Wednesday, 14 September 2016

What is Bigorexia?

From our previous blog posts on body shaming, dress sizes and samples sizes, we're more than aware of the unrealistic body and beauty standards that women face on a day to day basis. That they must be 'beach body' ready for summer or what the latest weight loss craze is, we're bombared by the media on how to get the 'perfect body'. But what about guys? Do they feel the same pressures? It's not often that we hear about or pay attention to the issues that men face on a daily basis. 

Muscle dysmorphia or bigorexia, is an anxiety disorder which casues someone to see themselves as small, despite actually being big and muscular. Otherwise known as the opposite of anorexia.

The main signs and causes for concern of bigorexia may include working out compulsively, use of steroids and protein shakes, and excessively looking at your body in the mirror.

According to the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation, around 1 in 10 men in your average UK gym could have the condition that leads to depression, steriod abuse or even suicide. Rob Wilson, the chair of the foundation said in a BBC Newsbeat investigation from 2015, that many cases may be going undiagnosed because there is little awareness of the disorder and that there is cause for concern because of this.

The main cause of bigorexia is not yet clear. The NHS states it may be genetic or caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Life experiences may also be a contributing factor, as bigorexia may be more common in people who were teased, bullied or abused when they were young.

But the one that we feel has had a major impact on the rise of men, and women hitting the gym is the media. The media, as usual, makes a huge deal about the latest blockbuster star and their rippling abs. Making it out that bigger is better and a sign of manliness, power and success.

Just like we said in our body shaming piece, we need to remember that we're all different and that nobody is perfect.


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