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The Male Body Image

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Alexandra Wilson

on 26 April 2014

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Transcript of The Male Body Image

The Male Body Image
Body Image:
"a subjective picture of one's own physical appearance esatablished both by self-observation andy by noting the reactions of others" (merriam-webster.com)
Through History...
The body image of men has not been noticed as much as that of women. There could be several reasons for why this trend has gone unnoticed. Globally, men are taught to be tough and not to show weakness. Men do not generally open up their thoughts and feelings to the general public. However, we can definitely see a trend through American history that shows that the male body image has also changed drastically.
The Truth to the Ideal Man
* 1,000,000 men are being treated for an eating disorder
* Men make up 10% of anerexics
* Men make up 20% of bulemics

Male Models Through History
1960's Famous Males
Steve McQueen
Richard Burton
Alain Delon
Men in 2013
The Evolution of Action Figures
The "evolution" of the GI Joe action figure shows how the body image of the ideal man has changed over the course of the years and how we influence future generations, children, to view themselves
Negative male body image has not recieved as much attention as women body issues. However, there are several similarities among the the two groups and their fight to find the "perfect" body
("Mirror Image")
According to sociologist and psychologist, Clark Addis observed the insecurities of college students. His observations showed that during college year, many male students obsess over having the perfect body. Addis stated that "more of them spend time in the gym, focus on their appearance and monitor body mass.Most aren't trying to lose weight -- they're documenting their physique"
Athletics and Steroid Use
"Stacking" - taking two or more anabolic steroids together, mixing oral and/or injectable types, and sometimes adding other drugs, such as stimulants, painkillers, or growth hormones.
-according to MTV's GuyCode
Top 5 Male Insecurities
1. Muscles
2. Finances
3. Baldness
4. Impotence
5. Penis Size
Body Obsessed Boys
This segment of Dr.Phil shows the extremes that young men go to have the ideal body. Some young men put their bodies through more stress and end up hurting themselves as a result. Dr.Phil goes more in depth to try and help these young men.
3 Sociological Theories
A symbolic theorist would argue that male body image issues are a result of a shift in what it means to be a man. Previously, men were providers. They brought home money and they worked. However, the symbol of what a man is today has changed due to a change in the societal standards for women. Women are able to "gain more financial power in society, men are expected to bring more to the table...In addition to being financially successful, they need to be well-groomed, in good shape, emotionally skilled in relationships and the emphasis on looking good is just part of the bigger package -- the stakes have been raised"(Potter, 2012)
Symbolic Theory
Functionalist Theory
A functional theorist would suggest that the rates of negative male body images have increased due to the shift in societal norms. Our society is changing into a more equal and accepting society. As a result, men no longer hold the most power. Due to this lack of power, the societal structure becomes more diverse and beginning to be equally powerful for women. This theorist would argue that there is a purpose for why this is occurring in our society.
Conflict Theory
A conflict theorist would suggest that the inequality among men and women would be the cause for the negative body image for men. More women are going to school and having very successful careers. They are also discovering their worth in society and have unintentionally raised the bar for the standard man. This theorist might also suggest that their is a power struggle among all men in society and the perfect image is the key to gain power. Media shows "perfect" men. They are successful, and famous mainly because they are attractive. So, to get ahead in society, men have to be more attractive then the next because of competition.
Personally, I believe that conflict theory is best fit for this issue. Our society has changed to the point where women are no longer held back. They are able to be successful and powerful in their careers. Young girls are also taught to be an individual and often times to do things for themselves. An unintended consequence of this is that women are expecting more from men because THEY are bringing more to the table. There is now a "market" for men and the competition has increased. Women are able to pick who they would like to marry as much as a man is able to pick out a women whom he would like to marry. The structure of our society has changed and male body image has changed as well.
Norms of Men
These norms could be beneficial to society but could harm an individual. For example. if our society was filled with men who were strong, intelligent, protective, healthy, and supportive then there would be less conflict in our society. We would have excellent leaders and it would insure that a man is a proper father and husband. However, those are a lot of traits to have and to uphold. Sandra Nygaard, editor of Men's Health magazine, "That's the real ideal: They want to look great, but they don't want to look like they spend too much time on it"(Potter,2012). Having to hold up to these standards alone without any support is difficult for anyone to go through. Our society tells young boys to not be weak and to not show insecurity. Men in our society are taught to be masculine. Masculinity goes much more in depth than just being ripped. It involves being an overall strong individual. As a result, men are keeping all of these issues to themselves and end up having poor self esteem and damage their bodies.
The Effects of Our Societal Norms and Values
("MTV's GuyCode")
Work Cited

"News." Are Gender Norms Changing? 4,000 Women and Men in 20 Countries Weigh In. World
"Dr. Phil: Body Obsessed Boys (Part 1)." YouTube. YouTube,17 Jan. 2009. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.
Bank, 17 Feb. 2013. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.

Strickland, Ashley. "Defining the New Male Ideal." CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web.
06 Dec. 2013.

Potter, Alicia. "Mirror Image." Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary,
Thesaurus. Free online reference, research & homework help. Infoplease.com. 07 Apr. 2009

ÇATIKKAŞ, FATIH. "Physical Correlates Of College Students' Body Image Satisfaction Levels."

PaediatricsSocial Behavior & Personality: An International Journal 39.4 (2011): 497-502. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Dec. 2013. & Child Health 48.10 (2012): E165-E171. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
Almeida, Sandra, et al. "Body Image And Depressive Symptoms In 13-Year-Old Adolescents."
Journal Of
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