Body Image & Men

Though we normally are more aware of the use of Photoshop in media and advertisements featuring women, the powerful editing tool is also used for men.

Original photographs from a Calvin Klein campaign featuring Justin Bieber in boxers recently surfaced, and to no surprise the two images do not match.

beforeafter1

Bieber’s body overall seems to have been enhanced, his muscles more prominent and defined giving him an larger stature. The lighting of the photograph is also completely different, shadows appearing in places where they were not before.

While it is so easy to focus on how body image affects women, men too are being toned and enhanced in ways that do not reflect how they actually look— creating just as in women, an industry based unrealistic ideal.

Which brings us to point that, body image issues are not just for women, men face them too.

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics found, “that nearly 18 percent of boys are highly concerned about their weight and physique.” The study also found even more that, “of the boys who were highly concerned with their weight, about half were worried only about gaining more muscle, and approximately a third were concerned with both thinness and muscularity simultaneously.”

Where do these insecurities come from? The same place they do for women, from media and advertising portraying unrealistic ideals, and then societal pressure to meet those standards. Its important to acknowledge that the images we are presented with in media are not realistic, even for the people featured in them, even for men.

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