Vin Diesel: Turned soft?


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You’ve probably seen this floating around the internet, it’s been made into memes such as these:

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This picture of him on the verandah has landed him many articles with headings on various media outlets like:

“Vin Diesel gone soft”

“The Fat and the furious”

“Vin Diesel’s ‘Dad Bod'”

“Not-so-buff Bod”

Is it ever OK to body shame someone? All these comments about his dad bod and people forget that he actually has just become a dad, lost his friend Paul Walker and he’s currently enjoying life off the screen on a vacation on Miami Beach. Is it wrong that he’s not ripped 24/7? Does anyone not put on weight whilst on vacation, I mean are you even enjoying yourself if you don’t?

Vin Diesel has been fighting back at these body shamers instead of being embarrassed about it. He told Newsbeat “I think that it is ultimately wrong…I think people should be less judgemental and most just loving”. He also posted his own dad bod photo on social media, showing all the haters that he is perfectly comfortable in his own body saying “I feel sorry for the people who have to cut other people down to feel better about themselves”

What do you think about Vin Diesel’s “Dad Bod”? Is it ever ok to body shame anyone? Would it have been a bigger deal if it was a female celebrity?



Why Are Publications Body-Shaming Vin Diesel Right Now?




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Often we dismiss eating disorders as a female only issue but just because no one talks about it, it doesn’t mean its not there. Here are some facts to think about:

  1. Approximately one third of people with eating disorders are males
  2. There are as many men as women who want to change their weight
  3. Eating disorders assessment tests often underscore males
  4. Additionally, prevalence of eating disorders in males is greater than estimated because men are often too stigmatized to seek treatment for “women’s problems”
  5. Subclinical eating disorder behaviours such as binge eating, purging, laxative abuse and fasting are nearly as common among males as they are in females
  6. Despite popular beliefs, eating disorders have never been “women’s diseases,” it’s always affected both genders.
  7. The earliest case descriptions of anorexia nervosa by Richard Morton in 1690 included cases of a man and a woman
  8. The risk of mortality for males with an eating disorder is higher than it is for females
  9. Media objectification and sexualization of males is just as rampant for males as for females
  10. A high percentage of comorbid conditions exist for males in treatment, such as excessive exercise, poor body image, and issues with sexuality



You lil’ sissy


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Today’s story is about a friend (who wants to remain anonymous) and his battle and growth with Bigorexia without even knowing he had it.

Everyone seemed to struggle with being overweight but I had the opposite problem. I’ve always had a healthy relationship with food but I had such a fast metabolism I never put on any weight. In high school it was fine up to the point where everyone started to hit puberty, everyone grew tall and broad, yet, I remained the same. I was never that tall to begin with and didn’t get blessed with the tall gene I always felt inferior in a way to the other guys at school. It didn’t make it any better since I was in an all boys’ school. I was constantly bullied for being smaller, people would yell “You lil’ sissy boy”, which I’m sure they were half joking when calling me names as boys do but it doesn’t really make them acceptable. I would never get picked during sports and I’d pretty much end up eating alone at lunch every day.

One day I decided I was sick of people thinking of me as weak and small I started to eat a lot more, what we would describe now as a “bulk” in an effort to gain some muscle. Then I found out in order to gain the muscle I had to work out, slowly I became obsessed with it, it made me feel…I guess masculine…everyone was noticing that I was getting bigger and it felt good. I began to add protein shakes in the mix then mass gainers, BCAA, creatine, beta-alanine, you name it I tried it. It became an obsession I would bulk then shred the fat, bulk then shred the fat and it was an endless cycle. I would spend endless hours at the gym, some days I remember working out for 2-3 hours at a time. At one point I even thought about using steroids. Eventually I got into university and made new friends, my confidence in my body went up so I started to gym less and eat more of the things that I wanted. I was in a more positive environment and that really helped. I never would’ve thought it would be considered an eating disorder, I didn’t even know bigorexia was a thing! It feels really surreal to look back on it and kind of scary, honestly, to experience the bullying and, as a guy, be forced to just take it.


