MEN WITH BOOBS (Gynecomastia + Male Body Shaming) | +REFLECTIONS | TuckTube

In this video, Tuck discusses his experience with Gynecomastia and Male Body Shaming.

Body shaming is the thief of joy, because comparison is the thief of joy.
— Tuck Muntarbhorn

Body shaming is the thief of joy. Because comparison is the thief of joy. Comparison strips you from living in Harmony, in and out from that space I call the Heart and singing your Heart Song, the song you’re meant to sing.

What’s worst is man boobs shaming. Why? Because I’ve been through it and I know lots of people in the same boat. The shame manipulates us to think that we have a disgusting body that somehow, we’re “born wrong” or “born with shitty genetics”. The shame robs your own human brother from their sense of gratitude and loving who they are, in the body that they are given.

I’ve had Gynecomastia since I was 12. The word still makes me shudder. I’m talking about man boobs, puffy nipples and female features in my chest that will not go away by losing weight or working out in the gym. I’m talking about glandular tissue not chest fat that for me, was developed during puberty and stayed with me after puberty. And I’m not alone.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Gynecomastia (guy-nuh-koh-MAS-tee-uh) is the swelling of the breast tissue in boys or men, caused by an imbalance of the hormones, estrogen and testosterone. It affects at least 1 in 4 men.

A video I found which best explains Gynecomastia and glandular tissue in the chest area is this video by Dr. Lebowitz at the Gynecomastia Center in Long Island. Dr. Lebowitz removes glandular tissue from a “skinny” Gynecomastia patient during surgery. I’m sure those who have been through Gynecomastia bullying will have no problem watching this video, but for the faint hearted, the surgery goes through the process of removing glandular tissue the size of vegan chicken breasts from the patient’s chest area, and 0% liposuction was done because there was no fat. I hope this debunks the myth that man boobs can be “ridded off” in the gym.

Whilst my case may not be as extreme as Dr. Leibowitz’s patient or men with Gynecomastia who duct tape their “man boobs” every single day at the expense of their breathing (a shout out to Justin Lewis’ inspiring video at Gynecomastia Talk), or men who developed suicidal thoughts and impulses to “shave off their chest with a knife”, I experienced my fair share of traumatic locker room teasing and being at the swimming pool. In fact, I used to swim competitively when I was 13 (I represented Asia in a swimming competition in Australia in a Relay Race). Kids used to make fun of me and point at my chest, and invite others to look at it - it was horrible. It got up to a point where I was considering getting surgery done to “correct my shitty, ugly body”.

Now, I’m glad I never went through with surgery. I’m glad I didn’t interfere with the body I am given. And I’m most proud of learning to accept and love my body just the way it is. The sacred temple I live in. The sacred temple I bow to.

As I reflect, I must say that having Gynecomastia has been a deep revelation for me - it has helped me walk in the shoes of people like Justin Lewis, Dr. Leibowitz’s patient and the 1 in 4 men who have Gynecomastia on this planet. Their bravery to share their “man boob” stories continues to move me. Men who allow themselves to be vulnerable in front of a camera – the most accurate measure of courage. Men who constantly question body image as portrayed in the media. And Men who defy outdated gender norms.

I dream of a world where we celebrate our bodies just the way they are. I dream of a world where man boobs are celebrated. I dream of a world that no longer capitalises on people’s insecurities and body insecurities.

So regarding Man Boobs Shaming: STOP IT. You’re reinforcing Gynecomastia and ManBoobs stigma which means you’re just giving more money to those who feed off all of our insecurities in the first place. Love your fucking body. Say it. I want to hear you say it: I LOVE MY BODY. YES.

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Video Mentions:

Dr. Lebowitz at The Long Island Gynecomastia Center:

Justin Lewis at Gynecomastia Talk on Hiding Gynecomastia and Self Mutilation Awareness: