Men Get Fat-Shamed Too

by Cam Fraser // July 7 // 0 Comments

During high school I remember being poked in the belly by some other boys as they taunted me by saying, "spork the pork." I've never really considered myself overweight but I've also never felt super confident in my body. The more I speak to men, the more I learn that that body image concerns are quite common.

In fact, one study found that 70% of men report body dissatisfaction (Neighbors & Sobal, 2007). Something that contributes to this high percentage is fat-shaming, which is becoming more commonplace. Over the last few years, celebrities such as Jonah Hill, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Pratt, Zac Efron, Vin Diesel, Val Kilmer, Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, and Ronaldinho Gaúcho have been publicly fat-shamed. 

Even Jason Momoa was body shamed for what some people believed was him not being in shape.

In the last few decades, the ideal male body in Western societies has developed into a more lean, muscular and V-shaped body (Crossley et al., 2012). Men are confronted with this ideal body which is difficult to achieve. Accordingly, studies have found that men, like women, feel greater dissatisfaction when they are confronted with this ideal body stimuli (Cordes et al., 2017).

It's important to acknowledge there seems to be a difference between men and women in terms of body image, such as more pronounced body dissatisfaction in women than in men, and the greater influence of body weight on body image in women than in men (Keski-Rahkonen and Mustelin, 2016; Karazsia et al., 2017).

Its also important to acknowledge that the consequences of male body shame have been under-investigated. Body image concerns, including body dissatisfaction, have been linked to a number of harmful health-related outcomes in men including general negative affect, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, eating disorders, muscle dysmorphia, drive for muscularity, impaired sexual functioning, and diminished quality of life (Lamarche et al., 2017). It's also been suggested that men high on body shame tend to exhibit hostility toward women (Mescher & Rudman, 2014).

What is clear is that fat-shaming men, and people in general, directly and repeatedly predicts depression symptom levels (Brewis & Bruening, 2018). Call out fat-shaming when you hear it.

Cam Fraser is a Certified Professional Sex Coach and Certified Sexologist. Being a former Tantric Yoga Teacher, his work integrates scientifically validated, medically accurate information about sexual health, with sacred sexuality teachings from the mystery traditions. As a coach, he helps men go beyond surface-level sex and into full-bodied, self-expressed, pleasure-oriented sexual experiences free of anxiety or shame.

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