Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


Influence of mass media: Men's body image and self-concept


American Public Health Association 2015 Annual Meeting


Chicago, IL

Date of original Performance / Presentation



The body is the basis for the distinction between the sexes. For men as for women, as the pressure for a less than attainable physical ideal increases, as expressed by mass media, the discrepancy between that ideal and one's body increases as well. This dynamic, however, is more readily recognized for women than for men. Body Image as a peer-reviewed international journal only began in 2004, with one issue annually until 2012, when it has now become a quarterly publication. In the September 2012 issue, 4 articles addressed women while only one article focused upon men. Simultaneously, content analysis of current mass media targeting men reveals increasing focus upon body image. Despite popular opinion, homosexual and heterosexual men have been found to demonstrate equivalent concerns about their bodies, while homosexual men are more likely to seek treatment. Men within racial and ethnic minority groups are also less likely to seek treatment. As men are socialized not to discuss their body image concerns, their negative self-concept may lead to feelings of isolation, distress, depression, and anxiety. In recent years, increasingly stringent physical ideals have gained a greater audience with the proliferation of media including mobile and social, while serving to further isolate those with a negative self-concept of their bodies. This is a matter worthy of attention to public health as it is well documented that irrespective of gender, self-concept is attached to both physical and physiological consequences in the short and long term.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathy