Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


Body image: a matter of importance to male health


American Public Health Association 2012 Annual Meeting


San Francisco, CA

Date of original Performance / Presentation



For centuries attention on body image has focused on women. The importance of the changing female figure has been a subject of both formal and informal research. It is equally important to examine and study the body image of the male. In the last 200 years, the male image has changed dramatically. As a result,like with the female, negative health implications have been observed. This paper will review the research to date on the male body image and this changing image of the last 50 years on health status, both physical and mental. Many television and movie depictions of the male figure leave men feeling depressed and unhappy with their masculinity. This can lead to steroid abuse, extreme exercising and poor nutrition. The level of male attractiveness portrayed in the print and visual media is often idealized and not attainable for the average man. In a fat-phobic American Society where male self worth is tied to muscle mass and inherent machismo, there can be severe physical and emotional consequences. Research in the past 25 years has targeted males in the area of body image and self-esteem.


Medicine and Health Sciences