How to help men open up about body image

 

Although I work with women on their body image, I realise that body image struggles are NOT an exclusively female issue.

We live in a society that doesn’t openly acknowledge that men can suffer just as much as women.

I think there is a lot more we can do to help men who are struggling.

In this post, I’m sharing four ways you can help men open up about body image and get the support they need.

Watch or read below:

Body image is not just a female issue

In my business, I’ve chosen to focus on women’s body image. This is purely a business decision. In business, it’s important to have a niche, or group of people that you speak to. This makes your message relevant to your audience.

That being said, I know that body image is not an exclusively female issue. Men are just as susceptible to poor body image as women. However, this is not openly acknowledged in society.  This fact can make it very difficult for men to acknowledge and talk about their body image struggles.

Poor male body image is potentially a bigger issue than has been reported.  This is because many men don’t admit they are struggling.

I want to shine a light on male body image.  It’s my hope this will help more men get the help and support they need.

I know that I have some male followers, and I want to take this opportunity to welcome and acknowledge you.

Helping men open up

There’s a lot more we can do to help men feel more comfortable talking about body image.

Here are four ways that we can help men to be more open about male body image:

Acknowledge body image isn’t just a female issue

In discussions on body image, it’s important not to imply it’s an exclusively female issue. Unrealistic media images are used against women and men. The more we can do to be inclusive of men when discussing body image, the more it will encourage them to open up about body concerns.

Look out for signs of body dissatisfaction in men

For the men in your life, whether that’s a child, partner, family member or friend, be mindful of signs that they’re struggling with body image issues. This might manifest itself, for example, as excessive exercise or gym visits to bulk up, obsession with what they’re eating, complaints about not being muscular enough, or social anxiety.

Encourage the men in your life to talk

If you notice a partner or friend showing signs of body dissatisfaction, gently encourage them to talk about how they’re feeling. For many men, this isn’t something they’re likely to talk about within their friendship groups, so opening up this line of communication to them is a huge step forward.

Be reassuring

Partners of women are advised to reassure them they are loved regardless of their looks.  This same advice applies to the partners of men too. Men can feel a lot of pressure to look like the perfectly groomed, muscular male models they see in the media.  They need reassurance too. Let your man know that you love him for who he is, and that you don’t expect him to look like the unrealistic male physiques shown in the media.

I’d love to hear about your male body image experiences. If you’re a man struggling with body image concerns or a partner, friend or family member of a man who is, leave a comment below.

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