Body Image Problems and Men: Objectification of a Different Color

Plastic Surgery for New York City (NYC), Manhattan and all of New York (NY)

Much of the discussion about body image problems has been associated with women. Women, we are told, see images of models and actresses on billboards, magazines, and television, and often feel self-conscious by comparison. Women internalize media ideals of beauty, which leads to self-objectification (imagining themselves as a collection of body parts that are sexual objects, rather than as a human being), then to body surveillance (closer attention to their appearance) and body shame, which then drives them to seek to pursue the media-imposed ideal. Many studies suggest that men also internalize media ideals of beauty and more and more are seeking to emulate them. For example, one study has shown that 84% of college-aged men expressed some level of body dissatisfaction, compared to 69% of their adult counterparts.

However, an interesting thing happened when researchers attempted to test the applicability of objectification theory to men. In a study published earlier this year in the journal Body Image, researchers found that men fit every step in the model, except for self-objectification. This is due, they believe, to the fact that the typical questionnaire used to measure self-objectification was designed for women. The self-objectification questionnaire asks women to distinguish between traits related to professional and personal competency and traits related to appearance. This distinction does not work when surveying men. For men, appearance-related anxieties and competency anxieties are more closely intertwined. It is almost as if men have an engrained sense of the beauty premium which makes them more often seek plastic surgery procedures and non-surgical treatments like BOTOX® Cosmetic for professional reasons.

New York plastic surgeon Dr. George Lefkovits has long made plastic surgery for men an important part of his practice, and he understands the different concerns that male patients have when seeking plastic surgery. Call or email him today to schedule a consultation with an understanding, sympathetic surgeon.