Body image concerns more men than women

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Body image concerns more men than women

1. Recent researches has shown that men worry more about their body shapes and appearance – beer bellies, “man boobs” or going bald – than women worry about how they look. More than four in five men (80.7%) talk about their bodies’ imperfections, compared with 75% of women. Similarly, 38% of men would give up at least a year of their life in exchange for a perfect body – again, a higher percentage than women.

2. “These results tell us that men are concerned about body image, just like women. We knew that “body talk” affected women and young people, and now we know that it affects men too,” said Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs, from the Centre of Appearance Research at the University of the West of England, which conducted the study of 394 British men.

3. The survey revealed that men have high levels of anxiety about their bodies. Some use compulsive exercise, strict diets, laxatives and make themselves sick to try to lose weight.

4. 80.7% talked about their own or others’ appearance, e.g. weight, lack of hair or a slim body. 30% have heard someone refer to their “beer belly, 19% have been described as “chubby” and 19% have heard people talking about their “moobs” (man boobs). 23% said concerns about their appearance had stopped them from going to the gym. 63% thought their arms or chests were not muscular enough. 29% thought about their appearance at least five times a day. 18% were on a high-protein diet to increase their muscular, and 16% were on a diet to slim down.

5. A spokesperson for the organization that promoted the research said: “Historically, making conversation about your body is believed to be something only women do. But it is clear from this research that men are also guilty of commenting on one another’s bodies, and in many cases this is having a damaging effect”. Men’s high levels of body talk show that there is a growing obsession with appearance, she added.

6. Almost three in five men (58.6%) said body talk affected them, usually negatively. 12% said they would give up a year of life if they could have their ideal body weight and shapes. 15.2% would give up two to five years, 5.3% would give up six to ten years and 5.3% would sacrifice ten years or more.

7. About 4% said they had made themselves sick to control their weight, while 3.4% said they used laxatives for the same purpose. Almost a third (31.9%) had “exercised in a compulsive way” to lose weight, although that might be partly because 52% of the respondents were gym members, when the average is 12%.

8. Respondents, of whom about a quarter were gay men, said the media and celebrities gave a false picture of physical perfection. “Girls want to be slim and males want to be big and lean, and while it isn’t a bad thing for people to want to look better, it has become more like a competition, which has a bad effect on most people’s mental health”, said one respondent.

9. Alan White, a professor of Men’s Health at Leeds Metropolitan University, said: “These results are worrying but not surprising. There’s been a big increase in the numbers of British men having cosmetic procedures such as a nose job or removal of breast tissue; that’s gone from almost nothing to quite a significant industry over the last ten years. All this encourages a quick fix rather than appropriate diet and physical fitness levels.”

The Guardian, 06/01/12

B. Comprehension check.

Are these statements true (T) or false (F) according to the text?

1. Men worry about their appearance more than women do.

2. Almost 60% of men are affected by body talk.

3. More women than men would give up a year of their life in exchange for a perfect body.

4. Most of the respondents were gay man.

5. Some people blame the media for unrealistic ideals of physical perfection.

6. Professor Alan White believes the results are surprising but not worrying.

Find the following words and phrases in the text:

1. a two-word noun meaning a fat stomach that a man gets from drinking too much beer over a long period of time.

2. a noun meaning a mark on something that spoils its appearance (para 1)

3. a noun meaning a worried feeling you have because you think something bad might happen (para 3)

4. a noun meaning fat on a man’s chest that looks like a woman’s breasts (para 4)

5. a two-word phrasal verb meaning to lose weight (para 4)

6. a verb meaning to give up something important or valuable so that you or other people can do or have something else (para 6)

7. a noun meaning famous people (para 8)

8. a two-word expression meaning something that can be done quickly in order to solve a problem or repair something that is broken, though it may not last long (para 9)

Match the words in the left-hand column with those in the right-hand column to make phrases from the text:

1. go a. protein
2. strict b. weight
3. lose c. down
4. high- d. procedures
5. slim e. bald
6. body f. health
7. mental g. diet
8. cosmetic h. talk

Lesson 5.

Describing character

Positive or negative comments

Mark the following P (positive) or N (negative):

1. She’s got so much personality.

2. She’s a bit difficult at times.

3. She isn’t easy to get on with.

4. She’ got a great sense of humor.

5. She’s a bit of a pain sometimes.

6. She’s great fun.

7. She can be a pain in the neck.

8. She’s my kind of person.

He’s always doing that

Match the first part of these descriptions with the second parts below:

1. Tony isn’t very sensitive.

2. Mark’s so aggressive.

3. Simon’s very thoughtful.

4. He’s so absent-minded.

5. Joe isn’t very self-confident.

6. He’s so vain.

a. He’s always buying me little presents.

b. He’s always looking in the mirror.

c. He’s always worrying about what people think of him.

d. He’s always saying the wrong thing.

e. He keeps forgetting where he’s put things.

f. He keeps getting into fights.


Match the adjectives in sentences 1-5 with the opposites in sentences a-e:

1. Tom’s really generous. He bought everyone in the pub a drink last night. a. Bruno’s so shy. I don’t think he’s spoken to any of the other students yet.
2. Claire’s very hard-working. She never leaves the office until after six o’clock. b. I don’t understand why he’s so miserable. He never stops complaining.
3. Tina’s very outgoing. She’s made friends with everybody else in the class already. c. Lucy’s very tense. She’s always worrying about something or other.
4. Brian’s a very easy-going sort of guy. Nothing seems to worry him. d. Don’t expect Tom to put any money in the collection. He’s much too mean.
5. Jack’s such a cheerfullittle boy. I’ve never seen him in a bad mood. e. I can’t believe Emma’s husband’s so lazy. He just sits and watches TV all evening.

