Dear Alice,

I am an eighteen-year-old male and I have had an embarrassing problem my entire life. My nipples are rather large and round. I'm not fat, and the rest of my body looks normal, but my nipples protrude and look very strange. I have spent much time doing every chest exercise imaginable, and although my chest muscles seem to grow, my nipples just get pushed out further. This has been a source of insecurity for me for a very long time. I am ashamed to take off my shirt in front of others. I really think that my nipples are the only thing keeping me from having a nice body. Is there anything that can be done to correct this problem?

—Awful Chest

Dear Awful Chest,

Both women and men have nipples of all sizes and shapes. Nipples may be prominent or inverted. The area surrounding the nipple may be large or small, darker or lighter, hairy or hairless. These individual differences often cause needless anxiety, which seems to be accurate in your case. With all the media attention lately on men's bodies, many men begin to think that there is only one way to look — one preferred body type. In reality, there are as many body types as there are men, and as many individual preferences for types of bodies as there are people. What you need to do is: (1) Put some effort into accepting your nipples as they are; (2) Remember that when you take off your shirt, everyone else is not scrutinizing and criticizing your nipples the way you are in your head; and, (3) Find a partner who gets turned on by your kind of nipples.


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