Overground Online
Overground Online

Do Men Feel Pressured to Look Sexy?

We’re all aware of the pressure on women to look physically attractive, but more recently it seems that men are facing the same plight, writes Rena Dipti Annobil.

We don’t need a study to see the boom in men’s fashion, health and fitness products – and even make up. There’s a much-publicised image of a new age man who has a successful career; uses cuticle cream; will listen sympathetically to his wife/girlfriend’s woes (and offer appropriate advice); watches Masterchef then replicates the dishes; is a whizz at DIY; pitches in with childcare, and looks like David Beckham in his boxers.

I’m sure this list was a lot shorter 20 years ago, and washboard abs and chest waxes were not even featured on it.

These days, in Bollywood (where traditionally no one really cared whether the ‘heroes’ had a paunch and looked 20 years older than the ‘heroines’), almost every leading man is pumped up to the eyeballs with protein shakes, and there are six packs all over the place. This interesting article even suggests it’s now a class thing

I’m not saying it’s right, but in a world where women have always been objectified, it’s only fair that men should also be sexualised and judged for their beauty.

But while all of this promotes health and fitness (to some degree), the result is immense pressure on men to look ‘a certain way’, and there’s a very ugly side to this that cannot be ignored.

A new study suggests that young men are underdiagnosed and undertreated for anorexia and other eating disorders, despite making up about a quarter of cases.

Researchers from the University of Oxford and University of Glasgow said sometimes men themselves were unaware of the symptoms of eating disorders, despite purging, not eating for days or obsessive calorie counting.

They also said that GPs and other professionals, such as teachers, play a key role in improving the outlook for men with eating disorders by challenging misconceptions.

I agree with them, and also think we should all keep in mind that real people are not perfect, and that’s okay.

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Tags men, david beckham, bollywood, rena dipti annobil, male, fitness, sexy, University of Oxford, University of Glasgow, body image, anorexia, undiagnosed, the rock, protein shakes, pressure, peer pressure
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