The gender gap is closing, and not in a good way. "Body image" has become something associated with women, but men are increasingly affected by a condition known as muscle dysmorphia, or "bigorexia". While the unrealistic images of men promoted by mass media are an obvious culprit, perfectionism, stress, and family disharmony can also put men, especially young men, at risk of developing the illness. Described as the opposite of anorexia, men become obsessed with attaining a perfect muscular body and become intensely self-critical. For some, this can lead to steroid abuse, depression, and in extreme cases, death.
This mini-documentary from the BBC looks into the lives of men affected by this condition. It's a sobering look at what happens when a person becomes addicted to an unattainable self-image. It's also a reminder that while we are teaching our girls to love and respect themselves as they are, let's not forget about the boys.
Signal Hill speaks to young people who are dealing with this issue. We address these issues in our talk, "Free to Love", which deals with healthy relationships with ourselves and with other people.