Readers’ Forum: 2/18/20

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Men have feelings too 

It is safe to bet that when you hear the word body positivity your first thought was of a woman – and that isn’t your fault. In society, men are often overlooked during conversations about body positivity and mental illness surrounding body image. The question is why? Body image is similar between males and females; therefore, men should be included in the discussion surrounding positive body image.

Whether you are male or female, there are still societal pressures to look a certain way and these body expectations have negative effects despite gender. The Body Project study concluded that, “men and women are equally insecure in their bodies when the idea of ‘the body’ is directly or indirectly confronted in social situations”. If this is the case, men need to be equally involved in discussions about body image.

We need to do a better job at understanding men and their relationship with body image and the mental illnesses that may surround it. It may be an easy thing to dismiss and forget about as men are quieter about their struggles; however, research from Bradley University showed a staggering 95% of men aged 18-22 are not satisfied with their bodies to some degree.

Including men in these movements would be an increase in research relating to men and their relationship with body image and mental illnesses. It is 2020. It is time that society stops pretending that only women struggle with negative body image, mental disorders and eating disorders.

Emma Wheeler
New Canaan, CT

Good sleep hygiene

How are we supposed to “rise and shout” when college students hardly want to rise in the first
place? College students are very familiar with the feeling of exhaustion. We have classes, work, extracurriculars, social lives and homework. This is why sleep hygiene — or having a regulated sleep schedule where you get seven to nine hours of sleep each night — is crucial.

Though difficult at first, obtaining good sleep hygiene is definitely achievable. Sleep hygiene
is a set of behaviors that you are able to change. Strive to go to bed at the same time every night, even on the weekend, and pick a bedtime that allows you to get at least seven hours of sleep. Make sure your room is quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature to create an atmosphere that will enhance your sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time helps regulate your circadian rhythm, the process that alerts your body when it is time to go to sleep and wake up each day. Your body will also drop into deeper sleep cycles while sleeping that will decrease blood pressure, relax your muscles and promote tissue repair.

To college students, the most beneficial part of good sleep hygiene may be memory
consolidation, a process where the information we learn in class is committed to our long-term
memory. Though getting good sleep hygiene can be difficult, it is certainly attainable and will help you on your “trail to fame and glory.”

Anzie Gish
Tulsa, OK

Agency is stronger than testosterone

A young man was shocked when he found nude drawings in my friend’s sketchbook. He couldn’t believe that as an art major at BYU she would produce pornography.

This is unsettling.

Nudity being equated to sexual idealization is a cultural norm among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s an overcorrection, like if a person were so obsessed with not being part of a gang that she or he refused to be part of a family. Nude art and pornography can seem similar. The difference is that while pornography is meant to exaggerate the truth and addict the viewer, art is meant to depict God’s work and inspire the viewer.

I once posed naked for a roommate who was applying to BYU’s art program. She didn’t make any changes. I wasn’t skinnier. I wasn’t taller. I wasn’t hairless. She drew me the way God made me. I have never felt more beautiful. My body was real. It was sacred. It was mine.
And there was nothing sexual about it.

As a young woman, I was taught that by dressing modestly, I was helping young men to keep their thoughts clean. Essentially, I was taught that a man’s thoughts are controlled by his testosterone rather than his agency.

That simply isn’t true! Men are powerful and strong. Men can choose which thoughts they allow to occupy their minds. I don’t dress modestly for their sake. I know they don’t need me to.
I dress modestly because I respect the sacredness of my body. We, the students of BYU, are the rising generation. One day we will be parents and leaders in this church. Let’s teach our children to be chaste by teaching them that nudity doesn’t have to be sexualized and that bodies are beautiful.

Emily Andersen
South Jordan, UT

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