Confidence, self-esteem, and body positivity aren’t usually topics of conversation for men. But they should be.
Women aren’t the only ones who struggle with body image issues, according to recent research published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity.
Yep, we all compare ourselves to what society says is the “ideal” physique and body type.
“There’s a much more extreme model today of what a healthy man looks like,” lead study author David Frederick told The Wall Street Journal.
In the study—which is one of the largest studies on male body image—researchers examined reports from 111,958 heterosexual and 4,398 gay men (as well as 103,376 heterosexual women and 2,145 gay women for comparison) who responded to five separate surveys posted on MSNBC.com, NBCNews.com and Today.com between 2003 and 2012.
When it comes to body satisfaction, men and women have similar levels of dissatisfaction: 21 percent of heterosexual men and 29 percent of gay men were dissatisfied, compared with 27 percent of heterosexual women and 30 percent of gay women. When asked about weight: 39 percent of heterosexual men and 44 percent of gay men said they were unhappy. In regard to muscle tone, 30 percent of heterosexual men and 45 percent of gay men were dissatisfied.
Our advice: Cut yourself some slack. If social media has you harping on things that are out of your control, take a break from the apps. Adopt some habits and behaviors that make you feel confident, strong, and capable. Exercise has unbelievable benefits for mental health. Take a look at these 17 ways to feel more confident.