Male Confidence Research

As seen in my last blog post, my idea is now that I will video boys of the same sort of age as me (probably students) who will answer my question of what they don’t like about themselves. This is to question and emphasise the unspoken nature of men confidence and self esteem instead of instantly thinking of women when this topic is mentioned. As it’s quite an unusual topic and one that is reserved by men, it will give people with like minded opinions to hear what they have to say.

To support my point I am trying to make, I have found some facts and statistics about male confidence, although it seemed a lot more challenging than finding so for women.

However, something that I have heard of a number of times is the ‘David Beckham Effect’. This is what is expected by the name, where men strive to have the image and persona of David Beckham, making unreal amounts of money, having his image and his lifestyle. Men under this ‘effect’ seem to be grooming themselves more than has been seen in years. In 2007, men’s beauty product sales raised by 12%, and now there are more men’s beauty products on our shelves than before by 70%.

An article in the Belfast Telegraph says that men are ‘coming over to the dark side of weight obsession at a fast a furious rate’. It says that men are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem issues because they aren’t likely to discuss their insecurities with their peers and family. The media is highly influencing men with how they feel about their bodies, whilst women are thinking about thin catwalk models, men want to be the muscular models.

Where as women are proven to have more problems with weightloss and easting disorders with every 1 in 100 women in the UK suffering from Anorexia Nervosa, we are now seeing a new condition called ‘Bigorexia’ develop, where males (mainly) spend hours in the gym trying to make themselves more muscular by using protein shakes and not being able to come to terms with how big they really are. 90% of Bigorexia sufferers are men and the average age for onset is 19.

Not only are there problems with men wanting to be more muscular, but they can also feel negatively about how they are seen in society. Men have always been seen to be the more empowered sex even with feminist movement coming into play, men feel they are the superior sex- this is known as Androcentrism, when men are seen at the centre of view. This has been the case since before we can remember, with the phrase ‘men are the hunters and women are the gatherers’ and men being able to go to school and learn to read and write before women, being paid more than women, being the centre of art and paintings, also with 82% of the top 250 grossing films of 2007 not having female writers proves this.

Maybe then, this is why men feel their self esteem drops when their girlfriends/wives are payed more than they are. Men are known as the ‘provider’ and when this is damaged by females, they don’t take it too well. When just searching ‘what makes mens self esteem drop?’ this is obviously the most popular question/article.

My point through this is, when we have such information as this, then why isn’t there as much media attention on male low self esteem as there is womens? Is it because they don’t allow it to happen, or maybe because men don’t talk about their problems as much?

This is something that I hope to tackle in my installation, with men voicing their negative opinions on themselves not to encourage negativity, but to let it be known that women aren’t the only ones with self confidence issues, but also to compare the stereotypical things everyone would imagine a women would say, but the unpredictability of asking just males.

Rogers-Anderson, S (2011) Bigorexia [online] available from<http://www.mensfitnessmagazine.com.au/2012/11/bigorexia-2/&gt; [February 3 2014]
Suceed, A (2012) Male Body Image Press Release [online] available from <http://www.succeedfoundation.org/news/listing/male_body_image_press_release&gt; [February 3 2014]
Sayid, R (2013) David Beckham Effect Gives Male Grooming Products Sales Boost [online] available from <http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/personal-finance/david-beckham-effect-gives-male-2272307&gt; [February 3 2014]
Moriarty, S (2013) When the Chips Are Down, Men Arise to Look Like Beckham [online] available from <http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/news-analysis/when-the-chips-are-down-men-aspire-to-look-like-beckham-29589457.html&gt; [February 3 2014]
Dr Nerdlove (2012) The Five Most Common Insecurities in Men (And How to Overcome Them) [online] available from <http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2012/04/5-common-insecurities-men-overcome-them/all/1/&gt; [February 3 2014]
Google Search [online] available from <https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=cr&ei=hunuUpWoLKH8ywOnxYCgCQ#q=what+makes+mens+self+esteem+drop%3F&gt; [February 3 2014]

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