On the way to work this morning, every radio station was talking about the big premiere tonight. If you hadn’t already heard, “Magic Mike” opens tonight in a theater near you, chronicling the life of a male stripper, played by Channing Tatum. Radio hosts were proclaiming tonight ‘Ladies Night’ due to the expected exodus of women from their homes and into theaters across the country. This got me thinking. If the movie was called “Magic Mary“, telling the story of a female stripper and causing men to flock to theaters, many women would be in an uproar. They would claim the movie was sexist, objectifying women, and just another way men are keeping women in their place. They would claim the media was once again portraying an unrealistic, unattainable, and unhealthy body image, perpetuating eating disorders and depression in young girls. But it’s ok for women to do the same to men? I think there is a double standard here.
As women, we should be treating men with respect and dignity. We should be edifying the qualities we want in our husbands, our fathers, our sons, and our friends. How can we expect men to control themselves if we can’t do the same?
In regards to the media’s supposed “War on Women” and the ‘ideal’ body type, I would just like to point out that men suffer from eating disorders and discontentment with their physical appearance just like women. I have watched men and women, struggle to fit into what the world deems ‘beautiful’ or ‘handsome’ based on the images they see on TV, in movies, and in magazines. I promise you the men in “Magic Mike” are not perfect and they are not normal. If they were real, they would not give you happiness.The ‘ideal man’ does not exist. So, as women, why do we fill our minds with images of men that will leave us disappointed and empty? Especially when we know how it feels to never look like the ‘ideal woman’?
In the end, you can do what you want. It’s “only a movie”. So if you do end up going to theaters tonight, I just ask that you guard your heart and your mind. Ask yourself what you’re gaining from this movie and what you may be taking away. The images we fill our heads with have more effect on us than we like to think and, consequently, on others.