What is the Perfect Male Body Image?

LORAS COLLEGE- According to a recent poll by the Today Show young men will spend four and a half hours per week working on the appearance. This could be spending time in front of the mirror or in the gym getting the perfect “body,” and all that time is equal to 68 days out of their year.

In this year’s super bowl, H&M aired a commercial with soccer star David Beckham running around a roof top with less cloths than most people should and this commercial is not the first to show men what the ideal male body figure is, but still brings up the question. What is the ideal male body image? Michael Boyd, Director of the Loras College Counseling Center, believes that for men the problem for men is that their ideal body image is really up in the air. He says, “It’s much more variable, because the media is not as saturated, it is so variable you have the big brawny tough guy image, but then if you look at fashion designers they very often will have men who are not that image at all.”

With men now feeling more pressure to make their body an image they are uncertain of, Loras College students weigh in on the topic. Junior Will Rabedeaux says, “That men just sort of get put back and left aside and so it’s sort of up to them how they choose to handle it but it’s still a huge pressure on how they look at themselves.” Men are also finding it difficult to talk about their problems. Junior Jason Painter says, “If you want to think about it is kind of harder for guys to go to other guys talking about their image and how they look because they want to seem self-confident they want to seem more ‘manly’ and it’s not as manly to go to your other friends to discuss these types of issues.

Because male body image is now such an ambiguous topic, negative effects that men would not normally think are common are starting to rise. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associate Disorders, and estimated 10 to 15 percent of people who suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia are male. They go onto say that men are less likely to seek help when dealing with body issues, because they can be seen as, “female problems” in the eyes of males. Despite these trends, Boyd feels that men are still capable of talking these issues out, but he thinks it just takes time.

“Realizing that when you look in the mirror you may be saying ‘eh’ you know I’m not so happy about how I look, but then saying I’m doing to make some changes, and I’m doing some things that are healthy to make some changes, so it’s okay for it to go slow.” Said Boyd.

For more information on male body issues and how to get help go to www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

Tune into LCTV News on March 19th, 2014 for part 2 of the series looking at the female side.

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