Men and women both have to deal with the standards and stereotypes that have been set out for them by society. The generalizations that have been developed over the years are different for each gender, and they often contrast to one another. Men, in particular, are often expected to be strong, macho-looking, and unaffected by emotion. But the women in this article are here to debunk that expectation, as they share what qualities men shouldn't be ashamed about:
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#1 Being The Smartest
It's okay to not be the smartest person in the room. Admitting you don't know or understand a thing does not make you look weak. Blustering your way through makes you seem like an arrogant jerk. Admitting you don’t know something already makes you smarter than average. Reminds of that quote: "If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room."
#2 Beard Goals
Some friends of mine are really insecure about not being able to grow a beard. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter. Sometimes hairs grow really slow. My ex had that chin strap mustache look like 10 years ago and he would constantly complain about it not connecting near his mouth. I'd always be like, "You're the only one who cares or notices." Now, he's got one of those FULL lumberjack beards.
#3 Bummed About The Bum
Bums. I have been all my life. Growing up, I never thought that guys had big butts. I always stuck out (pun intended). I hated getting pants growing up and to this day, I get anxiety when I need to try on clothes. I wear a size medium or small in shirts but I have a 38-42 inch waist. My fiancé loves my big butt. At first, it felt weird that someone liked it, but now I’m glad she does. Even though I still feel insecure from time to time.
#4 It's Okay To Be Hairy
Guys shouldn't feel insecure about being hairy. I love a hairy chest and don't find a hairy back or shoulders to be a problem. Yeah, you'll find women who won't like it, but if they are willing to write you off for something physical that is out of your control, they probably aren't the person for you. I will say, regardless of anything else, hygiene is important. If you're hairy, you might sweat more depending on the climate and how warm you run, but if you shower regularly and keep everything clean, it's all good.
#5 Appearing Feminine
Appearing feminine over stupid things, like thinking a puppy is cute, wearing pink, or being generally friendly and smiley. Women like that stuff and get annoyed by men who take masculinity too far. I think it's the most endearing thing ever when my husband baby-talks to his dog. We're childfree, but boy does he love on that little doggie and it's so stinking cute.
#6 Body Confidence
I’m at a pool party. Two very nice overweight guys are in the pool but they are both wearing tee-shirts to cover their guts and just standing around. Then there is a third heavyset guy who easily has an extra 40 pounds on the other two guys. He is shirtless, having the time of his life and cracking jokes. He is way more attractive to the girls because he isn’t ashamed of his body and exudes confidence.
Should all three lose some weight? Sure, most of us should, but don’t stop having fun because you are ashamed of yourself. Live your life and have fun. This is very attractive to all people. Just my opinion. I’m a middle-aged woman and I think I have a bit of wisdom about things like this.
#7 Sing Your Heart Out
Singing. I love it when I’m at a chill pizza joint and the cooks in the kitchen are singing. It doesn’t even matter if they’re not great singers. I love it when people are happy enough to sing!
#8 Sensitive Side
Crying. Men crying is my kryptonite... it just makes me want to love them and hold them forever. Knowing that a man is in tune with his emotions and isn't afraid to show them really makes him attractive to me. I don't like seeing guys who act like they don't feel pain. It makes me think they are big goons.
#9 Practice Openness
They should stop feeling insecure about showing emotion, especially in a relationship. I know a lot of guys grew up being told that showing emotion was ‘girly’ but honestly when a guy is open about how he is feeling and doesn’t suppress it, it makes everyone feel more secure. When the girl feels like she’s the only one who has real feelings in the relationship then it’s hard to trust the guy, and the guy often feels misunderstood as he isn’t conveying what he wants to. Guys, please know it’s okay to be emotional, you deserve to be honest with the people around you and it makes relationships so much better for everyone involved.
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#10 Slim Is Not An Option
Being too skinny. My dude is almost 41 and he's super slim. He's about 5'9" and 130lbs. He eats at weird hours and plays many, many hours of video games. It astounds me that he has such unhealthy habits and he's not 400 lbs. He's underweight!
#11 It's Okay To Be Bald
Balding. So many guys try to hide it or even get plugs or constantly wear hats. Just keep the sides cut close (buzzed or shaved), and most women will actually think it's attractive. A friend of mine shows signs of balding already. He seems pretty confident about it saying at one point he is just going to shave it all. Honestly, his confidence is attractive. No matter what the hair looks like, confidence makes all the difference.
#12 Care About Hair
I've heard a lot of guys are insecure about their hair. One of my guy friends once told me that he spends a good 15 minutes in the morning styling it so it looks okay. Honestly, I don't really notice a guy's hair unless it's drastically different from everyone else (i.e. like a buzz cut, super long, or just some wild hair).
#13 A Good Friend
I have had a lot of guy friends that are really insecure about pimples or acne. I'll tell them that everyone gets them and everyone is insecure about it but their response is usually something like, "Girls have makeup to hide it." And so I taught a few of them how to subtly put on concealer so they could feel more confident.
