External views on a male’s physique are also a huge contributing factor to the way in which males see themselves. From part 2 of this series with Photoshop It Ain’t Real, we see that men look at these (highly worked on) billboards, videos and advertisements and think that looking that good comes from exercise and eating well. This article will discuss the ways that those surrounding men also look at these images and presume that it is how men should look. Not only are men affected directly by these images but indirectly through the reactions of the people around them who are also exposed to them. Often men hear “Putting on some muscle isn’t that hard” or “At least you don’t have to think about having boobs or a butt”. Studies show that the most common causes of male body insecurities include excess fat (26%), their pot-belly or waistline (18%) and height and muscle definition (56%).
More times than not women will recognise the Photoshop present in the media in advertisements that are aimed towards them but no one seems to be taking any notice of the advertisements that are aimed towards men. In the movie 300, people speculated that Gerard Butler had CGI on his abs to make them look the way they do and instead of people making a fuss about that all that happened were women swooning over Gerard. In a pursuit of being comfortable with your own body it sure doesn’t help that those around you are fixated on the perfectly chiselled bodies we see in the media.
Males tend to appear to take hits on their body image better than females but does this necessarily mean it doesn’t affect their mental health as much as females? Or are they just brushing it off because caring about the way they look is unmanly and feminine?
This article is part of three part series in collaboration with Photoshop It Ain’t Real. To take a look the article on Photoshop It Ain’t Real click here and to read the first article click here and to read the second article click here.