Self Conscience

Reporter: Shannon Sampson

Web Producer: Jason Bailey

The images are everywhere. Buffed. Chiseled. Stacked. Whatever you call it, today's men are seeing more images than ever before.

Stacey Tantleff-Dunn, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist says, "We see an increase in advertising and so many more messages directed at men and how they can improve their appearance."

The average man sees at least 25 appearance-related commercials each day. What kind of impact do those ads have? Tantleff-Dunn conducted a study to find out.

She showed 16 commercials to two groups of men. One group viewed ads that featured muscular, bare-chested men. The other group viewed ads with average-looking men.

Tantleff-Dunn says, "Men who were exposed to images of the so-called ideal male became more depressed and significantly more dissatisfied with their own muscles."

After a brief exposure, media images had a huge impact.

"We are finally recognizing that men are as vulnerable to some of these messages as women have been for so long," says Tantleff-Dunn. Kenric Wong, says, "It makes me look at wow, if they can get that big, why can't I get that big?" Nick Grande says, "It's kind of like a motivator, i guess. I mean everyone wants to be big."

Some men recognize the images as a motivator. Men see the portrayals in the advertisements and think they can be like that, or look a certain way.

With all these images, it's no wonder 45 percent of men report being dissatisfied with their bodies.

Women are only slightly less satisfied at 55 percent.

Doctor Harrison Pope developed a computerized body image test and asked men to choose the body type they thought women liked best.

Pope says, "The men thought women would prefer a male body with around 20 pounds more muscle than an ordinary man, but when we turned around and gave the computer to actual women, the actual women chose a perfectly normal-looking male body."

However, in this culture, 'perfectly normal-looking' may be hard for most men to accept.