Men also feel pressure for physical perfection

Those of us with two X chromosomes aren’t the only ones affected by media messages about body image. It turns out that men are equally pressured by modern media to attain a perfect body, according to a recent study out of Ohio State University. But while women desire to minimize their girth, men are bombarded with messages to bulk theirs up.

As a result, men are just as likely as women to alter their thought and behavior patterns, often setting them on a negative trajectory where over-exercising, feelings of inadequacy, increased steroid/supplement use and cutting out calories or certain foods altogether are becoming the norm.

The study’s Dr. Tracy Tylka concludes: “Instead of pressuring men to be more muscular, (we need to) accept men’s bodies for what they are and instead focus on internal characteristics,” she said. “Stop focusing on appearance, for both men and women.”

If only it were that easy! Even the smartest, health-conscious, media-savvy woman has to hold firm against the constant deluge of “thinner is better” media and societal messages. To all you healthy-living guys out there, what do you think? Have you noticed an influx of media messages that affect your healthy habits — good and bad?

Author by Kristi Anderson