- Get Help
- Get Involved
- Get Info
- Victim Advocacy
- Lactation Station
- Got Ideas?
- Women's Resources
Are males unaffected by media?
“Hard Abs Made Easy,” “Double Your Muscle In Half the Time,” and “The Burn Fat Build Muscle Diet, A New You in 30 Days” are just a few magazine advertisements displayed to males. Most people are focused on the media’s negative effect on females but what about the effect on males?
Males are increasingly being targeted and receiving messages that “the muscles make the man.” Just look at one example of the evolution of the G.I. Joe; in 1964 the figure had a 32 inch waist with 12 inch biceps. In 1991 the dimensions slimmed to a 29 inch waist with 16.5 inch biceps and a new six pack. The changes made to the G.I. Joe figure were found to be unattainable compared to the 1964 figure that was designed to be a realistic depiction of an average male.
The media’s messages have extended beyond movies, billboards, television, magazines, and social networks and have impacted the design of toys. These unrealistic messages are being sent at an early age that males need to be strong, tough, and muscular in order to prove their masculinity.
Most of the efforts and resources available to help individuals gain self-esteem and create a positive body image are geared towards females. In researching this topic it took me a great deal longer to find resources, images, and YouTube clips that pertained to males’ body image. In addition, society is not open to this topic which makes it difficult for males to seek support. The Good Men Project is a website developed to confronting these issues and breaks the code of silence.
I believe that it is extremely important that efforts be made to educate males as well and prevent the negative impact from escalating even further. What do you think will be an effective way to educate males and get them to become critical of the messages that the media portrays?
— Christina B. Valero is a senior completing her nursing degree. She has developed educational materials the focus on body image and self-esteem for the BU Women’s Resource Center.
Resource: To find additional information and advice on male body image, relationships, and gender visit goodmenproject.com. References: Pope, H.G., Olivardia, R., Gruber, A., & Borowiecki, J. (1999). Evolving ideals of male body image as seen through action toys. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 26(1), 65-72. Threeowls71. (2012, January 11). Male body image [Video file]. Wilmore, L. (2012). Does the muscle make the man?