Millions of British men suffer from ‘Manxiety’ – a dissatisfaction with their body image, according to a new report.
Being the butt of their mate’s jokes, getting undressed in front of more attractive men and feeling the need to live up to super-fit celebrities and models all contribute to men’s overall lack of body confidence.
While being compared to an ex-partner or even a sibling can make men doubt their own good looks and desirability.
In a response to the new Jacamo Modern Man-ual report, cricket legend Freddie Flintoff and his comedian pal Jack Whitehall have teamed up to help blokes deal with their 'manxiety'.
The pair joined forces for an intimate video chat following the research which reveals four in 10 blokes don’t feel confident with the way they look.
During the chat Flintoff admits he felt "old" in the dressing room when he was surrounded by younger, fitter team-mates.
Speaking of his feelings towards the end of his career, Flintoff says: “You’re 37 with your belly hanging over your trousers and you’re surrounded by fit lads in their early twenties, you feel old.”
During the video Whitehall confesses he suffers heartburn during intimate situations, and keeps a bottle of Gaviscon by the bed for such occasions. He remarks “she knows as soon as that cap comes off, its business time.”
The poll of 2,500 men revealed almost half desperately want to lose weight and two in five want to tone up, while 54 per cent are most unhappy with their midriff.
Jenni Bamford, spokeswoman for Jacamo menswear, said: “The idea of having a ‘perfect’ body is an unrealistic and unobtainable ideal that can have long-lasting consequences for people’s mental and physical wellbeing.
“We hope ‘The Modern Man-ual’ gives men the chance to talk about their concerns about body image along with encouraging a conversation around how retailers, advertisers and the media portray men to better reflect the diversity of the healthy male population.
A major complaint shared by those suffering with ‘manxiety’ is watching films or television which constantly feature unrealistically attractive men with good bodies, and one in 10 say this is made worse when their partner looks at images of men with fantastic bodies they don’t feel they could ever achieve.
Another thing which bothers blokes is that fact that, in their opinion, most of their mates have great bodies, while one in 20 feels under more pressure because their partner has a good body.
When it comes to key problem areas, more than half of men dislike their stomachs, while one in six wish they had bigger pecs.
The same percent of men dislike their hair while 14 per cent of blokes don’t like their face, and 11 per cent feel self-conscious about their upper arms.
Even getting dressed causes a certain amount of anxiety, with a fifth admitting they don’t have their own sense of style.
A further third of those polled struggle to find clothes which suit them, and 18 per cent say they’d like to buy more fashionable clothes but find clothes shops intimidating.
But there are some positives to be drawn from the research – most notably the fact that many men say their body confidence can be improved by taking certain measures.
Doing more exercise, getting a new haircut and wearing a new outfit all make men feel slightly better about themselves.
Four in 10 say receiving a compliment can be a great boost, while almost a third feel good after sex or intimacy with a partner.
Even getting a promotion at work can make men feel a little brighter as can a bit of pampering.
TOP 10 CAUSES OF ‘MANXIETY’
1. Having to uncover on a beach when surrounded by other ‘fit’ blokes
2. Being teased by mates about my appearance
3. Watching films or TV with attractive men with good bodies in
4. Seeing pictures of men in advertising and media with bodies they feel they will never be able to achieve
5. Being in a sports changing room with younger or more attractive men
6. My friends having good bodies
7. My partner looking at images of men with bodies I feel I could never achieve
8. Being compared to my partner’s ex-partners
9. My partner having a really good body
10. Being compared to my siblings
TOP WAYS MEN CAN IMPROVE BODY CONFIDENCE
2. Receiving a compliment
3. Sex / intimacy
4. A new hair cut
5. Wearing a new outfit