IntersectionalityMasculinity On Being Boys: An Open Letter To My 14-Year-Old Self

On Being Boys: An Open Letter To My 14-Year-Old Self

A short letter to my teenage self about peer pressure, masculinity, body positivity, sexuality and growing up as boys in modern India.

Hey dude,

I don’t even know where to start. I’m 20, still alive and in another – yeah, you did great. Never imagined that coming, eh? Good going, champ. You are unstoppable. Keep at it.

I know you hate beating around the bush, so let’s dive right in and answer those three questions I know I’d have wanted to ask my future self.

Did I find the love of my life?

symbolic true love
Image source:

Nope. Yeah, I thought I did. But that is now just a bunch of bittersweet memories. Don’t worry, you’ll find love someday. And then there’ll be heartbreaks too. Painful ones. But labour through it. I know you will.

I know that right now you feel like every successful, ‘popular’ guy has a girlfriend and that it is the key to happiness and fame. And I don’t blame you. Most of the things your friends and the ‘cool’ guys preach as universal truths are super messed up.

Myth Busting Time!

1. Your success and the number of girls you’ve been with has nothing to do with each other. Relationships aren’t based on how many things you have achieved or by imitating the “macho” things the “cool” guys do. Stop putting yourself under so much pressure to be anything but yourself. You are awesome. Just the way you are.

2. There are no “alpha” and “beta” boys. Most of what these guys tell you as “alpha” things are ridiculous, sexist and downright sick. Catcalling, stalking, wolf-whistling, slut-shaming and bullying doesn’t make you an “alpha” man, it makes you a criminal or just plain horrible.

3. Sports is definitely good, but if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. It doesn’t make you any less of a man if you don’t play football.

4. There is no universal standard of “manliness”, man. You are allowed to wear anything you like and have your own personality. You don’t have to be a certain way to attract women. Just be yourself, and I’m sure someone will find that attractive. And that, my darling self, is Love.

Also read: The 6 Myths Of Masculinity: Debunking The Notion Of The Alpha Male

PS: Stop beating yourself up over liking boys. I don’t want to spring this on you, but you are bisexual. And I know that is a lot to process, trust me, I just recently came to terms with it. So breathe, take your time, but know that there’s just nothing wrong with it. You’re still awesome.

How do I Look?

boy looking into mirror
Image source :

Dude, you look insanely hot. I mean, nice thick beard, the gym and swimming have definitely helped, and those love-handles you love are here to stay. You and I both know that I care about three things the most, so here goes.


NOT A BIG DEAL. Yes, I’m still on the shorter side. But that is perfectly ok. Right now those mean kids in school and in a few years, Sidney Sheldon, is going to tell you that the hot guy is the tall, strong man. But that’s just stupid. Your height and your masculinity have NOTHING to do with each other. Stop thinking you need to “compensate” for your height. It is not a defect. Trust me – you’ll thank it when you get to stretch your legs out while sleeping in train berths (which you’ll end up doing A LOT, believe me).

Also read: 11 Ways How Toxic Masculinity Hurts Men


Please stop hating your body. And ask your dad’s stupid gym buddy to mind his own business. Yes, I am rather built now. But I go to the gym because working out makes me happy, not to “change” or “transform”. You need to stop staring at the mirror and being harsh on your body all the time. STOP STARVING YOURSELF. Eat healthy, please. And work out a little, but not because they make fun of you and your supposed “tits”. You are insanely beautiful and I wish you saw that, and stopped puking food out and running till you faint. Yeah, you are going to do that in 2 more years. I wish I could stop you.


Yes, you have one. It’s good. All thick and healthy. The End. Stop obsessing about this. Having one makes you handsome, yes. But “manly”, seriously? Dude, it doesn’t matter. Move on.

How good’s my mister mister/ Mojo Jojo/ lil big guy/ (any of the cute names you have for our dick)?

I need to warn you that this is an open letter, so my natural tendency is to do a classic hyperbole cuz why not? But truth is, size doesn’t matter. Screw those guys in school and their long claims. None of that is true. But even if it is, why does it matter? Because I can tell you this – I’ve had sex. And our man did a fabulous job. Trust me. Made me so proud, I cried. So yes, you’re good. Stop worrying so much. And using the ruler so much (Geez!).

man checking penis length
Image source:

Oh also, masturbation is ok. You don’t have to feel guilty all the time, every time you do it. Yeah, your dad did it too. So if he tells you it’ll make you impotent, you are literally proving him wrong by just existing.

You do not have to feel guilty about having sexual urges or think it makes you a bad person. No, it doesn’t. It’s a natural, human thing. Stay safe and be gentle with your guy, but otherwise, it is all good.

Also read: Boyhood And The Dangers Of Toxic Masculinity

That’s all from me. I wanna say a lot more things, but I’ve literally just overshot my word limit and I want you to explore your life and make the mistakes you will make because all of that is what made me who I am. Just don’t do the ‘puking-what-you-ate’ thing. No. Don’t. Be good to yourself, find time for yourself and stop being mean to your sister.

Love and Regards,
G Man

Featured Image Source: Maple Post

Related Posts

Skip to content