Why Women are not the only ones to Suffer from Body Image Issues

Everybody has body image issues; young and old, male and female, because this is a society where appearances matter. People are judged by the way they look, and so it is not surprising when individuals become preoccupied with what they regard as a certain ‘flaw’ in their appearance; usually this preoccupation comes about as a result of someone else pointing it out to them. Often bullies will find an ‘imperfection’ in a person’s appearance and continually taunt them about it, until the individual concerned is left feeling bad about the way they look. It is therefore not only women who suffer from body image issues, since men can also fall prey to insecurities with the way they look, as can male and female children and teenagers.

For some reason, though, it is women’s concerns over their body image which receives the most attention from the press and social commentators. Maybe this is because so much of the beauty and fashion industry is targeted at women, so that it makes sense for women to have more body image issues, since they are the very people that products designed to rid them of ‘flaws’ are aimed at. There are frequently surveys which question women about their feelings towards the way they look, and usually the results show that the majority of women loathe their bodies and spend a lot of time and money trying to lose weight and improve their appearance.

Men can feel just as much pressure to take care of their appearance as women, but they are perhaps less likely to share with the world, and their friends, the lengths they go to in order to maintain their looks. This is because, although the ‘metrosexual’ male has evolved and come to be accepted, an attitude that men should be more laid back about the way they look than women still seems to be prevalent. Most men wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about their waxing regime with their pals they go to the pub with, whereas women probably would.

As well as women and men, teenagers also experience body image issues, perhaps even more severely, since this is the stage in their life when they are learning who they are and deciding what kind of image they want to project to the rest of the world. They tend to be very much connected into what’s happening – what’s fashionable and what’s not, and have to contend with pressure from their peers to fit in.

It is therefore evident that women are not the only ones who suffer from body image issues and that others can also worry about the way they look, as the majority of the population are subject to the images of what constitutes beauty and an acceptable look in this society. Consequently, everybody is chasing an ideal of what they would like to look like, whether it is actually possible to achieve this ideal or not.