Who: Bear Body - A Men’s Body Positive workshop
What: It’s a facilitated workshop for men that promotes body positivity. Through a series of exercises, we will guide you as you shed clothing, let go of shame and be truly vulnerable. Participants will share affirmative touch, appreciate each other’s bodies and give & receive positive energy.
The workshops are run face-to-face and in person.
Why I run Bear Body:
1. To create connectedness amongst men and community that develops confidence, cultivates self-care and self-care.
2. To contribute to the male body positivity movement. It is beginning to grow in momentum as awareness around the prevalence and severity of male body image issues increases.
3. To provide a welcoming safe space for men of all body types to feel more open, authentic, and comfortable in their own skin.
The creation of Bear Body is particularly important to me as for many years my self confidence was connected to how I perceived I looked. Much of my male body image issues was the result of trauma connected with bullying, sexual trauma, or other childhood traumas.
I did things like not looking in the mirror until I was dressed, wearing clothes that I thought hid me, not go out, not go on a beach holiday, risky sexual behaviour. Finally I considered would it be better if I was no longer around. I now understand that that I was suffering with my mental health and low self-esteem. That’s what led to my unhealthy and maladaptive behaviours.
There are many reasons why we find ourselves with a negative body self-image, much of which is heightened by the unrealistic expectations set by media and social media.
Male body positivity isn’t focused on by society nearly enough. The stigma around male body image issues often prevents men from speaking honestly about their experiences and seeking support and treatment for related mental health challenges.
So what changed for me?
It was nothing that happened overnight. There were no fad diets, no steroids, & no Prince Charming! The keys for me, were about:
a. Building confidence through activities that aren’t related to body image, such as volunteering, spending time in nature, and creative expression.
b. Being honest about your struggles with your male body image and finding safe places to talk about what you’re going through. (Bear Body is a great place to start doing this)
c. Looking at yourself as a whole person, choose not to focus on specific body parts
At the Bear Body workshop, you’ll find that we
Ÿ Explore how we acknowledge our body’s uniqueness instead of ignoring or hiding it
Ÿ Discover how to appreciate our bodies. (It does wonderful things that most of us fail to notice)
Ÿ Discuss and reflect on the moments when we criticise ourselves and explore the impacts of that.
Ÿ Consider how we refrain from a binary approach to evaluating your own body (and others'); to have us be more flexible than 'attractive' or 'ugly', move away from labels and focus on ‘whole-person’ features.
Ÿ Explore and define for ourselves the fact that ‘good health’ and a ‘perfect body’ are different things
I’d be delighted to speak to you personally about the Bear Body workshop. Just send me a message.(see below)
Come join us and our brothers for a powerful, challenging, and fun, four-hour workshop to challenge how you think about your own body. We lead you through a series of steps where you will shed layers of the armour that you’ve built up to protect yourself over the years. These layers are represented by the clothes that you’re wearing. In other words, we remove our clothes, touch each other’s bodies and affirm each other’s beauty. From our vulnerability, comes our power.
The exploration of our own bodies is central to creating this shared experience which can be immensely powerful and affirming.
Bear Body events are for all men who love men, including trans-men Our venue is fully accessible, and we welcome brothers with all abilities Our sessions are limited to 24 people There is a small charge of £15 per person for this four-hour workshop, just to cover costs. Talk to us if this presents a challenge. Please arrive 10-15 minutes before session starts.
This workshop, as part of Birmingham Bear Weekend from Midsbears, will be on:
Sunday 31 October 2021, from 10:30am – 2:30pm
In a venue somewhere near to Hurst Street, Birmingham
Details, including venue will be available once you’ve signed-up.
Facebook Group: Bear Body group