It is widely recognised that body image dissatisfaction is experienced
by both men and women, and in extreme cases can lead to the
onset of debilitating body image disorders such as body dysmorphic
disorder and muscle dysmorphia, the latter predominantly occurring
This opinion piece provides a discussion specifically around the
social factors influencing the increasing male looks obsession and
highlights some recent local and international research in this area.
Implications for general practitioners and clinicians are discussed
together with the need for further local research in this area to
enhance our understanding of the implications of extreme body image
dissatisfaction in men, its prevalence, manifestations and treatment
It has become widely recognised that body image dissatisfaction is a significant issue for both women and men. Indeed, increasing numbers of men are becoming concerned with their physical appearance.1 The Psychology Today serial surveys reported that 47% of men were dissatisfied with their overall appearance in 1997 compared to 15% in 1972.2 In 2000, Pope1 reported similar results and found that 43% of men sampled were unhappy with their overall appearance.
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