The Idea Of The 'Perfect Body' Hurts Men, Too
"I'm tired of hearing people analyse -- criticize -- appraise -- and hate on my body."
That's what men participating in a new BuzzFeed video, "Things Men Are Tired Of Hearing About Their Bodies," are saying. In the video, men repeat body criticisms they've heard, ranging from "real men have facial hair" to "you're too skinny to be a man."
"If we all looked the same, I think that would be really boring," one participant concludes.
The video reminds us that, while women face incredible pressure to conform to societal beauty standards -- to the point where their worth is often equated with their physical beauty -- men suffer from body image struggles too.
Messages about the "perfect" body negatively affect men as they do women. A January 2014 study found that body-image pressure is increasingly affecting adolescent boys, and that those who were concerned with their weight were more likely to be depressed or engage in high-risk behaviors like binge drinking.
The majority of eating disorder sufferers are women, but research suggests that 1 in 4 people with eating disorders are men. And, just as women are bombarded with images of super-toned ladies with large breasts in the media, men are subjected to constant images of Adonis-like male models with six-packs and seemingly flawless professional athletes. Magazines and tabloids have started to body-shame male celebrities, reinforcing the message: all bodies are under scrutiny, and yours isn't good enough.
The video reinforces the important idea that all bodies are worthy of love and respect, whether or not you look like a model on a Times Square billboard.
As one participant in the video says, "I think people forget that we're all built differently."