The study found more men were dissatisfied with their muscle build but women are getting more comfortable with their overall body shapes.
The relationship a woman has with her body has long been fraught and critical but a new study suggests men are now the ones more aware of their weight.
Since the 1980s body dysmorphia and dissatisfaction has steadily decreased in woman which are the results of a study given at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention this week. Study author Bryan Karazsia from the department of psychology at The College of Wooster, together with his team, analyzed data from over 23,800 men and women over a 14-year period.
The participants were asked about their body satisfaction – in particular muscle build. They found that men were more likely to report dissatisfaction which was a steady trend throughout the period of time.
The answer to why this is could be the societal idea of what a perfect body shape for men should be which is something woman have battled with for a long time.
“If you walk into a store and see mens mannequins, they are really large,” says Karazsia. “Men just don’t look like that.”
According to a report in TIME, it is unknown exactly why women are getting more comfortable with their body images but one theory could be the current obesity epidemic in America – if more and more people around are bigger, then women don’t feel as bad about being overweight. In other words, it’s become the ‘norm’ and more acceptable to be a bigger size.
Another theory could be the changing attitudes within the media with more advertizing aimed at women of all shapes, sizes and colors giving a sense of acceptance with diversity. Companies are finding negative reactions to extreme body types and finding normal sizes can still sell products.
Whatever the reason, attitudes are changing, which is great news for women but not so great news for men.