Does body image affect men?

Does body image affect men?

The short answer is yes.

It’s not just women who suffer from dissatisfied body image and low self esteem – it’s men too. Increasingly, magazines, social media sites and advertisements are using celebrities and toned men with perfect physique to promote products. Being exposed to these unrealistic images in the media can lower self esteem and cause increasing issues regarding appearance.  Only over the past few years has there been an increase in larger women used in the media, to advertise products and promote companies. But it seems there has been a lack of plus sized models for men (Lovejoy, 2014). The following quote is taken from an article written by Dennis Campbell for The Guardian.

“More than four in five men (80.7%) talk in ways that promote anxiety about their body image by referring to perceived flaws and imperfections, compared with 75% of women. Similarly, 38% of men would sacrifice at least a year of their life in exchange for a perfect body – again, a higher proportion than women” (Campbell, 2012).

This staggering figure indicates just how much men are affected, and that they also face problems with body image and confidence. Marketers obviously can increase sales with skin care and weight loss products through using men with perfect skin and chiseled bodies, but it is clear this has a large effect on men. Not only that – but women love the way these men look, which worsens the problem even further. It has become a trend for men to go to the gym and get 6 packs and toned muscles, and a number of these men have probably been influenced by online media. When people feel too fat or too thin – it can lead to unhealthy things. Eating disorders and over exercising are just a couple of the many problems men (and women) face in the bid to create a satisfying body image. 

Jessica Lovejoy conducted a survey with the help from UK magazine New Look, where 2000 men were surveyed and results taken. The results show that the men suffered from body images issues, and these insecurities led to problems such as low self esteem, eating disorders and feeling pressure to go to the gym (Lovejoy, 2014b). This just goes to show that men do in fact care about their appearance and that this is issue is not just that of women – and that we should be conscious of the way men feel too. The following link is an article showing ways in which we can improve body image for men. It gives some insight into the mind set of men and gives some positive advice that people can take to improve men’s feelings on body image – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lexi-herrick/9-ways-we-can-improve-body-image-for-men-too_b_7052556.html

References

Campbell, D. (2012) ‘Body image concerns more men than women, research finds’, The Guardian, 6 January. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/06/body-image-concerns-men-more-than-women (Accessed: 16 April 2015).

Lovejoy, J. (2014) ‘Body Image Issues Are Not Just For Women.’ The Huffington Post. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-lovejoy/body-image-issues-are-not-just-for-women_b_5034285.html (Accessed: 16 April 2015).

Lovejoy, J. (2014b) ‘Body Image Issues in Men: A Study’, 24 August. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jessica-lovejoy/body-image-issues-in-men_b_5514957.html (Accessed: 18 April 2015)

TheSun.co.uk. What real men would look like in pants ads (2013) Available at: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/5129244/What-real-men-would-look-like-in-pants-ads.html (Accessed: 17 April 2015

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