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Posts Tagged “Males”

December 3, 2020

It’s Not Just Girls: Body Image in Boys and Men

Charlotte Markey, PhD, is a professor of psychology and a founding director of the Health Sciences Center at Rutgers University (Camden). She is the author of The Body Image Book for Girls, as well as a forthcoming companion book for boys.

While body image has typically been regarded as a female issue, body image concerns can affect people of all genders. Here, we chat with body image researcher, Charlotte Markey, PhD, about body image in boys and men.

Describe your interest in body image. 

My interest in body image dates back to my childhood experiences as a ballet dancer. The intense focus on your body when you are a dancer is unfortunate and really fueled my own body dissatisfaction.

It wasn’t until I was an undergraduate psychology major that I started to look at the scars from my years as a dancer. Intellectualizing these issues was (and is!) a great coping mechanism for me. I began doing research on body image and eating attitudes during my undergraduate years and continued to do so when I completed my PhD in psychology. I love doing research and teaching as a professor, but I also really love to make the research accessible to more diverse, public audiences. This has led to my work on book projects, including my recent The Body Image Book for Girls and the forthcoming companion book for boys.

Why has body image traditionally been thought of as a “women’s issue”? 

Diet culture and the beauty industry have targeted women for decades. It has long been commonplace for girls and women to want to change their appearance—in terms of both their bodies and their faces. This is not the only reason, but it is one of the primary reasons why body dissatisfaction is normative and festers among girls and women. In contrast, “manly” men have historically been conceptualized as natural, unadorned, and uninterested in fashion or beauty.   

October 21, 2020

Episode 38: Boxing, Weight Cutting, and Eating Disorder Recovery with Mark Schindler

Episode description:

Mark Schindler is an NBA writer and podcaster for SB Nation and his co-created site, Premium Hoops.

Mark joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to reflect on his eating disorder experience, particularly as it relates to his pursuit of a professional boxing career. His food and body image concerns manifested in the sport and contributed to an eating disorder that extended far beyond it. Sharing how his illness compromised both his physical and mental well-being, Mark warns of the dangers of weight-cutting and offers a definition of health that encompasses more than appearance. Strewn throughout the episode are meaningful words of advice and comfort for those considering recovery.

Find Mark on Twitter @MSchindlerNBA.

Learn more about The Emily Program online or by calling 1-888-364-5977.

April 9, 2020

Episode 26: Eating Disorders During Coronavirus with Thom Rutledge

Episode description:

Author and psychotherapist Thom Rutledge joins Peace Meal to discuss how people with eating disorders can prioritize recovery during the coronavirus pandemic. While “Ed”—the eating disorder—may try to co-opt the current cultural anxiety and changes in food, exercise, and environment for his purposes, Thom explains how we can intervene. With the support of others, we can reclaim our power and use the situation as an opportunity to strengthen our recovery efforts.

August 13, 2019

How Can Gyms and Coaches Recognize an Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders are brain-based illnesses involving food and body that are severe and can become life-threatening. These illnesses typically involve food restriction or overconsumption, body image issues, and altered food behaviors like eating in secret or skipping meals. Eating disorders also frequently include compensatory behaviors like overexercising, which puts gym and coaches in a unique spot to catch eating disorders. In order for gyms and coaches to successfully recognize and address eating disorders, they must first be aware of their common signs and symptoms.

Eating Disorder Signs and Symptoms

Eating disorders are serious illnesses that affect eating habits and desires and cause severe distress about food, weight, size, and shape. Eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of their gender, race, age, or any other demographic categorization. The five types of eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, OSFED, and ARFID. Signs and symptoms of eating disorders that gyms and coaches may be able to spot include:

June 19, 2019

Episode 11: Ken’s Recovery Story

Episode description:

Ken Capobianco is an award-winning music critic whose work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Billboard, The New York Times, and many more publications. While immersed in the rock and roll music scene, Ken found himself struggling with severe anorexia—for 30 years. Despite living with a severe eating disorder for all of those years, Ken found eating disorder recovery and wrote a book about his experience.

May 29, 2019

How Do Eating Disorders Present in Males?

As a field, we are beginning to understand that males are at a high-risk for eating disorders and that it is crucial to understand how males present with eating disorders and how we can treat them. Realizing that men have eating disorders is extraordinarily important. Eating disorders are serious and potentially life-threatening and unfortunately, they are often overlooked and trivialized.

The reality of the eating disorder world is that the diagnoses of eating disorders have historically been based on women. Studies to define what eating disorders are have been done primarily with women. The criteria used to describe eating disorders has been normed to women. The professional field is primarily women and treatment is often designed with a gender bias.  However, we are very aware that men (and people of all genders) can get eating disorders and that more men are presenting with symptoms and entering treatment. As a result, we have a lot of work to do to truly understand how males present with eating disorders.

To give an example of how eating disorder treatment is normed to women, we can look at current eating disorder screening tests. Typically, there are statements such as these where a client can answer yes or no.

Get help. Find hope.