During a television show I was exposed to the worlds strongest child. This absolutely amazed me because he was only ten years old and had more defined muscles than I had seen before. I didn’t understand how society thought this was an appropriate program to put on television. Society makes this acceptable to portray an ideal body image at such a young age. Having an ideal body means having an attractive and “perfect” body. What is portrayed to be an ideal body for a male means having low body fat levels and high muscle mass. Males used in the media generally have broad shoulders, cut arms, washboard abs, a narrow waist, and muscular legs. Males are being highly influenced to believe they lack important features that are considered attractive and adequate. Men are increasingly being sexualized and objectified in media that has been manipulated by technology and companies that are looking to benefit from the product they are trying to advertise. We have a pattern of males feeling inadequate about their body that is affecting society in everyday situations, and we need to find solutions through parenting methods, schools, and communities, if we are to diminish or dissolve the problem.
The medias’ portrayal of what the ideal male body image is can lead to low self-esteem and obsessive feelings of inadequacy that cause emotional damage to an individual. Males are constantly exposed to advertisements that use a strong male character to persuade their audience to purchase the products. This strategy is successful because men are constantly in competition with other men for women’s and societies approval. Old Spice, Calvin Klein, Gillette, and Under Armour are all companies that incorporate this strategy. Males are constantly seeing these advertisements that remind them how their body is insufficient and causing them to have a low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem causes men to have anxiety of looking too small or fat. Men in movies and television with muscular builds are used to play rolls of independent, successful, and strong men. On the other hand, guys that are “overweight” or “too skinny” are rarely ever used in films as a strong male role. Popular movies and reality shows such as Twilight, Troy, and Jersey Shore depict what should be acceptable for a male body. These types of movies and shows are part of the reason why society determines the values of an individual based on there image. Males that are exposed to these kinds of television shows and movies lead them to question their sexual identity and amount of masculinity.
Overtime, these feelings can cause eating disorders and unhealthy workout routines that incorporate anabolic steroids. When men feel they are not good enough they can turn to habits that are dangerous to their health. Anabolic steroids are known for increasing muscle mass at a rapid rate by altering hormones. Steroids have unhealthy long-term side effects such as hear, liver, and kidney damage. Men can also develop eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia as well as overly rigorous workout routines. These behaviors can lead to effects on your health such as low blood pressure, fatigue, and dental problems. Unhealthy habits developed by males are examples of why the ideal male body image portrayed in the media is a problem.
Strategies that companies use are a large influence on why this ideal male body image is a continuous cycle. Advertisements that utilize a strong male to sell a product cause buyers to believe they can alter their appearance if they purchase the product. Companies that exploit muscular and attractive men benefit greatly from ads that promote the product being sold.
Another reason why the cycle continues is from parents allowing their children to be exposed to inappropriate forms of digital media as well as toys. Media such as television, movies, magazines, and video games often incorporate males that are idolized purely because of