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Loving Your Body: Body Image


What is body image and why is it important?

Body image is a person's perception of the aesthetics or sexual attractiveness of their own body. The phrase body image was first coined by the Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst Paul Schilder in his book The Image and Appearance of the Human Body(1935).[1]Human society has at all times placed great value on beauty of the human body, but a person's perception of their own body may not correspond to society's standards.

Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media.

In a survey, more than 40% of women and about 20% of men agreed they would consider cosmetic surgery in the future. The statistics remain relatively constant across gender, age, marital status, and race.


Body Image: Negative vs.Positive

How is body image influenced?

Body image can be influenced by several factors including the media, peers, and even environment. Your body image can even be influenced by the way you already feel about yourself.

Positive body image

Having a positive body image means that you see yourself accurately, and you look the way you look. This means not comparing yourself to others and not wanting to live up to certain standers of what beauty is. This is about being comfortable in your own skin, and accepting your flaws.

Negative body image

Having a negative body image is when you don't view your self accurately, and are not comfortable. This is when you have high expectations of yourself that are not attainable. This can also lead to self- esteem issues and also eating disorders.You will start to compare yourself, you will start to doubt yourself. Nothing will be more important than attaining your goal of having the perfect body. This can ultimately lead to a disorder called "Body Dysmorphic Disorder".

Body image disorder is scientifically called Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). This is a psychological disorder which involves developing deep dissatisfaction with one’s own body looks.

Having a negative body image can lead to several health issues such as:

  • Low self esteem
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Self confidence
  • Withdrawn
  • Sad
  • Depression

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How Body Image affects women and young girls.

Lets start off with speaking about body image, body image is all over social media. We all know that it is the most important thing among the rich and the famous. Unfortunately, this is affecting the everyday woman, especially our youth. They see a girl super skinny, and think she is beautiful and that is how they should look.

As an adolescent they are already going through changes in their bodies. Going through puberty can be stressful enough let alone striving to be perfect just adds more pressure.

The media shows young girls what " perfection" is and they want to be that.These messages may be harmful because the standards of physical attractiveness portrayed by the media are sometimes fairly inflexible and may not be attainable. This is sometimes done for the wrong reasons. This is ware eating disorders and crazy diets come in to play.

This can also be serious among adults who want to be " perfect". Adults can take it to the extreme with fad diets, excessive exercising and plastic surgery. This can happen to both men and women.

Some defects can be:

  • Eating disorders
  • Not eating
  • Excessive exercise
  • Surgery
  • Lots of make up


Love Yourself

How to love your body and build self esteem

Loving our bodies the way we are is a healthy way of living . We need to give our bodies unconditional love. Accept our flaws, choose our favorite body parts surround ourselves with positive images and people. These things can help us build self-esteem and self acceptance.

  1. How do we love our bodies naturally? Make a list of at least 5 things you love about yourself. Remind yourself that beauty is only skin deep and that there is more to life. Carry a sense of confidence and acceptance about your body and who you are inside. Beauty is a state of mind and the way you live life. Always keep positive people around you at all time. Maybe look up to a role model that does look like you to gain self confidence.
  2. Think positive and make smart choices.

    If you really want to change your body do it healthy diet and exercise. If you want change do for you not for someone else's approval. Pick the best part of your body that you love and embrace it. Surround yourself with positive people you support and love you the way you are.

  3. Stop comparing yourself to others.

    Be yourself because you will never be that other person. Its important that you are the best you can be. There are so many things that can make you beautiful besides your appearance. You can be the most beautiful person in the world, and feel empty inside.

  4. Accept you body the way it is:

    It is important to accept yourself the way you are. All of us are different shapes and sizes. If we all looked the same the world would be pretty boring. Love your body love your imperfections, our flaws are unique and is what makes us beautiful.

Loving yourself and hsbing self acceptance can help you to lead a happier heathieir life.


Embrace your body and love it

Body image can be both positive and negative it is up us which image we represent. Body Image is always going to be a big part of society, and how we live are lives. However, what is important is not how the rest of the world see us, but how we see ourselves.

Our bodies may not even be the main issue it may be something else that we are unhappy with. We need to dig deep inside and see how special we are on the inside. We need to love ourselves unconditionally and not worry about what the rest of the world thinks.

© 2018 Sequoia Coleman


Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 21, 2018:

Welcome to HubPages! You made some very valid points and gave good counsel toward self-acceptance. Good!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 18, 2018:

You have made numerous positive suggestions. If TV ddn't always have very thin women in tight clothes women would probably not have such a problem with their self image. Thanks for a good article.

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