Introduction into the Topic of Body Image

By: Georgia Paris

For those of you who are confused about body image or certain aspects of the topic, overall, you are in luck because I will hopefully answer your questions in this blog post. According to PsychAlive.org, “Body image is the perception that a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result from that perception.” Evidently, these feelings can be positive, negative, or both. These feelings’ connotations are influenced by individual and environmental factors. The four factors that influence a person’s body image include the following:
1- How a person SEES his or her body (perceptual body image), which is not always a correct representation of how he or she actually looks. For example, a person may perceive themselves to be overweight when they are actually underweight.
2- The way one FEELS about his or her body (affective body image). This relates to the amount of satisfaction or dissatisfaction one feels about his or her shape, weight, and individual body parts.
3- The way one THINKS about his or her body (cognitive body image). This can lead to preoccupation with body shape and weight.
4- Behaviors in which a person engages as a result of his or her body image encompass his or her behavioral body image. When a person is dissatisfied with the way he/she looks, they may isolate themselves because they feel bad about their appearance.

Source: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/the-truth-about-body-positive-activists-on-social-media/

As you now may have a better understanding of the concept of body image, let’s analyze the differences between positive and negative body image…
Positive body image is a clear, true perception of one’s shape; seeing the various parts of his or her body as they really are. Body positivity (or body satisfaction) involves feeling comfortable and confident in one’s body, accepting one’s natural body shape and size, and recognizing that physical appearance says very little about one’s character and value as a person.

Source: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/blinded-by-diet-culture-how-to-stop-hating-your-body/


On the contrary, negative body image involves feelings of shame, anxiety, or self-consciousness in relation to possessing a distorted perception of one’s shape. People who experience body satisfaction feel that their bodies are less attractive than others. As a result, these people may experience severe amounts of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and isolation. Frequently, people who possess negative body image attempt to abolish their dissatisfaction through controlling their weight. This behavior can lead to the development of an eating disorder, which—by formal definition—is any of a range of psychological disorders that are characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits. Unfortunately, eating disorders possess the highest mortality rate of any type of mental illness today. NationalEatingDisorders.org notes, “While there is no single cause of eating disorders, research indicates that body dissatisfaction is the best-known contributor to the development of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.” Thus, there is a notable connection between negative body image and eating disorders.

Source: http://www.laloyolan.com/opinion/combating-negative-body-images/article_dc1319b6-faf7-53bf-a866-9cd1ce7dce05.html

To conclude, I hope that you enjoyed this blog post! Stay tuned to learn more about the topic of body image coming up! 🙂

Who Experiences Negative Body Image?

By: Georgia Paris

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Who even struggles with negative body image? Why is the possession of negative body image a common issue in this society? Why, again, am I reading this blog?” To be honest with you, I, before developing the idea to create this blog, did not think that many people in our modern society struggled with negative body image on a daily basis. In fact, I believed in the common perception that only teenage girls struggle with body dysmorphia. Little did I know that this was not the case!

Source: https://studybreaks.com/culture/body/

From conducting research, I was surprised to learn that ANYONE—of any age, gender, or race—is at the risk of possessing negative body image. Some people, though, are at a higher risk for experiencing body dissatisfaction than others. For instance, girls are more likely to struggle negative body image than boys due to the fact that the societal pressure to possess a certain body type is more evident for females. By the average age of six, girls begin to express concerns about their own weight or shape. In fact, a study in 2011 concluded that an estimated forty to sixty percent of elementary-school girls—ages six to twelve—are concerned about their weight or are fearful that they may become “too fat.” The study also found that the two groups of women that most commonly experience body dissatisfaction are middle-aged women and obese women. Another study from 2005 concluded that an estimated one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys worldwide participate in unhealthy weight-controlling behaviors—such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, or taking laxatives—as a result of possessing negative body image. Unfortunately, the amount of people who actually experience negative body image is probably larger than these given estimates.

Source: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-negative-body-image-impacts-intimate-relationships/

To conclude, I hope that you enjoyed and learned more about the topic of body image from this blog post! Stay tuned to read more of my posts coming up! 🙂

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