The Social View of Muscle Dysmorphia

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Body image disorders are often associated with women. Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia are the most known eating disorders related to body distortion. However, a new disorder is increasing among men especially after the release of Arnold Shwarzenegger's famous film 'Pumping Iron' that exposed Bodybuilding to the world in the end of the 70's known as Muscle Dysmorphia (Mosley, 2009). It is defined as a continue obsession with muscularity (Olivardia, 2001). The majority of people that suffer from this disorder are bodybuilders – this was dominated by men but recently more women are practicing this kind of body shaping. Therefore, there were many athletes that developed the symptoms of Muscle Dismorphia that has been increasing (Leone, Sedory & Gray, 2005). Like every eating and body image disorder, Muscle Dysmorphia has several causes and consequences on the social side. Studies showed interests and analysis made to further understand this unknown new disease (Olivardia, 2001). Similarly to Anorexia nervosa, Muscle Dysmorphia is related to dissatisfactions of body images expressed by men. Olivardia states that this dissatisfaction is often due to overweight or underweight explaning that increasing the musculature permit to the overweight to lose weight and to the underweight to gain more (Furnham & Calnan, 1998). Thus, the desire of modifying one's shape is clearly dictated by certain social norms that take place progressively in our daily folkways. So there is a clear relationship between norms and Muscle Dismorphia. According to Grieve et al, another major factor of Muscle Dysmorphia is the body distortion (Grieve, Truba & Bowersox, 2009). There are some people that perceive themselves to be smaller or bigger than what they really are. This misperception people have on themselves influence their body dissatisfaction, and the opposite way is true (Olivardia, 2001). This low self-esteem makes people react and act in order to improve their appearances by making...
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