#14 Not A Make Or Break
Guys shouldn't feel so insecure about their body shape. You don't have to have big biceps or washboard abs in order for a girl to like you.
#15 Sewing, Brochet And Scrapbooks
Guys shouldn't feel insecure about stereotypical masculine standards. You want to do handicrafts like sewing or crochet or scrapbook? Great, we can do it together. I suck at them though, so the farthest I'll probably get is watching YouTube tutorials with you. You can wear cute things and accessories like scarves and handbags, heck
you can borrow mine. If you need some time to unload emotionally with a bubble bath or a one-on-one afternoon tea about whatever jerk you encountered so-and-so many days ago, it doesn't mean you're weak or unreliable. It means you know how to handle your emotions in a controlled and healthy way.
#16 Productivity Is Key
My husband told me yesterday he's less of a man because he got fired and can't provide for us. I'm providing for us just fine for right now. He's looking for work and has picked up more of the housework. To me, he would only be less of a man if he gave up and only played video games all day. As long as he's trying and productive, I'm happy.
#17 No Height Requirement
Height. I know the popular presumption is anyone under 6 ft is screwed, but if a girl considers a couple of inches to be a dealbreaker, she’s not worth your time anyway. I’m short, but lots of my tall and beautiful friends have dated men somewhat to quite a bit shorter than them. It’s no big deal.
#18 Liking Cats
Liking cats, especially kittens. Why do some guys get their boxers in a twist about cooing over animals that are objectively cute and lovable? Chill out and pet the dang cat. It's okay to think little, furry animals are cute. My dad hated cats for years but my stepmom adopted one and he's super chill. He just likes to lounge around with my dad and the dog. My dad loves him because they basically have the same personality.
#19 Ignore The Media Pressure
Don't worry about having a gym body. It is much better to just be healthy, and a lot of the guys with massive muscles just aren't. As well, a lot of them just put stress on the women they are with to be as built as they are. As well, what appeals to the eye is not always the same as what appeals to the other senses. For that matter, what appeals to the eye isn't always huge muscles and little fat. That is just a part of the media pressure as it is telling all women they should look like Kim Kardashian.
#20 Addressing Stereotypes
Guys aren’t there to “protect” and “be a shoulder to cry on,” they need love and affection as well as we women. It’s totally okay to need a safe place now and then and just talk, you don’t have to be emotionless. We don’t need strong hands wrapped around us, we can hold hands and walk side by side. Your height and muscle weight is not as relevant as some toxic people may make you think it is.
#21 Just Rock It
Receding hairlines—they don't look so bad. Toupees and comb-overs look horrible. Just rock whatever look you have. And short guys—don't make up for your height with extra macho or big hair. You're just as sexy as tall guys if you have confidence (without arrogance).
#22 Being Skinny
Being skinny. I see a lot of body shaming towards guys about that and it breaks my heart. You don't have to be muscular or big or anything. So many girls like slender men. (But not Slenderman, he's scary).
#23 Personal Hypeman
Being insecure. Having a bad day? Tell me. Don't feel sexy? Tell me. I'll be your hypeman. Also, knowing that I'm wrong. I know some guys who don't like to correct their girlfriend or wife, but please tell me if I'm wrong. Not saying to embarrass me and leave me humiliated, but I want to know.
#24 Give And Take
If you wouldn't hold a woman to the same standard, don't feel you should live up to that for her. Your relationship should be about equality and actually sharing your life, even if you're just looking at the short term. That Saturday night is a chunk of your life. If you're not getting something from it and you're just living up to her standards, it isn't worth your time.
#25 Finding An Adonis
I’ve heard some guy friends say they find it insulting if a girl calls them cute. They want to be “hot” or “handsome” or whatever. I had to explain to them that cute is a good thing and usually indicates a degree of emotional interest that isn’t there when we say a guy is “hot”.
Guys also obsess a lot about their looks and having a muscular body. But honestly, I couldn’t care less about that stuff. In fact, all of my girlfriends will say that personality wins them over at the end of the day. Obviously no one is looking for a slob, but we’re all not dead-set on finding an Adonis either.
#26 Dad Bods
Their stomachs. My brothers, nephew, and dad all almost always refuse to get into a public pool or body of water without a shirt because they’re a little heavier than other guys. The first time we took our nephew to the pool, he started crying when we told him to take his shirt off because he was embarrassed about it. I know that I, personally, don't give a rat’s butt about a dude’s stomach, along with most other people I know.
#27 For The Gamers
If you like video games and eating pizza on the weekend, it's not okay for someone to tell you that is wrong. There are women out there that would be like, "Cool! Hand me a slice and the second controller." You're not automatically in the wrong, because a woman wants something different.
#28 Change Is Good
Don't be afraid to change. You are allowed to grow as a person and you don't need to feel insecure about wanting something different in your life than you did when you were 20.
#29 Crusty Dusty
Sweat! My boyfriend was SO insecure about his sweat, he went out of his way to try to stay dry, wear strong deodorant, etc... News flash: guys, you look and smell awesome when you’re crusty-dusty! PLEASE do not confuse crusty-dusty with a lack of hygiene! Smelling today’s scent is definitely NOT the same as smelling a week's worth of stank!
