What Is Bigorexia?
The problem is getting bigger.
So we’re all well aware that unrealistic beauty standards trumpeted by the media make women feel inadequate. As if girls weren’t already surrounded by sexualising adverts, Victoria’s Secret campaigns, and magazines reminding them to be “beach body ready”, now they’re also bombarded with a constant stream of fitness Instagram pages and densely filtered selfies on their social media timelines.
Our society preaches that normal isn’t enough, and that there is such a thing as a “perfect” body. To many girls, achieving that body becomes synonymous with not just being attractive but being successful in life. It's messed up.
But what about guys?!
It’s happening to them too, but it has snuck up so sneakily that people haven’t been paying it as much attention. Increasingly, muscly models are splashed all over advertising campaigns, actors have six packs, reality TV stars flaunt their massive biceps… and the pressure is starting to show.
Bigorexia is a term for a body dysmorphic condition adverse to anorexia – where people obsessively aim to get bigger, rather than smaller. Bigorexia, or muscle dysmorphia, is on the rise.
And it’s easy to see why! The media makes a huge deal out of the Channing Tatums and Ronaldos of the world – labelling them as massive lady-killers, largely due to their rippling abs. It begins to seem like bigger is better, leaving guys to assume that maximizing their muscles = manliness, power and success.
According to the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation, around 1 in 10 men training in your average UK gym could have a condition that leads to depression, steroid abuse, or even suicide. When you have body dysmorphia you never think enough is enough or, in the case of bigorexia, big is big enough... and it can overtake your life.
Just like anorexia, bigorexia is not simply a shallow attempt to look good. It’s rooted in deep insecurity and can first take hold due to other anxieties. It’s important to know that it’s a disorder, and not just a light-hearted attempt to look like the Tatum. Did you know, for example, that guys who have been abused or bullied in the past are more likely to have bigorexia?
Obviously, going to the gym isn’t a crime, but if someone is obsessive about exercising and strict eating regimes in a way that you can see is unhealthy – get help or encourage them to seek help! (MGEDT is a good place to start).
And guys - you don’t have to have bigorexia to feel insecure about your body. But take it from us, people won’t fancy you more if you have bigger muscles, cos everyone has a different preference. Plus, your body shape will never dictate or override who you are… and THAT’s what will ultimately attract someone to you. 100%.
- Emily Hooley
12 Times Cara Delevingne Nailed The Androgynous Look
Getty1 of 12
Getty2 of 12
Getty3 of 12
Getty4 of 12
Getty5 of 12
Getty6 of 12
Getty7 of 12
Getty8 of 12
Getty9 of 12
Getty10 of 12
Getty11 of 12
Getty12 of 12