What do you think of the issue of bioregion or body dysmorphia? Another common dysmorphia is to become vacuum-packed and “ripped.” Did you ever suffer from either of those?

Scott Shetler

I think they are a real thing and based on conversations I’ve had with friends who compete in physique and bodybuilding competitions they are more prevalent than I thought. I’ve never had any issues with them personally.

Tobias (VeganLifter)

Wouldn’t claim to be an expert on any of the above. People have always wanted to look different to how they do. Grass is always greener. Got curly hair/want straight hair, etc. – bigorexia is just another one. Same as wanting bigger boobs, ass, dick, etc. Maybe society needs to portray beauty differently earlier on, particularly emphasizing how nice it is that we all look different and how our “imperfections” are fun, not foibles.

I’ve wanted to look different, sure. How much of that is society and how much is a natural desire to achieve what biologically makes sense because it’s optimal health? It’s probably all society. I think I wanted to look like Hugh Jackman in X‑Men when I first picked up a weight. Maybe I should blame my he-man action figure for that. In terms of looking ripped, many of us live in comfy western culture where it’s never been easier to gain fat.

For most people, the optimal level of fat is probably an amount that would have them looking pretty “ripped.” So in that respect, looking ripped is a bit different to body dysmorphia, but it could be part of a healthy body, whereas you’re unlikely to be healthy if you can never feel muscley or skinny enough. I haven’t suffered from body dysmorphia, but I do have a comfy life and thus have to consciously think about healthy habits or I’ll gain weight and lose health as much as the next person.

Total guesswork, but maybe vegans tend to be more about health and functional movement and “muscley and bulky” isn’t the target for most. Or maybe it’s just that there still aren’t loads of vegans compared to non-vegans, and as [more and] more vegans [come along], we’ll see more and more big, muscular vegans.

Giacomo Marchese

Bigorexia is a very real thing. The medical world is actually coming up with an official name for it as we speak. I feel that the majority of physique-minded enthusiasts and athletes experience some form of body dysmorphia.

My opinion is that most people have some sort of disordered eating habits and body image challenges. Once we tackle these things head on by actively working on improving our physique, it shines a spotlight on our personal challenges. And they usually get a bit worse before they get better. While it’s not necessary to be a bodybuilder to work through these issues, I do find that it’s a great way to tackle them head-on.

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None. I quit.

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