Body Image

Body image is an important part of self-identity and self esteem. It involves our perception, imagination, emotions, and physical sensations of and about our bodies. It is not static, but ever changing; sensitive to changes in mood, environment, and physical experience. It is not based on fact. It is psychological in nature, and much more influenced by self-esteem than by actual physical attractiveness as judged by others. It is not inborn, but learned from family members, peers and wider social and cultural standards (mass media).

In the West the message ‘thin is beautiful’ carries great power. The ideal female body is thin, tall and long legged, and there is a pervasive belief among women that you need to fit this “ideal” to be successful. The result is that women and even young girls have become very concerned about the shape and size of their bodies. It also affects men and boys, though not to the same extent. The result is that over the last few decades, there had been increasing incidences of body dissatisfaction and eating disorders.

Beauty is not just skin deep. It is a reflection of your whole self. Love and enjoy the person inside.   (“Body Wars”,pp.14-15).

This section is predominantly about the female body image, however some of it will also apply to males. Below are a number of links that will provide you with a wealth of information on Body Image:-
 
 
Also see: What's the Big, Fat Deal About Body Image?