Lifestyle

Let’s talk about male body image: Men under pressure to look ‘perfect’

Unrealistic beauty standards are affecting mental health

Once upon a time, the term body image was considered a ‘girl issue’.

Yet it seems the beauty industry realised they were missing out on selling to half the population and began aggressively targeting males too.

Now, alongside the rise of Instagram in a Love Island era, boys and men are under immense pressure to fit a certain ideal of being ultra trim yet ultra toned too.

[Credit: CALM]

The problem is only escalating as they battle to meet unrealistic standards with nearly half of all men between 16 and 40 having struggled because of how they feel about their body.

Daring to fight this worrying trend, CALM [Campaign Against Living Miserably] are stepping in to give a voice to those who feel embarrassed to speak out.

The suicide prevention organisation, who run a free helpline for anyone who is in crisis, have launched Body Talks to delve into the often hush world of male body image.

In particular, they hope to shine a light on the pressures men face around their bodies – what they are, where they come from, and why they’re a problem.

[Credit: CALM]

They’ve teamed up with a host of well-known faces, including Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing, to address the issues and break down stigma.

Practicing what he preaches, the reality star shared the story behind his body image journey, with Jamie admitting he opted for a hair transplant to help with his insecurities.

Yet Jamie said he later felt regret over the decision, which caused a lot of stress and pain.  

[Credit: CALM]

The McVitie’s heir said that men tend to internalise their feelings and recommended opening up to people albeit while remembering friends and family should not become your therapist.

Jamie said: “I turn to my mum and sometimes that’s easy for her and sometimes it’s hard, because everyone has good days and bad days. It’s great to remember that.”

He added: “Life will throw you curveballs, but you’ll get through them. I was told that feelings are like a cloudy day – past the clouds are blue skies, it’s just about finding your way to them.

“Sometimes that takes a while, sometimes years, but you will find your way back to the blue skies.”

For more advice, click here: CALM Body Talks.

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