REbeL examines unfair beauty standards for men

Maddie Davis, Co-Editor

According to REbeL’s website, it is a “student-driven education and prevention program designed to address
eating and body image concerns.”
Nowhere does it say it’s only for girls.
Guys can be involved in REbeL, too.
REbeL sponsor Jessica Edwards said REbeL is for everyone.
“It’s certainly a little more challenging to reach guys because I think most of the research around the issues we talk about in REbeL is focused on girls and women,” she said. “So, the research just isn’t quite out there.”
“The Kansas City Star” recently did an article about a young man recovering from anorexia.
In the article, he was in denial about his condition because he thought anorexia was a “women’s disease.” REbeL maybe could have helped this young man.
If only he knew it was available.
REbeL member sophomore Marshall McCarl said he thinks REbeL is trying to open up issues on the male end of things as well.
“As of right now, I know they’re starting to raise male awareness because REbeL talks about eating disorders and body image, and they’re starting to talk about guys as well,” he said.
Edwards said she agreed this was one of REbeL’s goals.
“I just think we have to start by making things a little bit more gender- neutral because a lot of stuff is just focused on women,” she said. “That’s just going to be one of the things we’re going to have to work on this year — just making things so that they are for both men and women, and both guys and girls.”
REbeL sponsor Tierney Weed said negative body image is something that affects both genders.
“I think we focus a lot on girls and their perception of their body image, but it’s also an issue for guys at this age, especially the male athletes,” she said.
Edwards said she thinks the media has a huge impact on body image as well.
“One of the big [topics] is the media and the unrealistic standards they set for how people should look,” she said. “For example, every guy ‘should’ look like Channing Tatum or an Olympic athlete, and it’s not realistic for a high school kid or a working dad or a college guy. So, it’s just like women being told everyone needs to look like a supermodel.”
Weed said she wants the club to be more diverse.
“I think it’s our goal that it isn’t just a club oriented for girls,” she said. “I think our goal is to get more guy members so we have a more diverse school population represented in our group.”
McCarl said he hopes more guys will join.
“It’s one of those things where if one goes, more will follow,” he said. “As long as you have people who start doing it, more guys will end up coming, too.”
Edwards said she also wants larger guy numbers in REbeL.
“I think, honestly, it’s just going to take a few guys that say, ‘Hey, I want to be involved in this, and this is an issue men face as well,’ and hopefully we’ll get more to come,” she said. “We had one guy last year, and this year we have three, so we’re getting there. However, we always want to welcome more.”
McCarl said he thinks getting guys involved in REbeL can start small at Blue Valley but expand nationwide.
“A lot of colleges like [REbeL], and I think BV will end up spreading it to other schools because it’s a great thing to get into,” he said. “I think other schools will look at it, see the organization and feel that it’s something they should be doing.”
Edwards said she wants to reiterate that REbeL is not just something for young women — it’s for everybody.
“We’re working on it,” she said. “We’re going to reach the guys somehow, we just have to figure it out.”