Instagram and charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) have joined hands to talk about body positivity in men.CALM is a suicide preventionorganisation that has partnered with Instagram to raise awareness about body issues faced by men and its effect on their mental health.
A study by CALM and Instagram states that almost half the male population, aged 16 to 40, in the UK have struggled because of how they feel about their body. 48% of men confirmed that their mental health has suffered due to body issues, reports BBC.
For thesurvey, 58% of 2000 men, aged 16 to 40, revealed that pandemic led to them feeling negatively about their body. While 21% said that they don’t want to talk about it with anyone, only 26% said they feel happy with how they look.
22-year-old Spencer Cooper, who is among the 48%, shares how the pandemic added to his body insecurities and poor mental health. He recalled he felt guilty after seeing everyone ‘doing home workouts on Instagram Live and on Facebook’ but when he tried that, he realised that ‘it wasn’t for him’.Talking about how everyone on social media seemed to be getting fitter, healthier or doing well, he was doing the opposite.
According to Spencer, men choose not to talk about how the issue affects their mental health because they are ‘programmed not to.’
Now, Instagram and CALM are starting a new series of interviews called CALM Body Talks, to start the conversation about body image issues in males that stem from societal pressures and to give a much-needed push towards body positivity.
Campaigners of body image like Jamie Laing, Leon McKenzie, Russel Kane and Stevie Blaine would also be part of the dialogue about how men feel about their bodies.Blaine, in conversation with BBC, opened up about his struggle with his weight during teens and describes his late 20s as ‘a decade of self-hate’ due to extreme hair loss.
Laing also shared about his body image concerns he felt because of his weight and hair loss and the struggle to talk about it. He added that rise in the body positivity movement over the past few years has led to women sharing their experiences of body changes but ‘there is a stark gender divide here.’Laing claims social media projects an image of how one should look as a man with ‘buff, ripped muscles.’
Simon Gunning, CEO of Instagram, admitted how the platform has been a part of the problem by causing a pressure for adolescent boys to have unhealthy and unattainable bodies which is why the ‘campaign will tackle the issue at its core, body image on Instagram.’