BODY IMAGE IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUNG MALES
Young males prefer to shape their bodies with sports and food supplements in order to look more muscular. Asst. Prof. Dr. Olga Selin Ünler, Lecturer at IUE Department of Psychology, conducted a body image study where 349 young males between the ages of 17 – 27 participated, and the study revealed that the youth desired to look more muscular. 61% of the participants stated that they went to the gym on a regular basis, 40% wanted to lose weight, and 15% wanted to gain weight therefore took food supplements.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Ünler indicated that the body image contained positive or negative feelings of an individual towards their body. “Puberty, especially, is a period when physical changes occur rapidly. As the adolescent starts to perceive his/her own body, he/she starts to perceive others’ opinions as well. It is a period where they question heavily about how they look. Factors like individual, in other words, physical features, psychological adaptation, personal traits may cause this image to develop negatively. In addition to this, attitudes of family and friends may also have negative effect on an individual. Therefore, messages received may cause the individual to compare his/her own body to the ‘ideal body’”, said Ünler.
‘Unhealthy Diets and Food Supplements are Alarming’
Asst. Prof. Dr. Ünler pointed that the ideal body was unrealistic, impossible most often, and while it meant very skinny and curvaceous look for women, it was perceived as being tall and a muscular look for males. Recently, males as well as females started to experience body image disorders, said Ünler and remarked that as a result of this, unhealthy diets, food supplements, long and heavy sports appeared. Ünler stated the following:
“The study I conducted revealed that 61% of young males went to gym regularly and they exercised for 4 days a week and 7 hours a day on the average. 40% of the participants wanted to lose weight, while 15% of them wanted to gain weight. And half of those who wanted to gain weight stated that they used food supplements for his reason. This study shows that wanting to be muscular causes comparisons to peers, actors, athletes, and models. Thus causing more negative assessments about their own bodies.”
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