Reflecting on World Mental Health Day


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World Mental Health day lands on 10 October every year with a purpose of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.

In an effort to extend the important message behind World Mental Health day and to engage the communities around us the month of October is also Mental Health Month in Australia. This year’s theme for Mental Health Month is “Learn and Grow” – encouraging people and communities to learn more about mental health and use that knowledge to grow personally and take control of their own mental wellbeing as well as those around them. This is so crucial to creating an environment where people who suffer from negative mental health can feel at ease knowing that they are not alone in the battle.

Why is this important one day a year? Or even a monthly event? We should be acknowledging body image and its effects on mental health on us and those around us every day.

Let’s take this opportunity to remind ourselves to be mindful of our words, engage in conversation with others and together we can help to contribute to positive mental health.

To keep the spirit of World Mental Health day alive, there are events for the whole of October in Sydney (and all over Australia), check them out here



Advertisement featuring standard males grows sales


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Take a look at the above advertisement that was released last year. A European clothing company, Dressmann, is pledging to no longer be a brand “just for the perfect man” and is transitioning to a clothing line for all types of guys. The company based in Norway, rolled out a campaign last September called #JustTheWayYouAre to highlight different body types and “broaden the picture of what a perfect body can look like,” according to promotional materials.

“We want to overcome limiting beliefs that some bodies are better, more beautiful or more normal than others,” Knut Vidar Nilsen, marketing director at Dressmann, said in a statement. “Simply, we want to show that there is no perfect man, there are only perfect men.”

Dressmann started that effort with a new ad featuring several different men, including older guys, a thinner guy and a hairier and larger man in addition to the typical muscular male model.

“It’s about being confident in who you are, not what the fashion industry tells us is the perfect man,”said Jens Bonesmo, Dressmann’s brand director.

“We have focused this campaign to be about all kinds of men,” Bonesmo said. “And as a brand for all men, I think it was about time that someone said, relax and be perfect, just the way you are.” So far, it looks like it’s working: sales went up 30 percent in September compared to the same month a year earlier, a spokesman said.

What do you think of this campaign? Would you buy a product that uses the standard male in their advertising or should modeling be left to the professional models?



The Standard Male x Photoshop Ain’t Real: Part 3 – YOU contribute to male body image issues


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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.



Mr HHH: The Pressure for Men to have the Perfect Body

The Standard Male x Photoshop Ain’t Real: Part 2 – A photo is more than just a photo


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The Photoshop present on the covers of Men’s Health magazine isn’t necessarily the entire problem because we all know that photos get retouched all the time. The problem is the fact that these magazine covers, perfume advertisements and underwear models make males believe that this is the only way to be if you want to appear successful, strong and masculine. The media completely omits the fact that these models not only “work out” and “eat right” as the headlines suggest.

What these magazines are selling are fiction and unhealthy ways to get to a certain “fitness” level anyways. Losing a pound a day? The only exercise you need to get abs? No more man-boobs? In order to sell the magazine and the products that are within it’s pages, they must first make the reader feel inferior and create a need.

Rarely do we take a look behind the scenes, there are also spray tans, body contouring, a lighting crew, make-up artists, hair stylists and a professional photographer who has probably taken hundreds of the same photo to get the one that ends up being professionally photoshopped before it ends up on newsstands. All this work gets put into a single photo and men from all around the world are left feeling bad about themselves for not being able to achieve the photographed perfection in their everyday lives. This needs to end

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 previous article click here.



Real men don’t photoshop.

The Standard Male x Photoshop Ain’t Real: Part 1 – Brad Pitt wouldn’t even look like Brad Pitt


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Whether it’s an advertisement with George Clooney selling Omega watches or Justin Bieber selling Calvin Klein underwear we see hunky men all over the web. What does this do to the self-esteem of males? How can they possibly attain the physical perfection that comes as a result of relentless training and strict eating? The answer is those advertisements that we see everywhere are the results of Photoshop amongst other things and not just working out and eating healthy as the magazines suggest.

