What is #TheManBod?
Last month, we launched #ThisBikiniCan to promote body positivity in women and show that all bodies are beautiful, and this month it’s the guys’ turn! Body confidence is something that a lot of people struggle with, both women and men, so we want to do as much as we can to show that we think all men's bodies are amazing!
We did a survey with over 2,000 men aged 18 and over to get an insight on what men think about body confidence, how they feel about their appearance and how it affects their mental wellbeing. We found that 93% of men would like to change their body, a shocking statistic that made us think about what we could do to help men love themselves for who they are. So, we teamed up with two fantastic TV doctors, Dr Alex George and Dr Hilary Jones, to shine a light on the reality of men's body confidence and the effect it can have on your mental health.
What do the doctors have to say?
Medical Broadcaster, Author, TV Presenter and Public Speaker, Dr Hilary Jones, has been a qualified medical professional for over 40 years and has appeared on shows such as Lorraine and Good Morning Britain. You may also recognise Dr Alex George, who appeared on the 2018 series of Love Island, but who's proffession is as an A&E Medic. We teamed up with the two well-respected doctors so they could give us real medical advice on how to boost your body confidence and therefore your mental wellbeing.
We asked Dr Hilary about the stress caused over low body confidence and anything that can be done to help this. He said:"It's very worrying that such a large proportion of men feel the need to hide their insecurities from their partners, even more so that they want to change their body type completely. Everyone should feel comfortable sharing a concern with a loved one, especially when it concerns their body. Being more open with those closest to you will help relieve mental strain, and reduce the buildup of anxiety.”
Over to Dr Alex, we asked what can be done to encourage male body confidence, to which he stated:”People being more open on social media, not editing their pictures and showing themselves as who they are.”
He also said that the impact social media has on body confidence is that:”Everyone is being harder on each other so we need to spread the right messages and remember there is no such thing as perfection.”
And when asked what male body positivity means to him, he answered:”Being comfortable in your own skin and happy with who you are.”
What we found
We did our research and asked men of all ages how they feel about their bodies. Sadly, over half of men aged 18-34 have said that the way they feel about their body has a negative impact on their mental health, causing low self-confidence and anxiety. Additionally, 33% of men aged 45-55 and 11% of men aged 65+ also feel this way. Over 51% of men said that their insecurities about their body would make them avoid certain situations, including wearing slim-fit clothing, using communal changing rooms and wearing swimwear around the pool.
As the beach holiday experts, we believe that everyone should be able to enjoy the sun, sea and sand with confidence. Although we know how difficult it can be to love your body, we wanted to do something that would take male body insecurities and turn it upside down into something that would give the confidence boost to those who may need it.
Social media is a tool that can definitely be used for good, but we also see a lot of coverage about the editing of images on sites such as Instagram. This can be one of the causes of low body confidence as it gives unrealistic expectations of what you think you should look like. To help fight this, we asked our male followers to get into their swimwear and show off their man bod by snapping a pic, using #TheManBod and tagging two friends to do the same.
To get the ball rolling, some of the guys from On the Beach headed down to the centre of Manchester for a #TheManBod photoshoot with Dr Alex, Dr Hilary and men of all shapes and sizes. If you want see how they went on or need some inspo on how to love your man bod, check out our article - Me and my man bod. Or, if you simply need a little boost this year, take a look at our tips on How to feel good about yourself in the new year!
Our hero! Check out Dr Alex championing #TheManBod:
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