How the Media Distorts Male Self-Perception Essay

How the Media Distorts Male Self-Perception Essay

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How the Media Distorts Male Self-Perception


Women are insecure. They constantly diet and scrutinize their bodies. They fall victims to the anorexically thin models appearing in the media. Why do men have it so easy? For years these questions are what women asked themselves. In a world where appearance is everything, women have been the main source of all the hype concerning the image and body. Advertisements have been criticized for years about putting the pressures of the “perfect” body into the heads of millions of women. Up until a few years ago, it was believed that only women had the eyes of society on them. Now the scales are balancing. More men are beginning to feel pressured, by the same society, to have a muscular body and to portray a perfect male image. However, some men are taking this pressure to the extremes. The media is having a negative effect on the way men view their bodies making them feel as if they need to look like the models shown, which can often result in muscle dysmorphia.

Through exposure to the media, primarily advertisements and movies, the physical appearance of the male body has drastically changed, from barely seeing the torso to men in their briefs. In past decades, the male body was portrayed in a “rugged” sort of way (Luciano 4). It didn’t matter how many muscles the man had or the degree of atonement, but the way that the man carried himself. He was his own seller in a busy market. If he wanted to appear tough and manly, the way he presented and carried himself would make all the difference. For example, in the first two Rocky films, Rocky, played by Sylvester Stallone, is “beefy” yet buff (Law). He is the idol of women portrayed as ...


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Luciano, Lynne. Looking Good: Male Body Image in Modern America. New York:

Hill and Wang, 2001.

Olivardia, Roberto. “Muscle Dysmorphia in Male Weightlifter: A Case Control Study.”

American Journal of Psychiatry. Aug 2000: 1291-6. ABI/INFORM Global. Proquest

Horn Lib., Babson Park, MA. 11 Feb 2003 <http://www.umi.com/>.

Pope, H.G.. “Muscle Dysmorphia: a New Syndrome in Weightlifter.” British Journal

Of Sports Medicine. Oct. 2002: 375-8 Expanded Academic ASAP. Infotrac. Horn

Lib., Babson Park, MA 11 Feb 2003

<http://web1.infotrac.galegroup.com/itw/infomark>

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