#30 Toxic Masculinity
My husband and I have been together for seven years. Growing up, he was always told to “grow a pair” anytime he tried talking about his feelings, or showed any negative emotion that wasn’t anger. When he and I first started dating it almost ruined our relationship, but thankfully after moving out on his own, he realized that it was a toxic behavior and has made incredible improvements. I’ve still only ever seen him cry maybe 5 times ever (two being when our children were born), but he’s much better about communicating when he’s sad or stressed, rather than holding in his feelings until he blows up.
#31 Hair Is Just Hair
Losing hair. I firmly believe everyone has a person for them whether it’s a great friend, close family, or romantic interest. Either way, that person will love you no matter what you look like. Whether you have beautiful locks or a shiny head, someone will love you.
#32 Money Is Just Money
Money. Just the same thing as the gym body. Financial success is one element women may look at, but it is usually just one of very many. Back to the idea of hair, if she is just looking at your financial success, what is it going to be like in ten years, if you lose your job?
#33 Nerd Love
Nerdy activities. Do you love anime, video games, dungeons and dragons, and Renaissance fairs? Own that! There are plenty of folks, men, women, and others who also love that! Having hobbies you can talk passionately about is really attractive! Also, those are all great things to bond with your partner over! To be honest, I’m not dating anyone who isn’t willing to dress up and nerd out with me at the Ren fair and roll some dice with me at the table.
#34 The Importance Of Hygiene
Don’t be secure about having good hygiene habits! I’ve met so many guys that think putting lotion on or trimming their eyebrows is “feminine.” It’s not and so many women will notice if you have good eyebrows, smell good, have soft hands, etc.
Crying. There’s a lot of things I find adorable about my boyfriend that he’s insecure about but maybe crying is one that he just doesn’t want me to see him do. I think it’s really nice seeing a guy expose his vulnerable side. It honestly shows he cares and I feel protective of them somehow? Don’t feel bad about crying, guys.
#36 Goldilocks Requirement
Don't be worried about your hair—being too hairy, not having enough hair, etc. If someone isn't into you, because your hair isn't like Goldilocks, then they aren't really worth the time to get into a relationship with. If she's complaining when she meets you that you don't have enough hair, have too much hair, or don't have hair in the places she wants and have hair in the places she doesn't, what is she going to be like ten years down the road?
#37 Little Spoon
Snoring. I actually find it super soothing to sleep next to a guy that snores.
Wanting to be the little spoon. That RULES. Of course, guys want to be the little spoon sometimes!
Coming off as cool and aloof or whatever to a girl that’s clearly expressing her interest. I’ve found that a lot of guys actually play games and try to make a girl vie for their attention. It makes them really boring to talk to.
#38 Just Be You
Not wanting a big flashy career. Some people have a calling to something, but most of us work to live and not the other way around and that’s okay. If you just wanna make enough to fund your hobbies or be a dad, that’s fine. Being cautious or anxious. You’re a dude, not a machine. Of course, you’re going to have some worries. The same goes for being triggered by past trauma. Ordering what you like to drink. Who cares what color it is, whether it has a cute umbrella or a slice of fruit. Who cares if it’s just lemonade. Please don’t force something you hate down your throat.
#39 Skincare Matters
I hate it when guys don't have a skincare routine because they're 'not gay.' First of all, that's not how it works. Second, you'd feel a lot better after a face mask and moisturizer before bed, trust.
#40 Acting Macho
Being macho and acting strong all the time is not that important to most women. It's one of those pressures society puts on you. It's okay to say you're scared. It's okay to say you're depressed. It's okay not to fight someone, just because they're trying to insult you in public. It's okay to just be a person.
#41 Gamer Couple
Playing video games. That's how he and I bond. We play GTA, Minecraft, Spyro; you name it, we have played it. I love watching him play, and I understand that is his way of decompressing after a long day, and I won't penalize him for it, I will just ask to pass me the controller for multi-player. Video games are fun, just know your limits and don't let it consume your whole entire life.
#42 Beta Males
Men that get put down for not being “alpha” or “man” enough. Ignore them and just be a decent human being. Having traits of a pompous jerk who likes sticking ideals of what a person should look like upon others is uncomfortable. I don’t like associating myself with people like that.
#43 Bellies And Bum
Bellies! I mean yeah, a slim guy or one with a six-pack, yeah, okay, cool—but a guy with some belly? Awesome. Here are my reasons: Cuddles? Soft as heck. Belly cushion? Comfortable like heck. Butt? Tasty and squishy!
#44 Rubiks Insecurities
Dudes should not worry so much that they can't solve a Rubik's Cube puzzle. Although it's mostly rare, a few chicks have dated guys who can't solve it. Don't worry man, there are a ton of YouTube videos online. you can pick it up in no time!
#45 Feminine Side
Don't feel insecure about liking "girly" things. Go ahead and order that fruity drink, watch that rom-com, and sing in the shower. A lot fewer people care than you might realize.