Being a man I have always wondered why the low self-image problem was primarily a female issue.
As you noted all of the magazine covers are airbrushed. (I assume this includes the men on the covers as well). And yet most guys don’t give it a second thought about not looking like a male model or actor.
In fact men don’t bother watching things like who wore what on (The Red Carpet) prior to award shows. There is no desire on our part to find a stretch mark or wrinkle on a famous man in order to make us feel better about ourselves the way some women get excited about seeing a photo of an actress without her makeup on or wearing shorts that shows she has cellulite.
There are no "comparison photos" when two men have on the same outfit. “Who wore it best?”
I suppose my point is (we need to determine what causes women to compare themselves to other women so much). The knee jerk answer is to blame the media, magazines, and the fashion industry. However they are only serving up what their customers purchase. If young girls and women stopped buying their product the business of glamour would change.
Who or what drives girls and women to compare themselves to other girls and women?
Are women naturally competitive with one another when it comes to beauty and fashion?
Is there an underlying motive of trying to look like women (that men consider "hot"?)
How does a woman know when she has won?
I'm just curious as to why the average looking boy does not typically have the same self image issues growing up in the same household as his sister?
Until we figure out what is a girl's motivation to compete with another girl in the looks department we can't answer this question. Maybe the answer lies with men and what they consider beautiful. Hopefully that is not the answer since the only person you can "change" is yourself. Everyone is entitled to hold onto their idea of what is beautiful or handsome. Self image begins and ends with one's self.
If girls could/would stop comparing themselves to other girls this would be a non-issue.