeah that is what good looking people say to ugly people like myself so we don’t feel bad! Lol.’

The comment genuinely broke my heart. That someone could be so down on themselves for something as trivial as how they look compared to others. Looks really don’t matter! It’s just skin, muscle hair and bone. But this just highlighted how much people still think they need to look a certain way to find someone.

Way back I when I was in school I was not confident at all! I was the geeky, chubby, loner kid with only a small handful of friends and even back then I thought the same way – the good looking kids had it easy. But confidence comes from within, and I decided to make a change and stop feeling sorry for myself.

I started working out, not to be that perfect guy, but to get fit and healthy and in turn this gave me my confidence. Even until recently I was still not at all comfortable having my photo taken, hated it. I always thought I looked hideous in pictures and I would panic every time a camera at a party came out, so much so I was once asked to leave a group wedding photo by the photographer!

But slowly I started taking peoples advice, listening to what they were telling me. Before if I got a compliment I would just assume they were being polite or they were secretly mocking me, but now I take it and own it.

My point is we ALL have insecurities; even those people who you think are perfect. The truth is there is no such thing as perfect. We have to start loving ourselves and in turn the confidence will come. I really hope we can soon all start realising looks are just the wrapping; anything could be on the inside and it’s what’s on the inside that counts right?

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