Understanding body image

What is body image?

Body image is the mental representation an individual creates of themselves, but it may or may not bear any relation to how one actually appears. Body image is subject to all kinds of distortions from the attitudes of one's parents, other early experiences, internal elements like emotions or moods, and other factors.

The dangers of negative body image

Poor body image can affect a person in many ways, including performance in academics, relationship satisfaction, and overall quality of life. Often, a person focuses on a specific area like the nose or legs. In reality, however, this perceived flaw is not even noticeable to others. People who suffer from severe levels of disorder obsess over a flaw to a point of dysfunction, with some people even repeatedly visiting cosmetic surgeons.

Signs of poor body image

• Focuses excessive attention on a minor flaw in appearance
• Views oneself as unattractive
• Fears other people can see the so-called deformity
• Avoids social engagement
• Constantly grooms and looks at oneself in the mirror
• Constantly hides the perceived flaw
• Constantly compares one's appearance with other people's
• Pursues excessive comestic procedures
• Needs reassurance from others
• Is never satisfied with appearance

Overcoming poor body image

People tend to forget about how the body does so much for us (e.g. getting us from place to place). Many people remain mired in a world where physical looks take primacy. Experts suggest that one should curb the use of social media where we are constantly reminded of the value placed on looks. No one deserves to go through life hating their body. It's possible for a person to have a better view of their body no matter what it looks like.

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