The issue of negative body image is more often discussed among young girls and women. They are, after all, bombarded with images of models and celebrities who look perfect in every angle. There is a pressure to conform to society’s definition of beauty, and it is making a lot of people deeply unhappy.
There is nothing wrong with a person who wants to change their appearance. Wearing makeup to highlight one’s best features can be empowering. Young people should be encouraged to buy and use LED teeth whitening gel kit to brighten their smile if it can boost their confidence. An individual should be free to straighten or curl their hair if they want to.
In the topic of body acceptance, there should be room for those who enjoy modifying their appearance as a form of self-expression. Moreover, there should also be conversations opened over the insecurities that young boys and men experience regularly.
Boys are Insecure, Too
The impact of insecurity among young boys is not talked about very often. However, insecurity among young boys exists, and a lot of them are negatively affected by it.
In fact, in one survey, Credos asked more than a thousand secondary school students in the United Kingdom. The results revealed that more than half of respondents, or 55% of them, will consider adjusting their diet in order to look better. They preferred modifying their food intake to improve their appearance even if they are aware that eating disorders are a huge problem.
Around a quarter of the respondents also believed that the perfect male body exists.
And, like girls, boys are also influenced by social media, advertising, and celebrities. They are also exposed to a very rigid definition of what a good-looking man should look like. If they do not have similar features, they, too, will feel bad about themselves.
Insecurities among young people is heartbreaking because it prevents them from participating. They may not have the courage to make friends, join clubs, attend sporting events. Some people refuse to raise their hand in class even if they knew the answer because of self-doubt.
The Superhero Ideal
Psychiatrists found that, nowadays, people feel more insecure. Boys as young as middle school and high school are exercising at least occasionally. Although regular physical activity is good, they are not doing it to be healthy. They exercise in order to bulk up just like the characters they see on movies and television shows.
Actors such as Chris Evans and Chris Pratt workout and pack on the muscles to look like a superhero on-screen. The popularity of these comic book movies is only making boys and young men want to have the physique of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The Social Media Fitspiration
The silver screen is not the only medium influencing young people to be a certain shape. Most of them have a profile in at least one social media platform. Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok are bombarding users with images of celebrities and regular folks who are “in shape.”
An article in GQ revealed that 43% of people take photos and videos in the gym to post on social media.
This would not be a problem if it encourages more people to exercise. However, most of the time, these types of posts only inspire onlookers to compare their own bodies with another person.
Seeing buff people in the gym may feel intimidated to work out because their bodies are far from what they see on social media.
How to Address Insecurity Among Boys
It is hard to eliminate insecurity among young people. Regardless of gender, society continues to uphold only certain appearances and body types as the “ideal.”
What young people can do is to start discussing body image among their peers. A young man can open up about their insecurity with their closest friend. Everyone has some things that they do not like about themselves, and sharing them with a supportive circle can boost a person’s confidence and improve their body image.
But, a lot of young men are still afraid of being vulnerable in front of their peers. The very wrong assumption that men should not be emotional still persists. Teaching boys that they are allowed to share their feelings and concerns should help them be more honest about themselves and be open about their struggles.
By acknowledging that boys and young men can be insecure, too, the work can begin on eliminating body image issues. Anyone can feel insecure and everyone deserves to learn to love themselves.