a friend's poor body image

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
a friend's poor body image
Tue, 09-08-2009 - 6:03pm

Ever have a friend who looks great but who thinks they look terrible? What do you say when they complain? I mentioned in a previous post that I don't have body image issues....so I'm really out of my depth in what to say.

I have a mid-20's male friend who is HOT. We're talking 'smokin'. But he hates his body. His body type is naturally lean but because he can't bulk up with muscle, he thinks he looks weedy. On other days he complains about his fat stomach which is truly non-existant. I truly don't understand what's going on in his head.

I think he has a touch of body dysmorphia.

I give him tips like "don't tell other people your flaws and they won't notice". I've compared his attitude to the skinny girls who complain about being fat (I thought he'd relate to that). I've told him straight out that he's hot. I've told him that his mirror is broken. But he doesn't believe any of it.

I've stopped short of telling him there's nothing wrong and he must stop complaining to me....but I'd really like to say it!

So, any tips on dealing with friends who have broken mirrors?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 12:18pm

To start with, it sounds to me as though your friend may have low self-esteem. I once had a beautiful body and face, but I didn't know it THEN. I thought I was way overweight and that my face was nothing special to look at. I even asked dh several times why he chose me when he could have had



iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 5:16pm

Yes, he does also have low self esteem! Great that you mentioned it when I didn't think it relevant.

He comes across as being very out-there and good at everything, but get to know him better and you'll find that some bits are exaggerated and there's some telling of the same good stories a number of times.

Your comments about age and acceptance also ring strongly with me. The older I get, the more accepting of myself I become. Something called 'wisdom' I guess. Sure, I'm still vain and work at looking good, but I've also learned that you need to embrace what you can't change.

I guess there's really nothing I can do. Self esteem and self love comes from the inside - he is ultimately the master of his own self worth.

Sometimes I'd love to be young again, but I don't think I'd trade my wisdom for youth. I hang out with young things at work (this is where I know this guy from) so I'll enjoy their youthful exuberance and then go home to my normal family life at the end of the day - thankful that I've moved past those years of angst.