Reasons for men’s body image insecurities

We know that women aren’t the only ones with body image. Truth be told the standards are vastly different and more forgiving. When a man has a belly, it’s forgivable, when they bald, forgivable( or they go mister clean) when they grey and wrinkle they get more distinguished, women uh… Yes men dye their hair, and get Botox too, they get pectoral implants and workout like fiends just like women, however their viability does decrease the way a woman’s does. Men age and date women far younger then them and where we are beginning to see the dating habits of older women men to younger men increase to has also come with the derogatory term of “Cougar” as if they are “preying” on these young boys. Here is an article that outlines just how and why men feel insecure about the way they look:

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By Michelle Wilkinson

Men are just as susceptible to the pressure to look good as women, although maybe this pressure hasn’t been quite as evident in the past. In today’s society, though, men are expected to keep themselves in good condition; remaining slim and toned, dressing smartly and keeping themselves well-groomed. If men don’t happen to possess the ideal masculine body – tall, lean, and muscular – they could quite easily find themselves developing body insecurities because so much emphasis is placed on people’s appearance. They may well have a negative self-perception that affects their ability to form relationships due to the fact their confidence is so low.

As in the case of women, men develop body insecurities largely because of the influence the media has on attitudes towards appearance. The media continually portrays ‘masculine’ men as the ideal – these men are strong and fearless – yet, there is an added dimension since men are also expected to be sensitive and gentle these days. Men are expected to look like ‘real’ men so that they are tall and muscular, but to also take greater care of the way their overall appearance.

It seems that it is no longer acceptable for men to be hairy, as more and more decide to wax their chest, underarms and pubic hair. It has become more socially acceptable for men to be well-groomed, but in the process men who formerly didn’t feel the need to go out of their way to make an effort with their appearance are now feeling that they must do so in order to conform.
Indeed, men can be affected  by the people around them as much as they can by the images they see in the media, so that a harsh comment from a friend or relative can make men conscious of their supposed flaws and make them feel that they ought to do something to alter their appearance.

If a man has a bit of a beer belly the last thing he needs it to have it pointed out to him, as it simply makes him unhappy with his appearance. He might commit to going to the gym, giving up drink and eating healthily, which may not seem like such a bad thing, but nobody should be pressured into doing something they don’t really want to do, and decide to change themselves for someone else’s sake.

Men tend to encounter the same problems as women when it comes to their body image, with their height, weight, size of ears and nose all common sources of insecurity. The pressure on men to look good has reached a similar intensity to that experienced by women, as more and more products targeted at men have hit the market. It can be therefore be difficult for men to accept their bodies the way they are because they become convinced they are defined by their ‘imperfections’ which they then feel the need to work on.