Struggling with body image issues can be frustrating and depressing. This not just an issue that women face. I have worked with many men over the years who struggle with this problem.
When you don’t like what you see in the mirror, it has a negative impact on your mental state of mind as well as your health. Let’s focus on a variety of instances that contribute to how you feel about your body image and what you can do about it.
The Body Image Epidemic
It’s easy to fall into the hype of all the trends that come about such as buying jeans that are torn, using dye to color the gray in your hair, or have a “ripped” body. Regardless of age, everyone wants to fit in and have a sense of belonging. Fitting in and feeling confident is very difficult to do when you don’t like how you look.
The ideal body image of men today is nothing like it was 40 or more years ago. Men were expected to provide for their families and this was the basis of being accepted in society. Today, the ideal male body image is to look like you work out multiple times per week and consume nothing but health shakes. Everything from movies, advertisements, and even children’s toys make males look more muscular.
Thanks to these unrealistic body images of the media, men’s self-esteem is at an all-time low. A study that involved 12,176 adults revealed that men, just like women, are unhappy with their body image.
What Do Body Image Issues Look Like for Men?
Men who struggle with feeling insecure about their body struggle with the following problems:
- They feel unaccepting of aging
- Get really down about hair loss
- Are uncomfortable with their weight thinking they are too fat or too skinny
- Disappointed that they are too short
- Wish they were more muscular or athletic
Low Self-esteem Results in Body Image Issues
Men who feel insecure or inadequate about their body may suffer from eating disorders – both anorexia and bulimia. Many men also become obsessed with improving their appearance spending large amounts of money on cosmetic surgeries, hair and body implants, and tattoos. Just like women, men also exercise excessively and men may use steroids.
Working towards having more confidence and a better sense of self-worth will contribute greatly to a man seeing a decline in his issues regarding his body and appearance. Some men are already feeling so depressed and beat themselves up with their internal dialogue that they can’t bring themselves to get help. In these cases, their self-esteem and subsequent body image issues can continue to worsen.
How Can Counselling Help?
Counselling can help you gain a strong sense of self by helping you become assertive, self-aware, and most importantly, it can help improve your self-esteem and confidence. The right help can be very effective at healing depression, anxiety, and the subsequent body image issues many men have.
At Healing Solutions, I have helped men deal with their body image issues successfully using EMDR Therapy. I have seen considerable change for men in this area by allowing men to have a positive concept of self, a more clear perspective on what is excessive and what is not, what healthy goals are, and what healthy eating habits are. Having better self-esteem by healing depression and anxiety is very worthwhile.
Having low self-esteem does not have to plague the rest of your life. Therapy can help you develop the skills you need to have more confidence and a positive outlook.