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 Male Body Image 
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We talked about body image from the female perspective, so I was wondering what everyone's thoughts are on a male's body image. Are males as self conscious as females? Are they just as deeply affected by the media's image as females are? What can we do as teachers to deal with this? Or is it even an issue?

I personally think that males do have issues with body image, but like most male issues it is something that is not talked about by males due to the fact that we are too "man" enough to talk about our insecurities. The media's image of a perfect man is as unrealistic and unfair as their portrayal of females. I believe that a male's insecurity over body image is likely to be source of a lot of bullying within adolescent society.


Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:03 pm
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One of the reasons I got began to think about teaching is because I started coaching High School Track and Field. While doing that, I was a substitute teacher. Because I coached at a school that was defined as "minority," most of the students who where on the Track team were African American. Unlike the schools up here such as Ashe which I have spent some time on the track with, the students in Raleigh were expected to have speed more than endurence and the program revolved around the football team. With all that said, the main point is next.
Every male runner expected to look like an NFL player. If a runner (and especially one that played on the football team) wasn't built like a model football player, the coaches would make sure they spent plenty of extra time in the weight room training.
To me this was always an expectation that the students had to live up to. In my opinion, males absolutly have expectations they feel they have to meet, ESPECIALLY if they are on some form of sports team. Photo's of football players and Hip-Hop starts bombard male students in the same way that Models bombard women. Everyone knows that most women see the perfect size as 0, but men have some of the same steriotypes. Unless a man is 6'1'', 185 pounds with a 6 pack, they need more time to spend in a gym. Unfortunatly, not all men are built like that. (I think about African Americans because I think in some ways, they have more pressure on them than do other races because when most people think of the "perfect athleate" African Americans are the first thing that pops into their head.
Do I think it's fair, Absolutley not and I also don't believe that most people know or even have any realization that men have some of the same pressures as women, but I can promise that they do exsist and for some males, it is just as bad for their health (think binging and "bagging" to lose weight and steroids to gain mass) as are some of the things women do.

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William Joseph Vreeland


Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:00 pm
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I agree that the idealized male body image is just as unrealistic as the idealized image of the perfect female body. It can certainly affect men just as much, especially in athletic or physically demanding professions, or professions where appearances are scrutinized.

However, I do feel like as a whole there is less pressure on men to have that perfect body. Typically in our society it's easier for a man to maintain his level of attractiveness or professionalism despite their physical appearance.

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Jonathan M. Sykes


Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:36 pm
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I agree with Jon. There is less pressure on guys to maintain an "ideal" body image.

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A. Kyle Whisenant


Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:21 am
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I never understood why people thought self esteem/body image problems are things that only plague girls. We live in a society that is pretty superficial when it comes to appearance, so it's only natural that guys would be affected by it too. It's a shame that it doesn't get addressed. There are entire movements out right now trying to help girls with their body image (The Dove Movement, for example) and the boys just sort of fall through the cracks. It seems like nobody reaches out to them, and like you guys said, they aren't as willing to reach out for helps as girls are.

And like William mentioned, I think teachers/coaches in high school need to be especially careful. I had several friends on the wrestling team who would do crazy things to lose weight/gain it quickly for matches and tournaments etc. While they weren't doing it because they were concerned for their looks, it still isn't healthy and it's not uncommon.

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Natalie Brady


Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:51 pm
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I like to think that a man and woman can look however and that their "image" refers to how they carry themselves and what they say and do rather than their body shape or look. Honestly, I don't think we listen to pretty people more than we do everyone else take Stephen Hawking for example.

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Ben


Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:14 pm
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