Posted on September 16, 2011 by Dr. Deah“For Once the Guys Go First,” in which Eric Wilson writes about the male fashions during fashion week. He is excited that the men are finally getting top billing in this predominantly female-centric arena, one of the few I might add, and the article did a spectacular job of keeping up with the “Janeses” by including the mandatory accompanying photos of models looking blankly into the camera. One photo stood out; a rail thin soldierboy startling in his apathetic and anemic pose and pout. If these are the boys being shipped overseas to fight in wars of “men” I’m afraid for their lives. Honestly, I think I could take them down in hand to hand combat. Kidding aside, my heart ached for them and I wondered why are men volunteering for a war that doesn’t need to be waged? In the past, male eating disorders were frequently triggered by photos of buff muscular men with biceps like big cigars and abs like…well…six packs. Male body image dissatisfaction was centered around not being manly enough, and not wanting to look like the 98 pound weakling on the beach. Some folks will say this is progress! Skinny men are considered beautiful now. Woo hoo! And I'm not saying that skinny men aren't attractive but at the risk of being a Dr. Deah Downer, this is a different brand of potential body hate that will ignite a different set of disordered eating behaviors tragic and as potentially deadly as tar and nicotine. One of the true signs that a legitimate problem exists is if there is an association devoted to the problem. I visited the National Association for Males with Eating Disorders (N.A.M.E.D.) website and had an email exchange with its director Christopher Clark. Mr. Clark was very helpful and the newly updated website is filled with informative articles, resources, and statistics for anyone seeking more information or guidance. It also provided ample proof that eating disorders is no longer just a female problem and that men have succeeded in breaking through the not so enviable glass ceiling of eating disorders and body dissatisfaction. Females may still be leading the pack, but the males, unfortunately, are gaining ground. This is not what the Equal Rights Movement had in mind, is it? You’ve come a long way baby. Til Next Time, Dr. Deah
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