Men/Women by Ted Goldring
Gender is a big factor when dealing with body image in people. Men and women have always had certain stereotypes following them. For example, people make fun of women drivers due to talk about women not being able to drive. Some of these things, such as this example, can be considered as just a joke but there are major stereotypes and "standards" that each gender needs to follow to be considered "normal" in our society.
Men have always had certain standards they have needed to follow. According to the Bible, men were the first gender created. In the Book of Genesis, the first man God created was Adam. By this men are considered the majority gender since they were created first. This story also continues with the first women was created with part of Adam's rib bone. God took the rib bone from Adam when he was sleeping and from there the first woman, Eve, was born. The word woman means from the womb of man.
Men are affected greatly by society and how they feel about their body image. They are supposed to be the alpha sex and not be emotional about anything. They are also most importantly expected to be molded into the perfect body that will make them attractive and accepted by society. Men are supposed to tall, muscular, wide, strong, handsome, etc. There are many adjectives you could use. According to the paper "Men and Body Image: Current Issues and Counseling Implications", it states that "Grieve, Truba, and Bowersox (2009) estimated that there are millions of men who experience some level of body dissatisfaction. Approximately 10%-15% of eating disorder diagnoses are assigned to men (Carlat, Camargo, & Herzog, 1997), and 2.2% of males meet the criteria for body dysmorphic disorder (Koran, Abujaoude, Large, & Serpe, 2008)".
The media allows these stereotypes to affect many men everywhere. When they look at Calvin Klein models on television, it makes them compare themselves to that kind of fake perfection. Men have many kinds of body types. Small, big, fat, skinny, muscular, handsome, cute, and that's fine. Not everyone is going to look the same and shouldn't think they have to.
Women have the same types of issues but they are affected differently. They are considered the minority gender. Sadly women are looked so highly upon for their appearances that it's one of the biggest issues on their minds. Women are expected to maintain a certain slim body weight and become tall which can become an impossible task due to the woman's body type. According to the source "Associations Between Women's Body Image and Happiness: Results of the YouBeauty.com Body Image Survey (YBIS)", several studies have reported that women's body image (variously measured as body esteem, body dissatisfaction, and self-reported physical attractiveness) is associated with their life satisfaction, a measure of subjective well-being (Diener et al.1995; Donaghue 2009; Stokes and Frederick-Recascino 2003). That is, women's satisfaction with life appears to be influenced by their corporeal attitudes and embodied aspects of their self, distinct from their feelings of self-worth (Frederickson et al. 1998).
With the media so big on women having a "sexy" appearance and women thinking they need to look like a Victoria's Secret model, this can cause issues such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. According to the source Undergraduate Women's Reactions to Body Image and Eating Disorder Research, One type of potentially sensitive research involves studies of disordered eating and body image dysfunction, which affects as many as 75% of college women (Fairburn and Beglin, 1990; Heatherton, Mahamedi, Striepe, Field, and Keel, 1997; Kronenfeld, Reba-Harrelson, Von Holle, Reyes, and Bulik, 2009; Raich, Rosen, Deas, Perez, Requena, and Gross, 1992). Stigma and secrecy are common among women experiencing eating disorders (Hackler, Vogel, and Wade, 2010). As such, disclosing symptoms, even within an anonymous self-report survey, may be distressing for women with disordered eating and body image dysfunction (Basile, 2004). Research in this area is important given the many negative effects of these afflictions, including among others: depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem (Thompson, Coovert, Richards, Johnson, and Cattarin, 1995; Weis, 2008).
All in all, men and women need to feel happy and confident in their own skins. There is no reason to feel like you need to look like anyone else.