Men feel they are objectified in advertising as much as women

It seems women are no longer alone in regularly feeling objectified and sexualised in adverts. New research from industry analyst Mintel says a quarter of men agree that they are subject to sexualisation in adverts on a par with women.

Admitting that male models in adverts make them feel self-conscious about their looks, one in six men aged 16-24 said they feel inadequate compared to the men they see in advertising.

Additionally, a quarter said they struggle to relate to the men they see in advertising, suggesting they too can feel alienated by the way their gender is portrayed. Only 8% said they are inspired by the way men in advertising look. Similarly, 22% believe men are stereotyped in advertising while one in five think their gender is subject to being portrayed as incompetent when it comes to domestic tasks.

Jack Duckett, consumer lifestyles analyst at Mintel commented: “The trend for using hyper-athletic male models and celebrities in advertising has grown significantly in recent years, resulting in men today being just as sexualised in advertising campaigns as women. Whilst this holds a level of aspiration for some men, for many more it has resulted in feelings of inadequacy. This points to an opportunity for brands to create more campaigns that feature average, everyday men.”

This pressure from advertising is having an affect on men’s body image and lifestyle priorities according to Mintel, driving many to see being fit more of a priority than a good relationship.

46% of the men Mintel asked said that being in good shape is a priority for the future, compared to 38% who prioritise relationships, 23% who are focused on having children and just 18% who see being promoted at work as a priority. Another 50% of those aged 16-34 said being in good shape was more important than having a close group of friends.

Image: Jacamo