Talking Boys and Body Image: Helping Boys Struggling With Body Image

The body image issue is often booming among girls. Dr. Roberts addresses the complex stigma that exists among the male population, “…there seems to be a stigma around males being too concerned with body image, and yet, there is societal pressure on males to meet certain physical ideals, like being very muscular. So, in a way, they are supposed to strive for a certain body type but hide the fact that they feel the pressure.” The concept is pretty much just as confusing as it sounds.
Body image related issues in boys seem to emerge around the time that they hit puberty. This is the transition in which they may feel pressured to assert their masculinity. The male body can play a huge role in this assertion according to societal standards.

Signs that the struggle is real

There is a difference in making positive or healthy changes in one’s exercise or diet habits. But if the motivation is driven from a dark, unhealthy place, you should confront the issue head-on and get your son the help he needs. Here are some warning signs that your son may be struggling with body image issues:

  • Noticeable change in diet or exercise
  • Significant changes in weight
  • Changes in eating habits, like not eating enough food, overeating, sneaking food or bingeing
  • Any significant restrictions of certain foods or food groups
  • A child who seems to hide under very oversized clothes and/or refuses to take off bulky clothes in hot weather
  • Negative comments about body/body image
  • Being bullied about body or weight
  • Use of supplements to gain muscle or any weight loss supplements

You should note that some of these do not directly mean that a body image concern is present. Instead, they serve as POSSIBLE factors that could stem from a deeper issue. Boys cope with body image issues differently, so the way they take action will vary. For example, the use of supplements to gain muscle may not indicate a body image issue. Instead, your son may just have a passion for fitness and want to bulk up and get stronger. Personal motivation can drive some of these measures. You should address the situation if you have concerns. Just to offer support if your son needs it or to simply show you care.

Trails Carolina can help

Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for boys and girls ages 10-17. This program uses adventure-based therapy to help struggling adolescents. There is an emphasis on providing students with an impactful experience that encourages and supports self-awareness and confidence and develops unique and effective tools to ensure continued post-program success. Trails Carolina empowers students and gives them the tools they need to lead enriched, healthy lives. We can help your family today!
Contact us at 800-975-7303

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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