Instagram has partnered with a mental health charity to raise awareness on body confidence issues in men.
The Facebook-owned social media giant will work with CALM to open a conversation about how male mental health and body dysmorphia have been hit by lockdown.
A survey of 2,000 men aged 16 – 40 commissioned by Instagram reveals more than half (58 per cent) have felt negatively about their body as a result of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, 48 per cent of the respondents say their mental health has suffered as a result of how they feel about their body.
Instagram has undergone somewhat of a cultural revolution in recent times with a significant push towards body positivity.
Many of the photoshopped posts in artificial poses that have been manufactured by influencers have been replaced by a deluge of natural images, accompanied with hashtags such as #selflove.
But while women have largely embraced this change, the movement has yet to reach men.
The Instagram survey of Gen Z and millenials revealed that, just like with women, male body image issues stem from societal pressures.
More than a third (39 per cent) of men say they feel pressure to have a perfect body, and half say this comes from the mainstream media and social media.
Instagram is today launching CALM Body Talks, a series of interviews with famous men, in a bid to open a dialogue about how men feel about their bodies, a topic often seen as a source of banter and a taboo in many male social circles.
Jamie Laing, one of the famous faces fronting the campaign, said: ‘Like so many men, I have experienced a variety of body image concerns in my life.
‘From worrying about my weight when I gave up playing rugby as a teenager, to stressing about my hair loss in my late 20s, these are issues I struggled to talk about at first.
‘Yet so many of my friends have gone through similar struggles, so I want to help Campaign Against Living Miserably and Instagram open up the conversation to show men they are not alone.
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‘We all have off days when we look in the mirror, but we can either learn to love what we see or make positive changes – the key is to do it for yourself and your mental health!’
Kira Wong O’Connor, EMEA Policy Programmes Manager at Instagram, said: ‘The body positivity movement has continued to build a strong community on Instagram in recent years, providing a space for all to share their experiences, encourage others to practise self-love and showcase how every-body is beautiful.
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‘Whilst there are some amazing men like @bopo.boy and @kelvindavis championing male body positivity online, we are excited to be working with CALM to get more men talking about how they feel about their bodies and take the conversation to the mainstream.’