If you’ve ever run out of the room in response to the question “Does this make me look fat,” then you know you shouldn’t mess with a woman’s body image. But new research finds that it’s more your sons than your daughters who need the extra self-esteem boosting. The findings — presented at the 124th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association — suggest that women have become increasingly cooler with their bodies over the past 30 years, while men hate what they see in the mirror as much as they ever have.
The meta-analysis looked at more than 250 studies representing 100,228 participants from 1981 to 2012. They survey asked both men and women how they felt about their fat. “While women consistently report being more dissatisfied with their bodies than men, as far as thinness is concerned, that dissatisfaction has decreased over the 31-year period we studied,” says Bryan Karazsia, a professor at The College of Wooster. The dudes didn’t necessarily express how they felt by their weight, but by how much muscle mass they had. And if men felt puny in 1981, they still felt puny in 2012.
So if girls have a better shot at feeling good about themselves than ever before, conversely boys could still be trying to reach perfect pumpitude. Maybe it’s all the swole superheroes they idolize (although The Penguin’s body seems just fine)? Maybe it’s an alternative theory that takes into account this analysis is pre dad bod. The phrase wasn’t a thing until 2015, but in the past year it’s helped many men embrace life’s series of flab-alanches. So, just tell your teenage boy that when he has a kid and lets himself go, he’ll be as confident as you are.
[H/T] Eureka Alert