In a world where we’re bombarded with filtered and Photoshopped images on a hourly basis, it seems none of us are immune to experiencing a lack of body confidence.
A new study has found that men and women are equally self-conscious when it comes to their appearance.
In an online survey of more than 12,000 adults, 6% of men reported being “very to extremely dissatisfied” with their overall appearance compared to 9% of women.
When asked specifically about their feelings towards their weight, the numbers for men and women were also similar.
A total of 15% of men reported being “very to extremely dissatisfied” with their weight, along with 20% of women.
At the other end of the scale, the figures between the two genders were similar again.
More than a quarter (28%) of men said they were “very to extremely satisfied” with their overall appearance, compared to 26% of women.
Meanwhile 24% of men surveyed identified as “very to extremely satisfied,” with their weight, compared to 20% of women.
The study authors suggested our exposure to the media, as well as our individual levels of neuroticism, have an impact on our body confidence.
“Dissatisfied people had higher neuroticism, more preoccupied and fearful attachment styles, and spent more hours watching television,” the study’s abstract reads.
“In contrast, satisfied people had higher openness, conscientious, and extraversion, were more secure in attachment style, and had higher self-esteem and life satisfaction.”
A spokesperson from eating disorder charity Beat previously told The Huffington Post UK: “Men are equally aware of body image nowadays, especially with all of the magazines that concentrate on body shape – ripped muscles, the six pack – all purporting to be the ‘ideal’ shape’.”
The spokesperson added that roughly 15% of those affected by an eating disorder are male and the numbers being treated are rising – “although that may well be due to better diagnosis and greater awareness”.
“The pursuit of excessive muscularity shares the same features as anorexia nervosa in terms of behaviours, thoughts and feelings,” they added.
The new study is published in full in the journal Body Image.