If you think that body image issues like body-shaming is a female thing, think again because it's safe to say that destructive body shaming has definitely crossed the gender divide. Today, more men are reporting covertly that they are struggling with body dysmorphia, a perception where an individual believes that their body is inherently flawed. Whether it's carrying extra weight, losing hair or the lack of masculine muscles, men's bodies image issues are no more something to joke about.
Images of "perfect" men's bodies are hurting the male psyche
"For decades, 'fat talk' and 'diet talk' have dominated the female dialogue. This has not been the case for males, resulting in increased stigmatization and misunderstanding about the manifestation of body image concerns in males," says Sarah McMahon, psychologist, and director of specialist eating disorders clinic BodyMatters Australasia. One of the biggest factors that make this problem worse among men is that it's simply not addressed says Manual, a UK men's health platform. Their most recent campaign which was a part of the Mental Health Awareness week showed eight men including 'transgender activist Kenny Ethan-Jones, vitiligo spokesman Bashir Aziz and plus-size male model Ben Whittaker'. They stripped down to their underwear to encourage fellow men to stop hating their bodies. A spokesperson of the campaign, James Makings. said, "I would think about how much I hated my body about 80 percent of the time, if not 100 percent of the time." He suffered from depression because he could not confirm his body to what the media depicted as the perfect man.
Men are being left out from body-positivity campaigns
Manual's body-positive campaign for men is one of the rarest of them all since almost all are targeted to women. However, not many take into account that men are targeted for their height, weight, baldness, hairiness and so much more. Not many people know this, but research has shown that shame is the most destructive human emotion because it makes you believe that there is something completely wrong with you as a person. Chronic shame is strongly connected to a host of mental health problems like depression, self-harm, and even violent behavior. The truth is whether we are male or female we all have body hangups, but we need to face the problem rather than brush it off. Also, men need to find out the cause of feeling ashamed in their bodies like taunts from friend and family to social media posts. Also, men can find ways that can help solve the problem, like seek the professional help of a therapist, for example. Body shaming is not just a woman thing, men go through it too, but it must stop regardless of gender.