Advertisements Affect Boys’ Body Image, Too
Males around the world are reportedly falling into this trap at alarming rates. 23% of males aged between the impressionable ages of 8-18 years old believe there is realism in the idealistic portrayal of a “perfect body.” Up until recent years, the relationship between a perfectionistic body type and dieting has been reserved for female psychology.
However, 55% of boys agree that they would change their diets and habits to achieve a “better” looking body. Young boys’ psychology about this matter is not isolated. Over half are aware of eating disorders being prevalent issues among their gender and recognize extreme dieting as being gender neutral. Suffice to say that the commonly sexist line drawn between the genders regarding eating disorders is rapidly fading. Boys are influenced by friends, social media, advertising, and celebrity icons.
Problematically, due to widespread societal and cultural stigma regarding the male personality, many young boys are hesitant to approach adults about their suffering. Both boys and adults are widely unaware of how pervasive male-focused body image is; for example, male models receive just as much digital alteration in advertisements as female models. Increasing awareness through education and continuing the fight against body shaming, as well as alteration in media, will help bring love back to young men and their bodies.
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