If I Benched 180lbs, Would that Make Me a Man?

If I benched 180lbs, would that make me a man?
If you could see a six pack through my shirt, would that make me a man?
Would I be a man if I had bigger biceps, stronger calf muscles, broader shoulders?
What if I were six feet tall?

If I could throw back twenty beers without feeling a thing,
If I drove a fast car,
If I didn’t care about shoes or clothes,
Would that make me a man?

If I enjoyed watching sports,
If I got picked for every team I tried out for,
If I played a sport at all,
Then would I be a man?

Would more friends make me a man? More fame? More money?
What if I’d slept with more people?
If I needed no one but myself – would that make me a man?

What if others viewed me as intimidating? strong? tough?
What if I could just “suck it up”? “Walk it off”? “Play it cool”?
If my heart had never been broken, If I’d never been depressed, If I’d never felt alone,
Would I be a man?

If I cried less, expressed my emotions less, sought after romance less – Would I be a man then?
What if I’d never admitted to self-harm? Or suicidal thoughts?
If I hadn’t had an eating disorder or struggled with body image?
Would I be a man if I didn’t feel loneliness? sadness? disappointment?

What if I didn’t feel anything at all – surely I’d be a man then…


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My name is Lauren Bersaglio and I am the Founder and Editor of Libero Magazine. I am a writer, speaker, and dedicated mental health advocate based in Vancouver, BC. I love writing, makeup artistry, strategy board games, and going for runs with my Goldendoodle Zoey.

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