Vanity easily ensnares modern men, and it makes them want to look slender, muscular and to be in excellent physical shape. To achieve this, they are willing to take food supplements that can be seriously harmful for their health. This mania already has its own name – “the Adonis complex“. But that complex can lead to many eating disorders, which so far were encountered only among looking-slim-fanatic women.
Slender, muscular, beautiful
The ideals of beauty have changed over time and this puts men under lots of pressure when in comes to their appearance. As the facts show from 10 to 15 percent of patients who have anorexia and bulimia are actually male. Women often arrive at these problems because they love to “help” themselves using laxatives. In men the reason is related to sports. Their sports ambitions often lead to extremes, including to the point when they can no longer engage in physical activities.
The body as an obsession
Often young people become victims of such manias very early, even before puberty. Some want to be more slender, others – to achieve more in sports. The truth is that there is a risk of health damaging, especially for the young boys before puberty. The weight loss is associated with increased performance in sports, if you weigh less, you are more fast and more flexible. This, however, may become a decisive factor for anorexia.
Initially young people want to lose only 2-3 pounds, but quickly get used to losing weight and changing their eating habits. Parents often are left with the only choice to become helpless observers. However, there are other and not quite so dramatic manifestations of the Adonis complex. Many young people exercise on a daily basis in the gym, but are not interested in putting on muscles. Their ideal is having a slender and well-trained body.
The media does not really help
The Adonis complex is also very much fueled by various commercials which depict the ideal man as having a slender and elegant figure. Of course the ads, will also have the opposite effect: those who do not look like the ideal man will begin to feel increasingly dissatisfied with their own body and appearance. The media suggests unconsciously that today those men who want to succeed must have perfectly elegant bodies.
According to commercials, if you have an elegant body you presumably will be more capable than others. Also an elegant body suggests to many that you have a better self-control, when in reality things might be exactly the opposite. Society and fashion are moving in directions that not everyone likes. But we can only wait and watch where the slender-man tendency will lead us.
Bridgeland is the ceo of civic enterprises, a public-policy firm in washington, and a former director of the how to write a application essay for college white house domestic policy council