Male Student Smashes Body-Image Expectations< < Back to
ATHENS, Ohio — Beauty standards imposed on women by the media are nothing new, but the experiences of their male counterparts seem to have been overlooked by the Women’s Center at Ohio University during the annual “Love Yourself Week.”
Rose Troyer a student worker at the Women’s Center said the event was intended for women.
“I guess we never really sort of reached out to men about it because this seems like more of a women’s issue,” Troyer said. “Whereas men aren’t told that they need to look and act a certain way. So, it is really more about promoting young women.”
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 20 million women and 10 million men in the U.S. will suffer from eating disorders connected to negative-body image. The illnesses include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating.
Yet, body image and eating disorders are frequently still presented as a “women’s issue.”
Andrew Homann, a senior at Ohio University says men also feel pressured by society’s image of the perfect body.
“Men definitely still have to deal with anorexia and bulimia just like a lot of women do,” he said. “The thing that kind of prevents that conversation for being advanced for men, is the stigma of it all, which is the whole issue of men body image. It’s more about being tough, and having defined muscles.”
Over the past six years, there has been an increase of 70 percent in male eating disorders and the same rate of increase among women. Homman hoped to smash that stereotype of male body image and societal expectations by attending Ohio University’s “Love Yourself Week.”
“For Love Yourself Week for me, I am focusing on being more comfortable in my skin. I am excited about developing habits that could make myself feel better too,” he said.
The Women’s Panhellenic Association, The Positivity Project, I AM THAT GIRL, and the Women’s Center hosted the scale-smashing event at Howard Park, to symbolize that weight is just a number and does not represent who you are.
“Honestly it felt like a nice, little release of the stress,” Homann said. “I didn’t really expect that going into it. But it was a lot of fun and it definitely felt good.”