A Reaction to the Essay Male Body Image: Groups with Boys and Men

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Male Body Image
For as long as I can remember society has put a standard on how a woman’s body should look. The messages that our culture sends about how women’s’ and girls’ bodies should look have created a fascination among many women about their body image. Therefore, women are always the topic of conversation with regards to body image, and boys and men are usually left out of the conversation. Although the male gender is usually left out of this conversation, according to Grogan and Richards, over the years there has been an increased concern throughout the male gender about body image and how it relates to masculinity. The research they conducted gave me insight about how others perceive their body image. Specifically how younger boys and adolescent boys are often concerned with their body image. Although there are some parts of the article that I disagree with or question, I learned many things about how men think that body image relates to masculinity.

The research done by Grogan and Richards was all based on information found in focus groups. They found that by using focus groups as opposed to 1 on 1 interviews participants were willing to self-disclose and share their own personal experiences. Even though I can relate to the target group for this study, the focus groups revealed things that I was not aware of. For example, it surprised me to learn that all of the focus groups presented the idea that “getting fat” is within their control. Even the boys who thought of themselves as overweight felt the same way. In addition, none of the focus groups objected to fatness being a product of weakness or a lack of control. Furthermore, not one participant expressed that teasing those that are overweight is unfair. I would have expected at least those who thought they were overweight to object to the fairness of teasing. Instead, the two boys in this situation used humor to essentially show that they are somewhat unconcerned with the distress that comes...
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