in order for a man to realize his effeminate qualities, resembling a waif female might be the way to go. After all, think off the bat super model Andrej Pejic. But then again he is only 20 to begin with, and at that age it’s natural for most young men to be naturally lithe. It’s only once they reach their late 30’s and beyond as I can personally attest that such idealized figures are very hard to come by, unless of course you are willing to make some drastic sacrifices.
Exercise is a major factor with eating disorders in men in particular. They become obsessed with exercising every single day, if not more, and it can take over their life without them realising there may be a more deep-seated reason behind it.
‘That is when it becomes an eating disorder.
‘The pressure these days on guys to have the perfect figure is very similar to that which has and continues to affect women.
‘It’s all about losing body fat and getting a six pack, and it comes from the way the male shape is portrayed.
‘That perfect figure can be a healthy body image for a man to aspire to; it is when it gets taken to an extreme that we see problems.’
But it seems not everyone is necessarily open to talking about such obsessions.
There is a stigma about it – it is seen as a teenage girls’ disease. But eating disorders are serious psychological conditions which can kill.’
The charity estimates that 1.6 million people in the UK have an eating disorder. It is thought that one in five sufferers is male.
A GP seeing a man who is thin is more likely to think that he is depressed, a spokesman for the Royal College of General Practitioners said.
And what man wants to openly acknowledge he is depressed or is less than what he believes he ought to be. Better to go for another run, skip another meal. Right?
Ben Porter, 20, from Kent, has suffered with anorexia and bulimia since the age of 14.
He became seriously ill when his weight dropped to seven stone.
He told the BBC: ‘I didn’t realise what I was doing to myself and was abusive to my body at the time. The point was to look good and pursue a perfect image but I was doing the opposite.
‘I fell into a cycle that continued until it became unbearable for everybody.
‘I just felt very inadequate about the way that I looked and felt I wasn’t fitting in at school.’
Ultimately it’s up to us men and realize it’s okay not to look like what society or certain parts of society would like us to look like. After all looking the part is so often a smokes and mirrors game. A game that can give leave one participating it too vigorously burned.