Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Muscles...whatever

Err...hmmm, no comment.

TV images of muscular, bare-chested men lifting weights and endorsing cologne leave men feeling depressed and unhappy with their muscularity, which may lead to steroid abuse and unhealthy, extreme exercising, University of Central Florida researchers have concluded.

While many studies have shown how images of thin, beautiful models affect women’s self-esteem, UCF psychology professor Stacey Tantleff-Dunn and graduate student Daniel Agliata are among the first to examine how “a culture of muscularity” affects the well-being of men.

Boys are exposed to the culture at an early age, when they play with muscular action figures, Tantleff-Dunn said. Male heroes in movies and video games often are “supersized,” as are actors in many commercials for deodorant and exercising equipment.
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