Teen dating and stds
And the media’s portrayal of what is “normal” keeps getting thinner and thinner for women and more muscular and ripped for men.
Twenty-five years ago, the average female model weighed 8% less than the average American woman. With these media images and body ideals, it’s little wonder that women and men feel inadequate, ashamed, and dissatisfied with how they look.
Your perception of how your body looks forms your body image.
For example, being thin and/or muscular is associated with being “hard-working, successful, popular, beautiful, strong, and self-disciplined.” On the other hand, being “fat” is associated with being “lazy, ignorant, hated, ugly, weak, and lacking will-power.” These stereotypes are prevalent in our society; and they are reinforced by the media, our family and friends, and even well-respected health professionals.
Similarly, boys are given the impression that men naturally have muscles bulging all over their bodies.
Take a look at their plastic action-figures (like GI Joe Extreme) in toy stores.
If GI Joe Extreme were life-size, he would have a 55-inch chest and a 27-inch bicep.
In other words, his bicep would be almost as big as his waist and bigger than most competitive body builders’.
Similarly, all boys see is a body ideal that for most men is impossible to achieve without illegal anabolic steroids.