Today in modern society, we are driven by social forces. Not only do we strive for human approval and companionship, we also thrive on social media. The media plays such a pivotal role in what we buy, eat, wear, etc. that we are conditioning ourselves to fit the mold for the “perfect” or “ideal” body type. This social construct has been a pressing issue for many years regarding the female physique, but not as much has been said on behalf of men. When confronted with appearance based advertisements, men are more likely to experience muscle dissatisfaction, weight disparities, and anger and/or anxiety toward showing their body in public. This paper will address these facets of the media’s effect on male body image as well as presenting what has been done to address this quietly debilitating issue.
In longing to reach the norm many people fall victim to these detrimental illnesses. Sadly, women are more subject to these eating disorders than men, the number of men suffering from eating disorders is on the rise. Our culture puts pressure on each of its inhabitants to attain this ideal body type that is unrealistic for most people. The images that pollute television and magazines make us all feel inadequate if we don't meet the credentials of slenderness; therefore, continuing the role of our society in the development of eating disorders.
These findings suggest that men desire a body that is high in muscularity and/or low in body fat. The dissatisfaction that arises from the discrepancy between actual and ideal physiques is associated with a number of physical and psychological health problems, including the use of performance-enhancing substances, disordered eating, depression, and low self-esteem. Earlier research suggested that the criteria used by men and women to evaluate their physical selves differed when it comes to the instrumentation of measuring one’s self-worth. Many argue that the importance of physical attractiveness for women’s self-evaluations arose because of the salience of cultural ideals in the media that promote viewing women as objects.
Unfortunately, only about 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by the media. Oh no, Victoria - who let your secret out this time? - Comparatively, according to an article published by (x) four in five men (80.7%) talk in ways about their body image by referring to perceived flaws and imperfections all the way from receding hairlines, man boobs, or just flat out being skin and bone unable to gain any muscle without having to inject gallons of shady and dangerous chemicals annually to help them achieve their initial goal of attractiveness. Often at times, these qualifying individuals not only risk their health. They risk their lives as
As with females, body image among males is a prevailing symptom and underlying motivation for the development and continuation of the disorder.
Although a great deal of early research on body image and eating disorders focused on upper/middle class Caucasians living in America or under the influence of Western ideals, many researchers are realizing that eating disorders are not isolated to this particular group. They are also realizing the differences in body image between occur in different races and genders (Pate, Pumariega, Hester 1992). Recently, several studies have shown that eating disorders transcend these specific guidelines, and increasingly, researchers are looking at male/female differences, cross-cultural variation and variation within cultures as well. It is impossible to broach the concept of body image without
A very prominent and controversial issue related to media-idealized images is that of eating disorders and eating problems. Eating problems include binge eating, purging, and unhealthy eating problems. These disorders are seen in young adolescents who are at a very fragile stage of life. Teenagers experience bodily changes as well as peer pressure and new experiences of going into high school. According to Dakanalis et al. the media portrays individuals with an extremely thin build for females and a slim-muscular build (i.e., muscles along with minimal body fat) for males is considered to be the cause of body displeasure and eating pathology. There is no solid evidence to prove that the media is to blame for the degree of eating disorder symptoms and negative body-image feelings that many feel, hence the reason it continues to be a highly debated topic. There has although, been continuous research and theories comprised over objectification. This occurs when men and women are sexually objectified. A person is treated as a body, where beauty and attractiveness of a person are important and valued. This theory can be found nearly anywhere because of the amount and variety of social interaction. It is common because of the way media represents body images. The media has ideals of men and women’s body images and individuals are compared to how well
In today’s society we let the media decide everything in our lives from what clothes we should wear, music we should listen to, and how we should look. One of the biggest problems that both men and women face is body shaming, because the media sets standards for young kids and young adults., they often times try and fit the description of “perfect” which leads these people to either be depressed because they do not look like people want them to look or harm themselves in order to achieve the desired look. The most common ways the media shames both men and women are by celebrities and how they are the “perfect” body, publishing magazines of what is the ideal man and woman, and by the people who believe being “too” fat is bad and being “too” skinny is bad.
Preview of Main Points: I will begin by explaining how the perfect body image shown in the media is unrealistic, then, I will talk about how the unrealistic images lead to both men and women to have a low self-esteem and eating disorders that develop due to people wanting to look like the images shown in the media. Lastly, I’ll talk about a solution we can do to stop the portrayal of an unrealistic body image.
It is no secret that women often change their bodies in order to meet the societal expectations that are portrayed in the media. The patriarchy and the male gaze dictate the ideal female which is depicted on television, in movies, and in magazines. Woman most often alter their weight in order to match the small slim physique of models. Weight is one of the main aspects of the female body that the patriarchy controls. Woman are taught by society that their natural body is not beautiful and that they must conform to the societal standard of a thin, size 0 woman in order to accommodate the male gaze. The patriarchy dictates this of a woman in order to maintain male dominance in society. However, these expectations have a negative effect on
Today, a large majority of women will admit to being dissatisfied with the way their body looks. This is because of a thing called body image. Body image is the way one thinks their body should look like, and how they think others see it. This has become a major issue mainly because of the media. The media effects body image because they use women with what is considered the “perfect body” for advertising purposes. They are all over social media, on television, and on the cover of magazines. Since the media only shows women with one certain body type, this puts pressure on other women to look that way. The media should stop pressuring the perfect body type because it can lead to self-esteem problems in women, anemia or bulimia, and can even
Women are insecure. They constantly diet and scrutinize their bodies. They fall victims to the anorexically thin models appearing in the media. Why do men have it so easy? For years these questions are what women asked themselves. In a world where appearance is everything, women have been the main source of all the hype concerning the image and body. Advertisements have been criticized for years about putting the pressures of the “perfect” body into the heads of millions of women. Up until a few years ago, it was believed that only women had the eyes of society on them. Now the scales are balancing. More men are beginning to feel pressured, by the same society, to
We live in a body-obsessed culture. Women feel pressured to have the perfect bodies, and we believe so many lies about what a perfect body is from the media. Women are today influenced by images that we see in the media, and sometimes the influence is so great that we risk our lives trying to portray what we see. Across the board throughout different civilizations, there have been so many distortions of what the perfect body looks like placed in our minds by the media. Many people between ages 19 - 50 become obsessed with looking like the images they see delineated by the media. Women and teenagers what to look like their favorite celebrity, so they do plastic surgeries to portray what they
Millions of teens and adults are faced with eating disorders and negative body images everywhere they go. Celebrities promote unrealistic standards and display what the “acceptable” body is. Because of our stick thin role models we have in the media today much of our society holds their own body image to the unobtainable standards of celebrities. People are bombarded with images of what’s “sexy” instead of what’s healthy (Helmich). In a world based around celebrities and media, shouldn’t they be promoting a healthy body image instead of the negative ones we are being smothered with?
Plato once said, "We behold beauty in the eye of the mind...." What some people consider beauty others may not. From the actresses that are shown on television, movies, models that are in magazines, and the pop stars that create hip and modern music videos, one could be under the impression that to be beautiful you must thin. Actresses such as Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Michelle Gheller, Clarista Flockheart, Courtney Cox and Debra Messing all have staring roles in their own television shows and are all extremely thin. The audiences of these shows being mostly women and adolescent girls, what kind of message about body image are they sending out?