Image Credit: zibster
Male body image is not just about muscles, weight, or any particular part of the body, it affects the whole person. The good thing is there are still some ways to manage the same.
We have often seen many women addressing body image issues. They are fearlessly sharing their experiences relating to eating disorders, excessive weight gain, and poor mental health. As more and more women are positively accepting their flaws, it has destructively changed the perspective of millions to a great extent. Today, the body image issue seems like a movement where women of every age are becoming independent by setting new beauty standards. Interestingly, many men are also fretting about their physique, appearance, weight, looks, muscle size, etc. just like women.
The latest surveys on body image issues found that over 90 percent of men are dissatisfied with the way they look and unhappy with one or more aspects of their looks. Out of them, 20 percent of straight and 39 percent of gay men reported hiding different aspects of their bodies during sexual intercourse. It is now evident that body image is not just a women’s issue, but it is linked with many men too. Just like women, a male body image issue is a bit traumatizing and not limited to weight only. Here’s how?
What is Body Image Issue in Males?
Body image is all about how you think and feel about your body. Though, it also involves many factors like a person’s thoughts, perceptions, imagination, and emotions too. Although, body image issues have been traditionally restricted to women only. But the fact is it can affect people of all ages and of course men.
In the last 25 years, body image dissatisfaction in men has drastically tripled from 15 percent to 45 percent, according to research done by the Australian Psychological Society. From young men, gay men, bodybuilders to even models, almost everyone is dealing with the feeling of insecurity or inferiority complex when compared to other men.
The feeling of dissatisfaction is often linked to:
- Eating disorder
- Steroid abuse
- Other unhealthy behaviors
Ignoring the same can lead a person to minor to major risk while deteriorating the quality of their life. The potential consequence of negative body image issues in males are:
- Increased stress
- High level of anxiety
- Mood disorders
The constant feeling of “not looking a certain way” is a serious concern for males. It can lead them to critical conditions leading to negative thoughts, breaking self-confidence, and end up living a sad and stressful life.
How Males are Satisfying their Egos by Indulging in Cosmetic Surgeries?
Do you know more than 1.3 million cosmetic procedures such as eyelid rejuvenation, neck lift, chin augmentation, liposuction, etc. have been performed alone on men in 2018? Since 2000, the numbers have tripled by nearly 40 to 60 percent. The possible reason for this is that they want to look attractive, hiding the effects of aging, and probably aim to satisfy their so-called male egos.
The increasing appearance from young boys to masculine men is the main goal that pressurized men to opt for facial plastic surgeries like:
- Gynecomastia surgery
- Male breast reduction
- Nose reshaping
- Chin implant
- Face/Brow/Neck Lift
Out of all, the biggest concern for them is loss of hair or baldness. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, there is a sudden rise in the number of men considering one or two kinds of plastic surgery to fix their flaws and look younger.
This allows the men to stay competitive in their respective careers, feel more confident, and get a magnetic appearance without putting in the extra effort.
Whom to Blame?
Thanks to the media houses, social media platforms, and dominant male celebrities who are constantly targeting a youth-focused society. Rather than making them feel confident, they are making the situation worse by sharing pictures of their chiseled abs, building biceps, flaunting muscles, or boasting about their masculinity.
This could be the reason why today’s youth focuses more on physical health and not mental health. The three main factors leading to negative body image issues in men are:
More Cut-Throat Competition in Workplace
Over the years, there has been a major shift in the work culture of many companies, brands, and organizations. Just like the entertainment industry, the companies are focusing heavily on getting a fresh face rather than giving preference to the more experienced or skilled person. As we are still keeping up with the youth-centric job culture, many seasoned men are seeking to transform their appearance by indulging in injectable treatments and Botox to keep pace with the millennials.
The Pressure of Getting Perfect Six-Pack Abs
This generation is dejectedly led by the desire of looking good physically and not smarter. Today, you can see many college guys hitting the gym only to get a date or impress some other girl. The specific goal of these middle to high school guys is just “bulking up”. This means the younger folks are knowingly or unknowingly giving rise to negative body perceptions that they carry throughout their lives.
The Evolution of Instagram Society
It’s no surprise that the emergence of social media, especially Instagram has brought a massive change in your lives. Anywhere you scroll, you can see filtered images, two seconds videos, and picture-perfect HD images that are making the youths go crazy. It seems like a rat race where everyone wants to look good and even makes the “not so worthy” moment a post-worthy event. The increasing pervasiveness of social media platforms is undoubtedly making things easier. Alongside, it also brings a lot of pressure and anxiety for a person to not behave like a human but act like a “brand”.
The Ways to Deal With Daily Body Image Issues
Don’t be disheartened! There are still some ways that can improve your body image slowly and steadily. Here are few suggestions:
- Embrace body positivity
- Try to address self-image issues for a better understanding
- Evoke positive feelings about your body
- Accept your flaws graciously
- Focus more on what makes you happy
- Overcome your fears
- Meet realistic people to share experiences
If you think deeply, body image issues tell you a lot about your mental state like how you feel and think. It’s normal to feel insecure. Just be kind, try to give yourself and your life a healthy outlook that it truly deserves.