Please DO NOT DELETE this page.

Blog //
  • Wellbeing
//

How to talk to your son about body image

31 May, 2017
Talking to son

Girls aren’t the only ones pining for the shapes they see on the silver screen – boys and men are starting to feel the pressure to have the ideal, physical structure of a modern-day Adonis. In the space of 25 years, there’s been an increase of 30% in male body dissatisfaction, with desires and complaints ranging from being too small, too fat, or not muscular enough. Since 2000, the number of men opting for cosmetic surgery has risen by over 110%, with the most popular treatments being breast reduction surgery and rhinoplasty.

But first….

What is body image?

Body image is the way you perceive and feel about your body. Unfortunately, negative body image can affect anyone – no six pack or arms like tree trunks can help when your mind is actively trying to find problems or reach an ideal that may be impossible.

How does it affect men?

Men react to negative body image in a few ways:

Fad dieting – 17% of men are undergoing a diet at any given time.

Eating disorders – ¼ people with anorexia are male.

Exercise dependence – 20% of regular exercisers are ‘addicted’ to it.

Steroid abuse - 3% of Aussie teens use muscle-enhancing drugs.

That last statistic on steroid abuse poses a specific gender problem in body image, one that’s been colloquially labelled ‘bigorexia’. 

What is bigorexia?

In other words, ‘muscle dysphoria’ – an obsessive-compulsive disorder in which the sufferer never feels muscular enough. Those suffering from it might:

  • Have distorted self-image
  • Miss social events or work
  • Cancel plans to work out instead
  • Exercise despite injury
  • Perform extreme workouts
  • Develop strict high protein, low fat diets
  • Abuse steroids
  • Feel compelled to get cosmetic surgery

 

Talking to your son about body image

Source: https://kidshelpline.com.au/parents/tips/the-truth-about-body-image/

Be a good role model

If you’re constantly complaining about your own body, it’s likely your child is going to pick up on it and emulate. Understanding your own feelings about your body, and approaching it and any changes you make in a positive manner, will set a good example.

Positive reinforcement

A sidelong glance at someone’s second serving isn’t particularly effective. Instead, you can focus on the positive effects of healthy eating or proportional exercise – eating better gives you more energy, and proper exercise lets you move without pain or discomfort.

Talk about external pressures

Boys can see examples of muscled and ripped physiques everywhere they go. In the case of adolescent teens, boys who do get access to muscle enhancers are going to outstrip their peers in terms of size and musculature, so there’s added pressure to conform to visible group standards.

As far-fetched as it may seem, communicating to your son about realistic expectations and standards, as well as what real health looks like, can help them deal with peer or societal pressures to reach an overly-idealistic standard of masculinity.

Help them take charge of their eating habits

Taking the time to prepare proper nutritious meals, and taking the time to get your son to prepare them with you, can go a long way. They’ll gain an understanding of what foods are important, how they aid the body, and how long it takes to prepare a healthy meal.

All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified medical practitioner. CBHS endeavours to provide independent and complete information, and content may include information regarding services, products and procedures not covered by CBHS Health Cover policies. For full terms, click here.

1911_CBHS Skyscraper Banner-07

Suggested Articles

  • A person checking weight Loss

    Four simple rules to lose weight

    Dieting but not losing weight? You may have been given bad advice. Try following these four simple food rules to speed up your weight loss efforts.
    • Wellbeing
    16 January 2020
  • Face mask

    Should I be worried about smoke haze?

    Australia’s bush fire crisis has devastated many towns and rural communities. Cities not directly affected have been blanketed in smoke, but how hazardous is it?
    • Wellbeing
    16 January 2020
  • Volunteer firefighters

    Support from CBHS for volunteer firefighters

    We are extending our emergency relief program – set up to help members affected by bushfires - to any members who are also volunteer firefighters.
    • Membership
    9 January 2020
  • vegetarian meals

    Veganism. Not as nutty as you might think

    We weigh up the pros and cons of going vegan and examine claims that Australia’s fastest growing food trend is not only healthier but better for the planet too.
    • Nutrition
    7 January 2020

What Our Members Think

I joined as a CBHS member in 1978. Through many health events and challenges CBHS has always been there for me and my family. Their exceptional service over this time has always been appreciated.

- Jenny J

What Our Members Think

I've not long joined CBHS from another fund, but so far I've been impressed by the super helpful and friendly staff, the higher claim limits and rebates at a very competitive premium, and how easy it is to lodge manual claims through the app. Thanks CBHS - you've won me over! 😃

- Jessica B

What Our Members Think

What I love about CBHS is their customer service - friendly staff and always ready to help and email you the information you ask about. Keep up the great work!!!

- Linda S

What Our Members Think

I love CBHS as its so so easy to lodge a claim and whenever i need a question answered friendly consultant is one phone call away. The phone back option instead of waiting is brilliant!

- Rachel N

What Our Members Think

I have been with CBHS since I began at CBA 15 years ago...Now I have three beautiful children, one who has a disability. Our top extras cover has been really essential for his early intervention. I do love the ease of claiming online.

- Annette E

What Our Members Think

I am relatively new to CBHS and am loving it already. I worked for a CBA subsidiary a long time ago but was still eligible to join. So much better that the for-profit funds - our premium is only a little more and we pay a lower co-contribution and get great benefits. I am loving the massage rebate for my partner and gym rebate for me!

- David G

What Our Members Think

I'm extremely happy with CBHS! I have been a customer for about six years. I think the price is reasonable. And i would refer you to my family and friends any day. Thank you CBHS!!!

- Karen W

What Our Members Think

Love CBHS as I never have to doubt that they've got my back when I need it. Been through other insurers who have limited options or limits, yet cost the same or more.

- Mark F

Prev
Next