TV stars support men’s mental health

Jamie Laing
Jamie Laing Image credit:

When almost half of men look in the mirror they do not like what they see according to new research compiled by a mental health charity.

A study from Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) reveals 48 per cent of men aged between 16 and 40 have been affected by their body appearance.

Just 26 per cent out of 2,000 males were happy with the way they looked, 21 per cent said they were not comfortable talking about it.

To raise awareness CALM has joined forces with Instagram to launch the CALM Body Talks supported by celebrities including Jamie Laing, Stevie Blaine and Leon McKenzie.

Laing told BBC Newsbeat: "Women face these issues everyday too, and that's why it has been so great to witness the rise of the body positivity movement over the past few years.

"You scroll through hashtags like #bodypositivity and #selflove on Instagram and you see so many women sharing experiences of body changes during lockdown, advice for self-care and motivational messages to support their community.

"It's hard to ignore the fact that there is a stark gender divide here, and men are often missing from the conversation."

CALM said it noticed a 40 per cent rise in males aged 16 to 24 contacting their helpline and website during COVID-19 lockdowns.

The charity’s CEO Simon Gunning believes Instagram has a part to play in making people feel insecure about their body image.

He said: "Unquestionably Instagram has caused the pressure for adolescent boys to be big and muscly, it is unhealthy and unattainable.

"This campaign tackles the issue at its core, body image on Instagram."

"Body image issues are massively prevalent in women and girls. The same pressures apply to men but we don't discuss it in the same way - the way we portray body image for men is decades behind. There is no debate for men on this topic."

For more information visit CALM Body Talks on Instagram