Body Image Issues: Study Reveals Both Men & Women Get Anxiety Attacks About Their Looks

Coming off the heels of the botched photoshop ads by Target, body image is still a hot topic this week.

Women feel twice as much pressure to look good as men do, a new study has shown. A detailed look into the body confidence of 2,000 men and women also documented a dramatic overall rise in appearance-related anxiety.

Two thirds of the women polled felt under too much pressure to look good, citing a rise in 'perfect-looking' women in the media setting unrealistic standards.

The research, which was commissioned by Benenden Health, who also say the pressure is growing for men too. Men now spend over three hours a week on average stressing over their body shape. Baldness and 'moobs' emerged as men's biggest health concerns.

"Our research shows that body hang-ups can have an effect on people of all shapes, sizes and genders - whether it relates to weight, body shape or clothing, both men and women can feel at times under pressure to live up to 'expectation,' said Helen of Benenden Health.

"By comparing yourself to unrealistic ideals about what is 'perfect' you can put yourself under pressure to meet idealistic expectations and consequently suffer stress and anxiety which can have a negative impact on your health and well-being."

When asked to rate their worries on different areas of their self-image men were found to show most anxiety around fears they were overweight or had a beer belly (58%), while yellowing teeth (20%) and concerns over a lack of muscle (14%) were also prevalent.

Women were also mostly concerned around their weight and teeth, while cellulite was the third highest issue to cause body anxiety. Bags under the eyes and a fear of having flabby arms or 'bingo wings' completed the top five most common body hang ups for women.

"It's clear from these figures that both sexes are affected by similar concerns about the way they look," Helen added. As the research shows, feeling under pressure about your appearance is not in any way a purely 'female' domain - men are becoming increasingly concerned about their own body image and this is causing them more worry than ever before."

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