Types of people

Here are 8 different kinds of people. Use them in the sentences below:

a gossip a big-head
an extrovert a laugh
a couch potato a snob
a coward a liar

1. You shouldn’t believe a word Justin says. He’s a terrible …………… .

2. Maria’s a terrible …….. . She’s always talking about everybody else in the office.

3. Roberto’s quite an …, isn’t he? He’s got hundreds of friends!

4. Martin’s such a ….. . He never stops telling people how wonderful he is.

5. You can’t keep running away from your responsibilities. You’re such a …… .

6. Just because Dave didn’t go to university doesn’t mean he’s any less intelligent than you. Don’t be such a ….. .

7. Emma’s husband’s such a …….. . He just sits around all day watching TV.

8. Billy knows hundreds of jokes. He’s such a ….!

He’s far too modest

Complete the following dialogues with the following expressions:

far too modest far too sensible
much too shy much too proud
much too loyal far too honest

1. I think Mark took some money from my bag while we were out.

No, he’s … to do a thing like that.

2. I’m still waiting for Lisa to say sorry for sending that fax to the wrong address.

You’ll wait a long time! Lisa’s … to admit anything’s her fault.

3. Jenny left a window open when she went out this morning. Anybody could’ve got in.

Are you sure it was Jenny. She’s … to do anything like that.

4. Apparently, Amy asked Tom if he’d like to go out tomorrow night.

I don’t believe you. She’s … to ask a boy out!

5. Julie got the highest mark in the class, but she didn’t say a word.

No, she wouldn’t. She’s … to say anything about it.

6. I thought Martin was a good friend but he’s been telling everybody that I’m boring.

Are you sure? Martin’s … to say something like that behind your back.

She can be a bit moody.

Complete the following dialogues with the words and phrases below:

moody amusing stubborn
arrogant selfish silly

1. Lucy never thinks about anyone but herself.

Yes, she can be a bit … sometimes.

2. Oh, Laura’s impossible. One minute life is wonderful and the next minute she’s in her room crying.

Yes, she can be a bit …, can’t she?

3. I really don’t like Bob. He seems to think that he’s more important than anybody else.

He certainly can be very … .

4. Martin’s such good fun. He’s got a great sense of humour.

Yes, he can be very … at times.

5. I wish Joe would stop playing practical jokes all the time. It gets very tiring.

Yes, he can be really …at times. I wish he’d grow up and behave like an adult.

6. I told Emma that she shouldn’t leave university but she never listens to me.

No, she really can be very … when she wants, can’t she?

Negative prefixes

Change these words into their opposites by adding un, dis, in, or im:

…reliable …honest …sensitive
…pleasant ...loyal …tolerant
…patient …mature …friendly
…decisive …ambitious …selfish

9. Read the text below. Match choices (A-H) to (1-5). There are three choices you don’t need to use.

Overcoming shyness

Excessive shyness is a sign of insecurity, lack of confidence, an incorrect self-image and low self-esteem. When you are shy, you feel unsure of yourself in the company of others.

Some bad experiences during childhood could have caused you to become timid and withdrawn. When you are uncomfortable among others, you can’t talk, express your opinions or ask for favours. Timidity can destroy your ambitions, your success with relationships and your life.


There is a positive intention in your behavior. Most likely you are trying to protect yourself from looking and feeling like a fool. Listen to yourself. Your words are powerful. Stop focusing on your lack. The more often you label yourself as a shy person, the more your subconscious mind will agree and prove to you that you are right.

(2) __________

Another great way to overcome your bashfulness is to imagine the best possible outcome of a situation. In your mind, you can do anything including making the first move, talking in public and being assertive. Consistently practice becoming the person you want to become in your mind. Through practice and repetition, you are able to “act as if” you are confident and soon will become good at it.

(3) ___________

You must refuse to give in to self-doubt. The past is over with faults and mistakes. You are a grown-up and can act differently.

List down on a piece of paper why you are shying away from people and why you are afraid to speak up and become the real you who would love to have a good company. Look at your list and question yourself if what you have written is true.

What can you do to improve? You can learn new skills, like how to improve your communication, enhance your self-image and how to become more confident.

(4) ___________

You must fight your resistance to socialize. You should put in the effort to connect with other, especially those who have positive qualities. Listen, observe and learn. These people will subtly influence your behavior and your thinking. Go out and join will subtly influence your behavior and your thinking. Go out and join their company. Sitting home and shying away won’t help you become bold.

(5) __________

The trouble with self-conscious individuals is that they think the other people are concerning about how they look and perform. Yes, there are judgmental people. But do you know that most of them are insecure and look for the weakness in others to validate their own worth? If you can keep that in mind, you’d go about living your life and not become bothered.

A.Become Aware of Your Inner Chatters

B.Connect and Interact with Others

C.Imagine a New Self-Image

D.Work on Yourself

E.Strive to Become a Better Inner and Outer Person

F.Remove Self-Doubt and Overcaution

G.Understand that people are Caught up in Their Own World

H.Look for Role Models


Lesson 6.



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