Both Men And Women Worry About Body Image

Both Men And Women Worry About Body Image

Worry about weight and appearance is often portrayed as a female concern, with men blithely developing middle-aged spread while women stress and diet. However, a recent survey suggests that stressing over how we look is a man’s problem as well.

Picture by Morten Amundsen

The Guardian reports that a survey of 394 British men found that around 80 per cent were concerned about their body image, a figure which was higher than similar research suggested was the case for women (75 per cent). While that inverts the stereotype, it also suggests that we’re becoming severely hung up about the way we look, a notion reinforced by the 38 per cent of men who said they would sacrifice a year of their life for the perfect body.

That seems an unhealthy attitude to me, and I’m curious about the extent to which this might also apply amongst Lifehacker readers:

Share additional thoughts on the topic in the comments.

Body image concerns more men than women, research finds [The Guardian]


  • I’m male and I put down “worried”, but only because it’s closer to “I care about my body”. I don’t *worry* because I (mostly) eat well, although I could definitely stand to do more exercise!

  • I’m a guy and weight has never been an issue for me my whole life, simply because despite any of my eating habits, I’ve never put on any (or much) visibly noticeable weight.
    On the other side of the same coin, I have low muscle mass so end up looking skinny rather than in shape, and struggled with poor skin (and a mass of lotions as a result) through my teenage years – and still do to an extent.

    I think everyone to some extent is conscious of their physical opinion to some extent, regardless of whether it’s weight related or not. People form immediate opinions of others based on how they present themselves, it’s basic human nature.

    • I just re-read that and damn, it makes me sound a hell of a lot less attractive than I am – it reads like I’m the stereo-typed nerd who lives in the basement, doesn’t ever see sunlight, and has developed a slight hunch from sitting in front of a PC for too long.
      Thankfully my 20s has been pretty kind to me so far and I’ve filled out a bit though.

      I think a big part ensuring you feel as good about your body image is ensuring you dress appropriately though. In my case, avoiding anything sleeveless and opting for a well fitted t-shirt offsets a lot, especially when paired with close fitting (but not skinny) jeans. It doesn’t really matter a great deal how much weight you’re packing (within reason), as long as you dress to flatter your body type.

  • Male, I care, but I’m perfectly happy with my body. It’s not perfect – I’m underweight and like Sam have had skin issues for a long time, but there’s no serious medical issue so I don’t see much reason to ‘fix’ anything. Just going to enjoy what I’ve got 🙂

  • I care about my body shape (Worry is probably a little too strong), but I’m to lazy to do much about it, lol. I should be lighter than I am, but I’m not what you’d call “fat”, just a little overweight (way over when it comes to BMI, but that’s a moronic scale anyway when you research it).

  • I put down “worry” because it’s closer to “I exercise to keep fit and healthy” than “I don’t give a damn”.

    I see plenty of men and women who clearly don’t give a damn. Seems that worrying about being a porker and actualy doing something about it (i.e. diet AND exercise) are mutually exclusive.

  • I’m a male, and I have had an eating disorder (!?) for the past few years.
    I’m scared of gaining weight and get treatment for it.

    It’s sad when people need studies like this to see past stereotypes. Everyone has the desire to be accepted, and naturally it leads to concerns about how you look.
    Sure not everyone has an eating disorder, and it is in fact healthy to be concerned about your body, so long as you don’t become obsessive or lose enjoyment for life out of it 🙂

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