UK Men Struggle with Body Image – Mental Health Survey
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 12, 2023
In a groundbreaking survey conducted by the Mental Health Foundation, it has been revealed that millions of men in the UK are grappling with body image issues. While this topic has traditionally been associated with women, the findings shed light on the alarming prevalence of male body image concerns. The survey, which included over 4,500 UK adults, offers insight into the struggles faced by men and highlights the urgent need for action.
A Silent Battle: Unveiling the Statistics
The survey findings paint a stark picture of the body image crisis faced by men in the UK. Nearly three in ten adult men (28%) have experienced anxiety due to body image issues. One in five men (21%) admit to altering their dressing style in order to conceal parts of their body. Comparing themselves unfavorably to others is a struggle faced by one in five men (22%). Shockingly, over 10% of male respondents have experienced suicidal thoughts and 4% have resorted to self-harm due to body image concerns.
Breaking the Silence: The Importance of Recognition
The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, Mark Rowland, highlights the significance of acknowledging the impact of body image issues on men. He emphasizes that men are bombarded with images of idealized body types through advertising, reality TV shows, and digital media. These societal pressures take a toll on mental health, leading to severe consequences. Rowland urges society to recognize the negative effects of the media environment on men and take proactive steps to combat them.
A Call to Action: Government and Industry Responsibility
The Mental Health Foundation calls upon the UK Government and relevant industries to address the body image crisis. This includes the regulation of social media platforms and the promotion of realistic body types. Reality TV shows, such as Love Island, are urged to avoid showcasing unrealistic body standards. Social media companies are urged to sign the Be Real Campaign’s Body Image Pledge, promote positive body image, and provide users with greater control over the content they see. Clear systems for reporting bullying and discrimination are also essential.
Supporting Men: Reducing Pressures and Improving Mental Health
Rowland asserts that although body image issues in men are becoming more pronounced, they are not inevitable. Society can take meaningful action to alleviate pressures on men and enhance their mental well-being. By raising awareness, fostering open conversations, and providing targeted support, society can empower men to overcome body image struggles and seek assistance when needed.
For those seeking help in managing body image issues, the Mental Health Foundation offers valuable advice on their website.
Notes to Editors:
- All calculations extrapolating the number of individuals affected by body image issues in the UK were conducted by the Mental Health Foundation.
- The survey was carried out by YouGov, with a sample size of 4,505 adults.
- The Mental Health Foundation urges social media companies to sign the Be Real Campaign’s Body Image Pledge and implement measures to promote positive body image.
- Furthermore, social media platforms should have clear reporting systems for bullying and discrimination, allowing users to have more control over the content they see.
For further information and press inquiries, please contact the Mental Health Foundation press office at [email protected] or call 0207 803 1110.
Please note that the provided contact details are for media inquiries only. Journalists should email [email protected] for media-related queries. If urgent, journalists can call 07702 873 939. If calls are not immediately answered, leave a message, and a prompt response will be ensured. Unfortunately, the Mental Health Foundation cannot accommodate student media requests at this time.
For emotional support, please reach out to the Samaritans helpline at 116 123. Individuals seeking information on help and support in their area can contact Mind Infoline at 0300 123 3393 or text 86463.