Breast Men

TMZ reaches a new juvenile low by posting a man boob gallery of Hollywood stars, with the caveat "viewing is not recommended during meals".

The above photo is from Clothes-Free International, showing real people. At first glance, it's hard to tell who is the woman in the group from the size of the breasts.

The fact is that as men get older, they tend to sag, just like women. That once proud chest gives in to gravity and age.

Much is made in the media about women and girls with severe body image issues, which is commendable, but men suffer from the same problem. The male form in advertising is also idealized, causing many men to over-exercise in a futile effort to develop a six-pack, or to take steroids to try and build up a body that was simply not made for muscles.

Nearly 14,000 males undergo breast reduction surgery every year. It is estimated that 40 to 50 percent of all men have some form of gynecomastia, or "man breasts". In other words, it's normal.

Some men are embracing their boobs. One photographer celebrates the "mature heavyset male". And a site in the UK is strictly all about man boobs.

I remember when I was a teenager I was ashamed of my chest. Since I was a little kid I always had larger breasts than most of the other kids. I remember once looking in the mirror and adjusting my posture so that slouching made my chest appear smaller. I avoided gym class whenever there was a basketball game between "shirts and skins". One time, in 8th grade, a girl punched me in the boob and went away laughing.

When I was about 18, I remember being at a friend's summer house with my girlfriend. She asked me why I always wore a shirt unless I was actually in the water, and I replied that I didn't like the way I looked. She put her hands under my shirt and told me that she thought my larger chest was sexy. Problem solved.

Sometimes just a little positive reinforcement is all someone needs in order to overcome body issues. That doesn't mean that people should not strive to look and feel better, but it might help people to at least come to terms with their own bodies, to accept what they have and not resort to artificial means to try and achieve a totally unrealistic body.

The TMZ man boob pictorial is no different than that young girl who once punched me in the boob. It's cruel, and grossly immature. I can forgive the girl for what she did to me because of her, but adults should know better. An entire industry now exists to make fun of the way celebrities look, which is basically an indictment on the entire human race.

For me, the primary benefit of nudism is the opportunity to see normal bodies of all shapes and sizes, and of all ages. The image of the human body, especially in the mind of Americans, badly needs to be normalized. Nude, we really do resemble each other.

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