Male Body Image

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Body image is what you believe about your physical appearance. Images of beautiful men and women are displayed everywhere from billboards to television advertisements. Fortunately, everyone does not look the same. Looking at models and movie stars often can create a negative self image of oneself in relation to these images. Approximately 46 percent of men of normal weight think about how they look constantly or frequently (Cloud, 46). The emergence of men's new obsession with body image is connected to pressures from the media, plastic surgeons, and peers.

The media plays a primary role in the mushrooming fascination between men and their body image. An article in the New York Times said, "G.I. Joes have morphed over the last three decades into muscle-bound hunks that can harm the self-esteem of boys..." (Santelmo). Kids are more likely to develop a hero from someone close to them or someone they know about. Why not look up to the 26.8 inch biceps of the G.I. Joe Extreme? There have also been an increasing number of sleek male magazines. Included are photos of male models wearing only boxers or briefs which have 6-pack abs and a broad chest. Similar to the latest G.I. Joe, extreme bodybuilders are also a popular commodity of the magazines, flexing and grinning with barbarian-sized muscles. The common male might say, "I want to look like that." The concept of these images is not entertainment, but is influence towards a ridiculous ultimatum, like "I have to be in shape to be successful."

While the media attempts to brainwash men, plastic surgeons are also trying to get men to alter their bodies. Thanks to popular shows like Extreme Makeover, men are being presented with an effortless itinerary to the perfect body. "More than 1.2 million men had cosmetic plastic surgery in 2003, representing 14 percent of the total cosmetic plastic surgery population" (ASPS). "The number of males having cosmetic plastic surgery procedures increased 28 percent...
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