Sunday, December 2, 2007

Not only women suffer from negative body image

We all know about how the incredibly thin, beautiful and young models we constantly see in the media might make us feel ugly, fat, unworthy, depressed and discontented with our looks.

Did you know men can also be affected by the muscular Superman image they see in commercials and glossy magazines? A research I've read some time ago in International Journal of Eating Disorders states that men who are constantly exposed to such images may feel not masculine enough.

According to this research, men might suffer from a body image disorder called muscle dysmorphia – feeling their muscle mass is not big enough while in fact it is normal and fits the healthy standard for their age group. This may lead men (especially the young ones) to use steroids and put themselves under unnecessary health risk.

When will we take action to stop what I call the Media Madness? It destroys our self-image. It makes us feel ugly for absolutely no reason. Let's do something and make a stand against it! Let's keep in mind that men are masculine and women are feminine and we all can be happy and loved even if we don't perfectly fit the cultural norms of beauty.

... Just a random thought, before we continue with "Dedicated Daughters" tomorrow. I hope everyone are having a lovely day.

15 comments:

Adlyn said...

great post can't wait for "Dedicated Daughters" tommorrow... I'll be looking.

xoxoxo,
Adlyn

Green Eyes said...

You are so right... we are *all* hurt by the media, men and women. What I'm seeing a bit of now in rebellion to the female-stick-figure ideal is a glorification of overweight women. By that I mean, medically overweight/obese. When will we throw all of that out and just understand what a healthy body is?

Of course, it's not just body image. Look how men are portrayed in the media... buff, bronzed, and rich "boys" who lose their minds over football games and miniskirts. Is it any wonder that so many of our would-be men turn out like that?

Miss Julianne said...

Interesting about how the men are feeling.

If they are so concerned about their appearances, I wish that they would try to be "real men" by improving what's on the inside instead! There are plenty of men with muscles, but very few with the courage and backbone that imply true strength. I know plenty of men who are strong physically and act really macho but are afraid to stand for what they believe.

(Of course, we women have our areas to work on to be better ladies, too! I didn't mean to pick on the men.) :)

Mimi said...

yes men have as many identity problems as women do...
in fact I think they have more..because if they are short that becomes an image problem for them also...we need to all realize that our bodies are the ones God gave us and if he is satisfied we certainly should be!!!

Terry said...

Good word, Anna. Thanks.

Ahuva said...

I don't know... Once I turned off the television and stopped looking at fashion magazines, I felt a whole lot less exposed to all that nonsense. We can't control 100% of what we're exposed to, but we can control a lot of it.

Anonymous said...

As the mother of a very slim son, I know this is something that I'm keenly aware of.

Brenda

Sammybunny said...

Wonderful post deary!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the reminder Anna! I know that I get caught up in how the media negatively affects women's body image, and I forget that it affects men as well. I definitely need to be more mindful of this and make sure I encourage my brothers in Christ.

Brenda said...

I don't buy magazines anymore. At all. That has really helped.

Jessica said...

Ever since I got saved it has upset me to see how much emphasis the Media puts on conforming to thier image of "Beautiful". You are right... it REALLY does give us a low self-image. Many times I have wondered how great it would have been to live in a time when there was no TV or "Beautiful skinny models". What a blessing that women didn't have to worry about all the nudity that their husbands see everyday, and how they just don't "measure up" to those girls.

Great Post!! :)

(I'm going to link to this post on my blog)

Kathleen said...

Interesting post. I was talking with a few male friends a while ago, and one of the questions they asked me was, "Do girls actually care how big our muscles are?" It had never crossed my mind!

Rebekah S. said...

Amen, sister!! :) Let's stand up for the truth! We are created in God's image. We are fearfully and WONDERFULLY made! And to say that our bodies are ugly, etc. is a slap in the face of God! We must not put down His creative handiwork like that!

However, we have the very important responsibility of caring for and being good stewards of this creative workmanship(our bodies) that God has blessed us with. Obesity, for instance, is detrimental to our health. Obesity is something that needs to be done away with, and can only be done away with if we start treating our bodies and caring for them the way we ought. To be able to fully care for our bodies, and in order to be the kind of stewards of them that we're called on to be, we must get exercise, we must eat in a healthy manner, etc. If we're Christians, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we must begin treating them as such! The same goes for steroids. Those are horrible for your body! There have been numerous studies that have shown the detrimental effects that those have on our bodies. Now, I know that there are some doctors that prescribe certain types of medical steroids to be used for a very limited time in order to cure some sickness. But, apart from that, steroids are not good!!

I know it's hard, because I've dealt with self image as well, but we must begin looking at our bodies through the eyes of God, seeing them as the creative works of art that they truly are. And then we need to start treating them as such, eating well, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and not allowing anything harmful to enter our bodies.

It's just so sad that males are going though this body image thing as well. The media in so many ways is just horrible and very detrimental. We need to build up the males in our families(specifically our fathers, husbands and brothers that are in the home as well), esteeming them, serving them, respecting them, encouraging them, and building them up. That is just not being practiced today as it ought to be.


Great post, Anna! Thanks.

Rebekah S. said...

One thing that we have got to stop doing is comparing our husbands, fathers, brothers, etc. to the image of the "perfect man" that the media so sinfully portrays. This is so detrimental to them! This puts them down, and makes them feel as though they don't and can't measure up. Therefore, this is something that must be stopped. We need to praise the men in our family for their strength of godliness, which is the only true strength that is of lasting importance. We need to be teaching our little brothers to not pay any attention to what the media says is right, but to rather develop strength of character, which will raise them up to be the men of valor that they are called on by God to be. We need to be encouraging both our brothers and sisters in Christ to not pay any attention to what the media says is the "right look". We need to be telling them rather that the body that God gave them is the right look. They need to be shown that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. And, something to remember as well, is that most if not all of the pictures that we see of the "perfectly slim women" and the "perfectly muscular men" have been airbrushed, and so, not even the people in the pictues look like that!

LisaM said...

We can turn off the media, but what about those endless spam emails that come in advertising you know what to our male friends and family - even if you delete them, that constant reminder in the subject line reminds them to consider that maybe they are supposed to be built a certain way. Grrrr