Men obsess about their bodies too

'Men tend to stick at diets for much longer. It would seem women are more likely to give in to their cravings.'

'Men tend to stick at diets for much longer. It would seem women are more likely to give in to their cravings.'

Published Apr 29, 2014


London - Men are fast catching up women when it comes to worrying about their appearance, according to new research.

A detailed look into the body confidence of 2,000 men and women documented a dramatic rise in appearance-related anxiety for both sexes.

Results showed two-thirds of women feel under too much pressure to look good, claiming a rise in 'perfect-looking' women in the media has set unrealistic standards.

The research found six in ten women feel anxious about their image.

Women are also twice as likely to feel scrutinised for their appearance at work as men and experienced more bouts of self-consciousness about their body on holiday, at parties - and even at home.

Women still feel twice as much pressure to look good compared to men, but the metrosexual male is catching up.

Men now spend over three hours a week on average stressing over their image and feel the level of expectation placed upon them is rising.

In fact, results also showed a rise in men dressing for their body shape, discussing their image with partners. One in eight men is even dieting in secret.

Baldness and 'moobs' emerged as men's biggest concerns.

The study also found men fear being judged by male friends for exhibiting too much concern about their image.

Worries that it wasn't 'blokey' to be concerned about the way they look or feel or that people would scrutinise them were also likely to lead men to stress over their food intake and diet in secret.

When asked to rate their worries on different areas of their self-image men were found to show most anxiety around fears they were overweight or had a beer belly (58 per cent), while yellowing teeth (20 per cent) and concerns over a lack of muscle (14 per cent) were also prevalent.

A worry over balding or receding hair lines (19 per cent) and concern over 'moobs' (19 per cent) rounded off the top five body worries for men.

Women were also mostly concerned around their weight and teeth, while cellulite was the third issue to cause body anxiety.

Bags under the eyes and a fear of having flabby arms or 'bingo wings' completed the top five most common body hang ups for women.

Some 75 per cent of men think appearance matters far more to them than preceding generations.

A spokesperson for Benenden Health, said: 'Our research shows that body hang-ups can have an effect on people of all shapes, sizes and genders - whether it relates to weight, body shape or clothing, both men and women can feel at times under pressure to live up to “expectation”.

'Whilst many of us may feel that there are areas of our body we could change, what is worrying is the levels of people who are experiencing real anxiety or stress as a result of these negative views about their appearance.

'By comparing yourself to unrealistic ideals about what is 'perfect' you can put yourself under pressure to meet idealistic expectations and consequently suffer stress and anxiety which can have a negative impact on your health and well-being.

'Individuals shouldn't be afraid to talk to a counsellor or therapist if their negative beliefs about their body shape is having a severe impact on their well-being.

'It's clear from these figures that both sexes are affected by similar concerns about the way they look - the survey showed for example that worries about weight were the top concern for both genders.

'As the research shows, feeling under pressure about your appearance is not in any way a purely “female” domain - men are becoming increasingly concerned about their own body image and this is causing them more worry then ever before.' - daily mail

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