These models and celebrities do this for a living, they’re paid to look flawless and that’s why they’re so damn good at it. In addition to their intense lifestyle to upkeep their good looks, it’s no secret that Photoshop is widely used to smooth out lumps and bumps, enhance certain features and hide others. So it seems unrealistic and unhealthy that this is what males are looking up to from a young age. However, there are exceptions to this and some well-known celebrities such Brad Pitt, who requested for there to be no retouching in his shoot with W magazine in 2011 (see photo above), are starting a movement stating that Photoshop has simply been taken too far.

Research shows that depression and eating disorders are directly linked to the way that people are portrayed in the media. It’s not very often that this is discussed, there’s a strong double standard when it comes to addressing these issues in the media. A quick Google search will reveal that when you want information on the ways that media affects body image, thousands of female related articles will appear and only very few male-oriented articles will pop up. This issue affects males just as much as it affects females, whilst men are more apprehensive about discussing their feelings at a risk of seeming un-masculine.

Upon looking closer to these men with “perfect bodies” on page 1 of a magazine you’ll see their tips on getting ripped and then on page 9 of another magazine you’ll see paparazzi photos of them on a family holiday with the words “Flabby stomach”, “Lost his charm” and “Receding hairline”. So much pressure is put on to people to look a certain way but the person in the images may not even look the way they appear in photos in real life.

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.



Why Photoshop is More Deadly Than You Thought

How does body image affect your mental health? Eating disorders are the real deal


Males and eating disorders are often brushed to the side, the duo is about as mythical as unicorns in our society, but why is it this way? Our mental health can be very much affected by our physical health and we’re well aware of that but eating disorders are often ignored as a real mental illness so you can imagine how difficult it must be for men.

Here are some facts about males and eating disorders

  1. Just like girls and women, boys and men get anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Many males describe themselves as compulsive eaters, and some may have binge eating disorder.
  2. There is no evidence to suggest that eating disorders in males are atypical or somehow different from the eating disorders experienced by females.
  3. Twenty years ago it was thought that for every 10-15 women with anorexia or bulimia, there was one man. Today researchers find that for every four females with anorexia, there is one male, and for every 8-11 females with bulimia, there is one male



How is body image affected by the media?


How are we affected by the media and what can they do to change this? Flashy upscale advertisements with perfectly photoshopped models plague our everyday activities. No matter where we are, on the bus, on the train, in our own homes, we are exposed to them and they affect us even if we don’t know it. The purpose of advertising is to convince us to buy things though the people in those ads seldom reflect who were are but rather who they tell us we should be.

A brand that has had a massive influence on body image in the past years is Dove. Doves campaigns such as the “Real Beauty” and “Choose Beautiful” are part of their very successful “Movement for Self-Esteem”. Other highly successful advertisements include “Tested on Real Curves”  and “Real Beauty Sketches” which garnered viral attention. This campaign has not only boosted their sales but it has made a huge impact in opening up about self-esteem, body image and mental health.

The only issue is that there is no male representation in the “Movement for Self-Esteem”. Is this because males don’t experience the same issues? Or more because society doesn’t see it as acceptable to discuss it? Body image is such a taboo topic that many men are reluctant to talk about but it shouldn’t be this way. Influencer Dove has the leverage to change this with their huge platform. Through including males in future campaigns they can help to increase dialogue for males who have body image issues or for people to discuss body image with males they know.

Having advertisements that males can actually relate to can change a lot with undiagnosed and untreated mental illnesses related to body image as men will be more inclined to talk about it if it wasn’t such a touchy subject. If you would like to help make this a reality, sign this petition to make Dove realise that males should also be in their future advertisements:



Why Dove’s ‘Choose Beautiful’ campaign sparked a backlash