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 teen 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

Posted in
Avatar of Graham Shannonhouse

Graham Shannonhouse

Get started today

Contact us today to learn how Trails Carolina can help your family

Contact Us LP

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


Discover If Trails Is The Right Program For Your Child

Take our short online assessment and help us better understand how we can help your family.

A teen stands at the meeting point of two trails in the forest, one leading higher towards the light and one leading down into darkness

Top 5 Common Myths About Wilderness Therapy For Youth: Understanding The History and Today’s Reality

Today, families have access to supportive, safe, and nurturing therapeutic treatment programs. Modern wilderness therapy programs, like Trails Carolina, are far from the punitive boot camps they are often portrayed as. 
A red-headed young woman sits on a hilltop overlooking forested mountains in front of her.

Treatment For Anxiety In Teens: How Wilderness Therapy Can Help

At Trails Carolina, we will give your child the skills to manage anxiety in real-time as soon as they arrive on our campus. They will very quickly gain a sense of belonging at Trails because of the sense of community that naturally occurs with the other students who are dealing with the common struggles of learning to manage adolescent anxiety.
Treating Oppositional Defiant Disorder - A teen boy in a beanie and a sweatshirt glowers at the viewer in the woods.

Dealing with Defiance: Six Tips for Decreasing Defiant Behavior

Most parents know what is like to live with a defiant teenager. Teens often feel inclined to push buttons and test the limits enforced upon them. This can be extremely frustrating for parents and create a constant power struggle within the home. The teenage years are when one is trying to figure out where they…
family reuniting - trails carolina reviews
Trails Carolina’s wilderness camps for troubled teens are dedicated to helping teens work through behavioral or emotional difficulties, build trusting relationships with their family and peers, and achieve academic success.