Taiwanese men are more satisfied with their bodies?

A few days ago, there was an interesting news story on NPR about cultural differences and male perceptions of body image between East and West.

The research conducted by a Harvard-affiliated hospital finds that Western men (men in America and Europe) are more obsessed with their bodies, in particular, their muscularity, and they (wrongly) assume that women share the same sentiment. While in reality most women prefer ordinary-looking male bodies. The same research finds that Taiwanese men are more accurate in depicting the bodies women desire most, and that they are not as dissatisfied with their bodies as Western men.

Listen on if you are interested:
Cultural Differences Seen in Male Perceptions of Body Image

What’s your take on this?

My impression has always been that Janet was right, “women don’t like a man with Too Many muscles.” They do however seem to prefer a certain type: reasonably tall, not heavy set but definitely strong looking, broad shoulders, thin hips, flat tummy, tight muscular looking butt… A lot of guys in the west, and increasingly here, go out of their way to become super buff and I think a lot of women on both sides of the pond find it vaguely ridiculous. Westerner guys do this more though so perhaps there is more of an issue with this in the west. Of course there is also the possibility that men mangle their bodies like that for other reasons than to impress women. They may do it to overcome their fear of being pushed around or they may do it because weight lifting feels bloody fantastic after you have been doing it awhile. Hard to say.

Anyway another thing I find interesting is the way that men here will waltze around the changing room at the pool bare ass to the breeze with their dingle berries dingling away all over the place. There doesn’t seem to be any hang up there. In fact some of the more friendly fellars seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in the communal shower! :sick:

good God, man :astonished: A good a reason as any to not go swimming at a public pool.

I have noticed though that the guys out here take much better care of themselves. They dress to impress and spend vast expense etc on their hair and general appearance. In the West that might be percieved as being a little “nancy” but the girls seem to appreciate it.

The girls appreciate it definitely, and at the end of the day, lets face it, that’s what counts.

That it is indeed!!

I’ve also found that Taiwanese men/boys aren’t as into the “mine is bigger than yours” thing that many Western men/boys are. I’ve had a surprisingly large number of Taiwanese men/boys tell me that Westerners are so “big” and that “we Taiwanese are all small” (which isn’t true in all cases). But they seem to be much more secure about it. My boyfriend thinks it’s hilarious to flash his classmates in the bathroom, even though he has nothing to be especially proud of … although he does constantly complain that both he and I are too fat. Oh well … sigh

Maybe it starts in the bathrooms at schools. At our buxiban the toilets are together. First there are the boys urinals against the wall, which you have to walk past to use the cubicle with the door (for the girls). So the girls and all the boys walk past the guys taking a leak. I was horrified at first but no one seems to bat an eyelid at this. regardless to say, I always use the “girls” cubicle. :blush: Maybe not so much from any insecurity issues, but I don’t think exposing myself to 8 year old girls would be appropriate.

But in this context it’s amusing how certain things are forbidden and some are seen to be normal. It seems, the general rule is that if it’s a bodily function (i.e. urinating) then there’s no worry. But other than that, don’t go there!

When i was in Amsterdam and Germany this past summer i thought the guys spent alot of time and money on their appearance. I also found that alot of the guys were feminine in appearance, and very thin and slender. I could often tell if a guy was from north america just by how muscular he was. Iam not very big, but compared to europeans i was. Maybe its because of the sports we play that require alot of muscle development that we work out as much as we do.

Troy-I agree. Even in South Africa, we play games like rugby that require a lot of gym time etc. We also eat a lot of red meat and tend to be rather big. By South African standards I’m small (maybe average) at 180cm and 85kg, but Taiwanese tend to think I’m “tall and heavy”.

…anybody willing to consider that maybe the reason Taiwanese are more comfortable about their bodies is that their bodies are MUCH BETTER THAN OURS (Westerners)? … in general, of course. :wink:

Its all that pap and wors :smiley: . I grew up in the Free State and remember playing rugby against the Afrikaans schools, they were some big bastards :astonished: .

Depends on who you’re looking at. The young stud working out in the gym? The trendy metrosexual businessman type you see so often here? Yeah, those guys are in good shape. But what about the binlang chewing bus driver? All those old guys hanging around playing mahjong with their pot-bellies hanging out of their one size too tiny wife beaters? Umm, no… It seems to work in Taiwan the same way it works back home. Generally, the higher up the social strata you climb, the better looking the people get. Taiwanese proles - I’d never claim the men or women have particularly attractive physical features.

I think in the West there seem to be two extremes. Half the people are pumped up and obsessed with being strong and muscular and the other half are just fat.

In Taiwan I don’t see many fat people or many strong body builder type people - there just seems to be a nice balance of medium build folks.

I think the Taiwanese perceptions of themselves is going to change in about oh, 20 years when a full generation of children raised on McDonald’s and KFC with strong emotional connections grows up looking not so dissimilar from other countries where people grew up with the same kind of foods.

I see preschoolers getting Happy Meals for their lunches, children hanging around McDonald’s for breakfast before school, parents appeasing a crying baby by giving it a french fry… It’s only a matter of time before Taiwan becomes another Fast Food Nation.

It isn’t already!!! :astonished: All the night market crap, bian dang, fried chicken stands, etc. … that’s all fast food too, and the Taiwanese live off of that crap.