Forget Anorexia, now there’s Bigorexia!

For the longest time, a man’s achievements and bank statement have determined his worth. This has changed. Looks have become just as important.

For the longest time, a man’s achievements and bank statement have determined his worth. This has changed. Looks have become just as important.

Just as women have long been bombarded by images of unnaturally thin models, and actresses, men are now surrounded by images of pumped-up biceps and six pack stomachs on everything from TV commercials, magazine covers even movie scenes.

Think of Tyrese Gibson or Brad Pitt here taking off their shirts…
Most people consider men to have good looks when their muscles bulge, out their shirts and they have a good ‘V’ shape from their broad shoulders to their narrow waist.

Just like women, men have become obsessed with trying to look good and appealing to others. They are also caught wishing their biceps were bigger or shoulders were wider or even wishing they were a little bit taller (though no much can be done to that now, is there?).

The modern man has become so conscious of his looks that he will spend up to at least four nights in a week in the  gym. He most likely will get home at 10 pm in the night and keep to his low fat diet and only go out for a beer occasionally.

Nevertheless, that creates another problem: It leaves him with not much time to socialize. Unlike women who starve themselves to acquire the famous figure ‘eight’, men often turn to excessive exercises and most look healthy outwardly.

Psychologists have identified this new condition among men as muscle dysmorphia; also known as ‘bigorexia’.(

A man suffering from bigorexia will go as far as wearing baggy clothes because of being ashamed of how skinny he thinks he looks. He will often be so obsessed with his appearance.

He can also eventually give up his girlfriend or wife if the relationship hinders him or forces him to cut on his working out.

Bigorexia is more of a compulsive disorder rather than an eating problem, although the two share many parallels. Both of them are rooted in low self-esteem and originate from being unhappy with one’s appearance and taking extreme measurers to change it.

It is true that there is pressure on men to look good but it does not mean that they should take excessive measurers to acquire that. Actually the pressure is no greater than it used to be fifty years ago. It is just that socio economics status in the society is different today.

Today, with women earning just as much as men do, they do not mind a man who has a sense in his dressing and diet, his wallet not withstanding.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: the some tell tale signs that a man is bigorexic include;

- He wakes up at 3.00 am to eat raw eggs
- He feels guilty if anything hinders or gets in the way of his working out programme
- He cuts down on social activities and spends time in gaining weight without increasing body fat.
- He will often be tired and irritable and will insist on training even when he is sick or injured.
- He has started taking steroids

Ironically, most women say they do not find huge muscles very attractive. Experts say that men between the ages of 30 to 40 are most vulnerable because at this time, their bodies are starting to show signs of ageing and they would want to prove otherwise.

Therefore, I guess a woman would rather live and put up with her flat-slob than loose him to the gym absolutely!


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