Where do male body image issues originate?
There are many professional theories that pin-point modern advertisements and media campaigns that portray the ideal man as lean, muscular and fat-free, much in the same way women have been pressured over the years. Majority of magazine covers and billboards give the perception of the ideal and desired man as one perfectly fit. For years women have lived with the pressure to be as thin as a high fashion or runway model. Males are also more likely to have a body image disorder due to the pressures of sports and are more likely to induce vomiting because dieting is not a socially acceptable method of weight loss.
Is a person’s eagerness to stay fit and look good a bad thing?
Not necessarily. Staying fit and eating right can lead to a healthy lifestyle. Plus, who doesn’t want to look their best? The problem arises when body image becomes a preoccupation that interferes with daily life, creating stress and anxiety.
So when is body image a problem?
If you find your anxiety and stress levels increasing over the way you feel about your physical appearance, consult a medical professional and seek help. Preoccupation with body image can lead to dangerous disorders such as anorexia.
- Are you always thinking of the nutritional value of the foods you eat?
- Do you feel angry or guilty when you eat “unhealthy” or “bad” foods?
- Do you use food for comfort?
- Do you constantly think about weight, body size?
- Have you ever induced vomiting?
- Are you happier when you lose weight?
- Do you think thinness equals happiness?
If you’ve answered yes to any or all of these questions and you feel preoccupied by your body image, consult a medical professional for an evaluation.