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Is it only women who are negatively affected by idealized bodies in media?


In the current investigation, the authors examined how men are presented in popular media and the effects of such presentations on male adolescents’ self-evaluations. In a content analysis of male models in advertisements of Sports Illustrated, Study 1 showed that media ideals increasingly emphasize aesthetic versus performance attributes of men. In Study 2, male adolescents (N = 107) were randomly assigned to view either images of male ideals emphasizing aesthetic attributes, images of male ideals emphasizing performance attributes, or neutral images. Results showed that viewing media ideals that emphasize aesthetic attributes contributes to negative self-evaluations whereas viewing media ideals that emphasize performance attributes contributes to positive self-evaluations. These findings suggest that body conceptualization, and not simply body type (i.e., muscularity), plays a role in how men feel about themselves and their bodies.

Source: “Media Images of Men: Trends and Consequences of Body Conceptualization” from Psychology of Men and Masculinity, Volume 8, Issue 3, July 2007, Pages 145-160

Next on my reading list.

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