How Men can Suffer from Poor Body Image

Men can suffer from poor body image because they are continually exposed to images of the ‘perfect’ male body whenever they watch a movie or read a magazine. Although this has been a problem long-faced by women, increasingly men are falling victim to the idea that they have to conform to a certain type of look to be considered attractive. When men fail to live up to what they consider to be the ideal, an ideal which is obviously influenced by the images they see, they can end up feeling very negative about their own bodies.

Obviously there are some aspects of their bodies that men can change, such as their weight, so that many men will spend long hours in the gym in order to lose a bit of weight or remain slim, while the desire to build muscle is common. The ideal masculine body is often portrayed as being tall, slim and muscular, and thus there are men who will constantly watch what they eat and work out whenever they can so that they are able to get this body.

Most will try and fail, though, as not everybody is designed to be slim and muscular, and no matter how hard they try they cannot stick to a program that enables them to get the body they want. They beat themselves up for failing, even though the men they compare themselves generally make a living out of their bodies. Of course someone who stars in action movies is going to look toned – he has to in order to play the archetypal action hero; plus he gets paid millions of dollars to be a muscle-bound star, which surely acts as an incentive!

Then, there are those aspects of their physicality which men are unable to change, but obsess about nonetheless. They might be smaller than average, which can be a problem for many men when women often state that they would like a partner who is taller than they are and when tall men appear to be considered the ideal. They might have a disproportionately large nose or a quirky physical feature which they dislike, and unless they are prepared to undergo surgery, which increasing numbers of men actually are, they have to learn to accept their appearance. Men can also find aging hard, especially if they start losing their hair, and many will try anything that claims to be a ‘remedy’ to keep their hair and thus hold back the years.

It is therefore clear that men have just as hard a time coping with the way they look as women when what is portrayed as perfection and as being beautiful differs so much from most people’s reality.