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It's About Balance: Talking Boys and Body Image

Alisabeth Von Presley
Lovar Davis Kidd, in Cedar Rapids

We know that media images and cultural expectations can have serious consequences for girls, but how do boys and men feel when flooded with images of the ideal man with six pack abs and a chiseled physique?

Tim Eilers, who is Wellness Director for Whirlpool and a former college football player, says that when he was younger, those images made an impression.

“I played on the offensive line, so they wanted me to be as big as I could be. I wanted chiseled abs,” he says.

“There’s a lot of body dysmorphia in men. Even as you walk past the second biggest guy in the gym, he’s looking at the biggest guy. It’s rampant.”

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Eilers, and Lovar Davis Kidd, who is a yoga teacher and massage therapist in Cedar Rapids.

Kidd says he played football in high school, and discovered dance and yoga in college.

“It comes down to what’s supposed to be for men and what’s supposed to be for women,” Kidd says. “Men don’t want to do yoga because they aren’t flexible. Women struggle sometimes when yoga instructors are working on strength. But we really should do what we aren’t good at to balance our bodies.”

Emily Wentzell, who is an associate professor of anthropology and director of international studies program at the University of Iowa; and Ashley Armistead, founder/director for a program called Let Me Run, also join the show. 

Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa