LIFESTYLE

International Men's Day: Our Exclusive Photo Series Uncovers What Men Really Think About Their Bodies

19/11/2015 09:51 GMT | Updated 19/11/2015 12:59 GMT

Men and their relationship to body image is a largely invisible issue.

When articles are written, for instance, to shine a light on whether plus size men should be given the same visibility and support as the plus size women's movement, it's usually derided.

"If overweight men are to be truly empowered, they should be empowered to lose weight, not bury the issue under damaging denials," wrote Martin Daubney on Telegraph.co.uk in response to an article we published around whether there need to be a movement for plus size men.

While Daubney does highlight a truth - that a blanket celebration of all bodies regardless of the health implications is irresponsible, there is a real concern that modern men are not okay with their bodies.

In 2012, Dr Phillippa Diedrichs, from the centre of appearance research at the University of the West of England ran a study which revealed that "four in five men (80.7%) talk in ways that promote anxiety about their body image by referring to perceived flaws and imperfections, compared with 75% of women."

It's not that men have become more sensitive over the decades. It's just that the idea of masculinity - which is rammed down your throat from childhood - is so wrapped up in physicality and size, and this no longer fits in with the gender roles and narrow vision of what makes a man.

And where are the role models to choose from? In the public domain, the man who poses with his top off either doesn't have a perfect body and does so for comedic purposes, or is utterly ripped and showing off his bod as he benchpresses a small car.

To that end, we decided to conduct our first HuffPost UK photo series, where we asked men to hold still for the camera with their tops off, and answer a few questions about body perception...

Photo Series: Men And Their Relationship To Their Bodies


Photo Series: Men And Their Relationship To Their Bodies


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