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Body Image and Adolescents

             Everybody in the world sees an image of themselves in their minds eye, whether it be accurate or not. Many people, mostly teenagers, suffer from body image issues. This report shall detail the effects of poor body image on male adolescents and what can be done to encourage a healthy body image.
             2.0 Issues Concerning Male Body Image.
             There are many issues concerning body image in Australian teens now days. Muscle dysmorphia (also known as bigorexia, megarexia, and reverse anorexia nervosa disorder) is troubling an increasing population of boys mostly during their adolescent years. A worrying 5-12% of Australian high school teenagers are using muscle enhancing drugs (like steroids) as they are not comfortable with their body image. This can easily and will commonly lead to many terrible health side effects such as liver failure, cataracts (or glaucoma), high blood pressure, infection, osteoporosis, arthritis and the weakening of bone, ligaments and tendons.
             2.1 The Adonis Complex.
             Muscle dysmorphia is a disorder that involves a fear of being too scrawny or small, even if one is quite large and muscular. It also means never being satisfied with oneself, disregarding positive personality and character traits and focusing in detail on minor body flaws. Boys and men suffering from more severe muscle dysmorphia often have quite fit and muscular physiques. The social construction of the "Adonis Like" male body image has resulted in those who are experiencing issues with bigorexia to never be happy with their own body which can lead to depression and other mental health problems.
             2.2 Cultural and Economic Factors.
             In spite of adolescent males living in low socio-economic areas being more likely to be overweight, this case study (third source in bibliography) has shown that even in spite of this factor they are less likely to have self-esteem issues. It can be deduced that when a person is in an environment where obesity is much more common, they do not see themselves as unattractive as someone who lives in a high socio-economic area and is more likely to see healthy people.

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