Beach holiday experts, On the Beach, launch The Man Bod campaign with backing from Doctor Hilary Jones and Doctor Alex George, to promote male body positivity and encourage disuse of harmful labels such as ‘Dad Bod’.
The stark new research reveals that over half (53%) of men aged 18-34 think the way they feel about their body has a negative impact on their mental health – causing anxiety and a lack of confidence, compared to 33% of men aged 45-55, and just 11% of those aged 65+.
When it comes to confidence, On the Beach recently revealed that low body confidence prevents nearly a quarter of men (23%) from swimming in the sea or pool on holiday. Shockingly, a further 51% of men say that their body insecurities cause them to avoid social situations, including wearing slim-fit clothing (22%), using communal changing rooms (14%) and working out at the gym (10%). Yet, just 34% of women felt that their partner’s mental health is affected by the way they feel about their body, suggesting a division and lack of communication between couples on how they really feel about their bodies.
Further findings highlighted a staggering 66% of men aged 18-34 feel they have a ‘Dad Bod’ compared to 59% of those aged 45-55. With over a third of men (36%) feeling the ‘Dad Bod’ label is a negative one, On the Beach’s all-encompassing Man Bod campaign sets to challenge perceptions and negative labels to promote body confidence for all men.
Nearly half (41%) of men selected body type C as most accurately representing their body, followed by body type B (22%) and body type D (21%).
When asking men to select their ‘ideal’ body type, a staggering 93% admitted that they would like to change their body, with just 7% being completely body confident and comfortable in their own skin. Body type B proves to be the most aspirational for 63% of men, followed by body type C (19%), and body type E proving the least desirable at 1%.
Over a third (38%) of men admit they feel added pressure from either their friends’ appearances or images that they see on social media. With nearly a third (29%) admitting they’re most likely to try and change the way their body looks due to what their partner thinks and 16% confess that they feel pressure from images of athletic and toned male celebrities.
Dr Hilary Jones said: “With labels like ‘Dad Bod’ you’ve got to be so careful. I think people underestimate how damaging it can be to a person’s self-confidence when you label them a certain way. In my time as a GP, I’ve seen a rise in patients suffering from anxiety and confidence issues which can often be influenced by their feelings around body-image.”
When it comes to changing their body, over half (59%) of men aged 18-34 feel under pressure to ‘look masculine’ compared to just 20% of those aged 45-55. For men, broad shoulders are seen as the most desirable ‘manly’ attribute, followed by a six pack (32%) and muscular legs (34%).
Dr Hilary continued: “It’s completely natural to want to change something about your body. However, it’s important to remember that the ‘ideal’ male body that you see on screen is often completely unrealistic. Aside from the fact that nowadays everything is edited and airbrushed, these impractical high-protein diets and intense workouts can actually be quite harmful for your body in the long run. As long as you’re healthy, it shouldn’t matter how you look.”
If men could change one thing about their bodies, over half (51%) say they’d change the way their stomach looks, with 22% wanting to alter their chest. When asked, 85% of men aged 44-55 are most likely to want to change their bodies, compared to just 77% of over 65s.
Alan Harding, Marketing Director at On the Beach, said: “After the overwhelming response from our #ThisBikiniCan campaign earlier this summer, we knew we had to do something to help shine a light on male body confidence. We know from our in-depth research that there are real issues for men regarding body positivity that are not often spoken about in the same way as they are for women. We wanted to change that, and our Man Bod campaign sets out to encourage the disuse of negative labeling, which can be incredibly harmful, as well as to highlight the extent to which the issue of body confidence affects men in general. We hope that the campaign will support men in embracing their bodies and diminish the need or desire to change the way they look due to unrealistic images often seen across social media.”
This post was previously published on Onthebeach and is republished here with permission from the author.
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