Media and Male Body Image

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Datren Awkward English 112 Dr. Robinson 10/10/12 Research Paper Audience: American Men The Pursuit of the Ideal Body Image Body image is based on how one perceives him or herself pertaining to attractiveness and how other people receive the physical appearance of a man or woman. In the past, body image has been seen as an issue that affects women, but in the recent years (1990’s- present) it has affected men as well. Although the media have made men question their image, the media also made more men health conscious. Print and electronic media have sparked a fire in all males, of all ages, to strive for “perfection” in a society where the saying “may the best men win” is held at very high standard. Traditionally, a male’s role in society is defined by security, such as being a sole provider, but today men feel the need to display their strength through their physical appearance. “Research in recent years has shown that the body image displeasure among females was centered on weight loss. Research has also shown the same displeasure among males; however, it would appear that there are as many men wanting to increase their weight (with muscle mass) as those who want to lose it” (Gregor). “We have found that a very large percentage of men, as many as 85 per cent, are dissatisfied in terms of weight; around half want to lose weight and half want to gain weight. They are looking for the “ideal” – minimal body fat and a large amount of muscle”, says Ms. Fawkner (qtd. in Gregor). Print and electronic media present the vast majority of males striving for a perfect body image that is muscular, lean, and fit which symbolizes an ideal image. In a society where 27.8 percent of American men are obese, print and electronic media should focus on health issues instead of the mass selling of the “perfect body image” and American men should try alternative methods to

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