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EveryBODY is perfect!
Often times when we talk about eating disorders and body dysmorphia we automatically think about females and how the media has influenced their thoughts and perceptions of themselves. It is important to remember that this also is the case for many men as well. According to the National Association for Males with Eating Disorders, 25% of people with an eating disorders are male. Just like females, males aren’t immune to thousands of messages and images they are bombarded with of lean or muscular bodies. From the news to tv and movies these impressions can make even the “strongest” man think twice about their appearance.
As a newly out and slightly round gay man is was a challenge to navigate not only my sexuality but my own perception of body and what is meant to “fit in” and be desired in my new community. Even within the gay community, a community that is build on acceptance and support, there is a pressure by media and by your peers to have the “perfect” body. This article Body Image in the Gay Community is Toxic from HIV Plus Mag does a good job of summing up the pressures that exist for gay men to fit in, in their community. It can be a challenge to navigate all the messages, thoughts and comments that you receive about the “perfect” body but if you or someone you know is struggling an eating disorder or body dysmorphia reach out, give help and get help!
If you are looking for more information or resources check out these links:
- The National Association for Males and Eating Disorders (https://namedinc.org)
- National Eating Disorder Information Centre (www.nedic.ca)
- Eating Disorder Hope (https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/)
- Beat Eating Disorders (https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/)
- National Eating Disorders Association (https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/)
Nathan is an energetic and passionate youth advocate who has spent over two decades supporting youth with mental health and wellness. Through his work in public health, youth program development and coaching, Nathan brings a wide range of experiences in supporting youth to achieve their personal goals and to make positive change in their community. When not in the office Nathan spends most of his time taking care of his fur baby, playing volleyball or coaching basketball.
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