“Real Men”

“Real Men”

In September 2013 a popular newspaper called The Sun teamed up with photographer Jenny Francis to take photos of male readers to recreating popular advertisement photos for male models. As Dove launched their Real Beauty campaign showing ‘real women’ (as mentioned earlier in the blog), this was a chance for men to have their say. Now, we know that most models have been airbrushed in some way to enhance their chiseled muscles or darken their already unnatural tan, but what would it be like to see real, natural men doing the modelling? Well, The Sun got four everyday men to stand in the same underwear, in the same poses as the male models and put the photographs side by side. Here are the products below:

H&M, John Doe vs. David Beckham
Dolce & Gabbana, John Doe vs. David Gandy
Calvin Klein, John Doe vs. Freddie Ljungberg
Calvin Klein, John Doe vs. Freddie Ljungberg
Armani, John Doe vs. Cristiano Ronaldo
Armani, John Doe vs. Cristiano Ronaldo

Although these images are just a bit of fun, hopefully they have and will continue to encourage men to accept their bodies and show that not everybody is the same. Read more

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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.  Read more

Clothing and Body Image

Clothing and Body Image

We live in a culture that is becoming increasingly concerned with looking youthful, beautiful and slim, and we therefore perceive ourselves differently from how we actually look to how we want to look. Clothing is an extension to the body and what we wear expresses our final image and how we want to be perceived. Individuals use clothing and fashion to express their physical image and to make them feel better about themselves. Many people can relate to wearing a bad outfit and feeling uncomfortable all day, as it can lower confidence and  . ‘Fashion trends’ are normally for the style rather than the fit, but it can also help with an individuals confidence as clothing can represent ones self. Different companies use models to illustrate clothing through different media channels, and many of these models are an unrealistic interpretation of your ‘average’ man or woman. Everybody has a different perception of an ‘ideal’ body, and seeing these models in magazines and on TV adverts encourages people to buy the clothing advertised to achieve this ideal image. We’ve all been there when we try on a piece of clothing thats too tight, but just refuse to go a size up as we don’t want to believe we are that size. Justin Alexander Bartels created a photo series called ‘Impression’, which focuses on clothes women think they should wear or what other people want them to wear.

“Impression”, Bartels, 2012

Below are a few images from the series:

“Underwire Cups Give Lauren’s Boobs A Boost”, Bartels, 2012
“Hot Jeans For A Hot Body”, Bartels, 2012
“Head Turning Heels”, Bartels, 2012

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Dove Real Beauty Campaign

Dove Real Beauty Campaign

In 2004 Dove launched the ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’, a worldwide marketing campaign that was focused on having women embrace their body and improve body confidence. Dove conducted ‘The Real Truth About Beauty’ study to gain more insight on how women felt about their bodies and what beauty meant to them. 3,200 women, aged 18 to 64 were interviewed, and the outcome of the study revealed that only 2% of women considered themselves as beautiful (I.huffpost.com, (2015). Dove saw this as an opportunity to create worldwide campaign to promote body confidence and for woman to be comfortable in their own skin (Russel, M. 2004).  The campaign was delivered through different mediums such as magazines, television ads and social media.

“Dove Real Beauty”, Manjur, 2014

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Introduction to Body Image

Introduction to Body Image

Body image is an individuals attitude towards their body, and also how they feel other people perceive them. This includes and includes height, weight and shape, and can be influenced by people’s own beliefs, society, and friends and family. Negative body image can include a false image of ones shape or certain parts of the body, which can lead to anxiety and low self-esteem (Nationaleatingdisorders.org, (2015). Self esteem is how a person feels about themselves, and therefore how a person perceives their self worth. Low self esteem can lead to a negative view of life, trust issues and depression.
It is clear that people are using the internet and social media more than ever. There has been a steady rise in internet users, with 37.9% of the population having internet in 2013, to 40.4% in 2014 (Internetlivestats.com, 2015). Also, Pew Research Centre’s Internet & American Life Project states that 74% of Adults online use Social media sites. Due to individuals comparing themselves to celebrities and other unrealistic media images, this can lead to negative body image issues and therefore eating and exercise disorders. This issue is concerning for individuals of all ages, but especially to young people and children who have less realisation for unrealistic images. Here are a few facts taken from cdc.gov, ‘Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance’:

  • In a survey of adolescents aged 14-18, over 59% of females and 29% of males were currently trying to lose weight.
  • Over 18% of girls and 8% of boys had gone without food for 24 hours or more to lose weight in the last 30 days. Of the girls, 11.3% had used diet pills and 8.4% had vomited or taken laxatives to lose weight.
  • 56.2% of teenagers ate less food and fewer calories to lose  or keep from gaining weight.
  • 65.7% exercised to lose weight.

‘My image, my body’ will focus on various aspects of body image, issues regarding this topic and different ways in which digital  media has affected this.

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