Guest Post: Insecurity and the Media

Introducing my first guest poster: Matt Cavanaugh

There is power in security. This may pertain to financial security… intellectual security… or physical security.

For years leading up to the neo-women’s lib movement of the 90’s, marketing guru’s assaulted women with example after example of how women needed to attain a physical standard possible for very few women.   This marketing strategy was consistently successful and led to mondo sales in makeup products, corrective surgeries, and anything else that would propose to fix a woman’s sense of insecurity.   However, in the 90’s and early 2000’s, the tide began to change and the standards set forth for women began to be a bit more attainable.   More and more women became comfortable (or more comfortable at least) in their own skin.   The result?   Marketing guru’s shifted their focus more to men: specifically towards creating insecurities towards men.

In came the erectile dysfunction ads, the increase in male skin being shown in magazines, countless haircare products aimed at preventing baldness, diet pills specific for men, etc…   These marketing strategies worked and lucrative companies were birthed around “curing” men of these insecurities.   Eating disorders and depression became more common in men.   Physical insecurity, specifically, has become a much more prominent issue for men in the last two decades.

So what does this have to do with body theology?   In truth, everything.   How difficult is it to worship the Lord, to feel proud, to feel confident when a person feels overwhelming shame and guilt towards their own appearance?   Talk about handcuffing!

The fact of the matter is that both men and women are increasingly under attack within the media of today’s world.   So what do we do?   Do we unplug from the media around us?   That is for you to decide for yourself.   Me…well… I choose to remain connected to tv, radio, movies, magazines… but I always attempt to see media for what it is: entertainment that often promotes a false reality.   I’m never going to look like Brad Pitt or David Beckham and I’m completely ok with that.

My goal in life, in faith, and in everything else is to heed Tony Horton’s advice in his P90x workout routine: “To do my best and forget the rest.”   My best is good enough for myself, the people that care for me, and most importantly, my Lord and Savior who loves me and my imperfections all the same.

Matt Cavanaugh is a blogger, newspaper columnist, avid hiker, and lover of the outdoors.  You can read about his many excursions at

About Laura K. Cavanaugh

I'm a writer, spiritual director, and advocate of holistic body theology.

Posted on January 25, 2012, in Body Image, Cultural Discernment, Guest post, Identity, Image of God, Physicality, Sexuality and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: