Woah woah woah! Sending over my salutations to you for being strong enough to bring this up, while beckoning you to question yourself: are my “moobs” a manifestation of gynecomastia? Because this “disease” – disgusting how many consider it so – is pretty common among teenage boys. Answering so will help you discover if you require medical attention.
Next, I want you to question, why does society socially criminalize breasts – aren’t they what our mothers nursed us into this world with? Doing so will help you digest the blessedness of breasts and hence, not boob-shame yourself, to begin with.
Now, have yourself internalize: “moobs” or no “moobs,” I am a young boy who doesn’t deserve to be defined by ABC: any bodily characteristic (jee, abbreviation credits go to yours truly).
Lastly, I want you to question your battle: am I battling an isolated bully or an intergenerational taboo that I, alongside many men, must endure; to fight for oneself or to fight for this community of affectees?
With introspection over, let’s holler up the extrospection: create a safe space – even if online. Become a voice and encourage the voices of boys “moob”- shamed, like yourself. Help each other understand how mardangi is making peace with man-boobs! And in case you fear having your identity revealed, try anonymous experience sharing.
Another strategy is verbal self-defense – no gali galoch. Hone the power of slogans and hashtags. After all, it’s pointless putting bullies at gunpoint and quoting Gabbar’s infamous, “kitnay aadmi thay,” for you may get rid of these bullies, but what about those who’ll arise later? After all, masla insaan nahi, masla uski ideology hai. So erasing one enemy will not erase the army of enemies erected on that very animosity.
However, if your bullies resort to physical or sexual violence, report them; whether you do so through your teachers, counselors, parents, or friends, the decision is up to you. But choose someone you trust and if they end up victim-blaming you, do not stop! Indeed, it’s easier said than done but imagine this: speaking up will help save several others from being preyed upon by your bullies. Most importantly, if you believe your bully-induced trauma interferes with your social functioning, try therapy.