Online Program

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Elliot Montgomery Sklar, PhD, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Matthew Yeasted, BA, Media, Publicis Groupe, Miami Beach, FL
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.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the past and current literature related to body image and male health. Compare male self-concept amongst homosexual and heterosexual men, as well as within other subgroups of men. Analyze messaging within mass media and how this impacts upon self-concept.

Keyword(s): Gender, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a record of research, presentations and publications on the topic of body image and gender as it is correlated to our increasing epidemic of obesity. I have implemented curricula and programming relevant to this and other areas of public health disparities through the lifespan. Additional areas of my research include homelessness, aging and disease prevention. I am an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at Nova Southeastern University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.