Body Image

Updated 
August 31, 2015
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Body image is the way you perceive yourself and how you look. It refers to how attractive you feel and how attractive you think others find you.

Body image is not just physical, because how you see yourself is also how you feel about yourself and how confident you are. It includes your emotions, beliefs and perceptions of your body.

Your body image can change a lot depending on your emotions at any given time. For example, if you’re feeling sad or depressed, you may feel worse about your body image. In contrast, if you’re happy with what you’re doing and how your life is going, you might not worry so much about how others see you, and you’ll have a more positive body image.

Body image also affects how you interact with others, depending on how comfortable you feel with yourself and how you think others see you. It can have a big effect on your intimate and sexual relationships, because those areas of your life are closely linked with how you feel about your physical self.

The term “body image” is often used when someone has very negative feelings about themselves. Negative body image can happen with eating disorders, like anorexia, and psychological conditions, like severe depression. It can also happen when your body undergoes big changes due to aging, illness, or major surgery.

How Body Image Impacts Some People

Most people go through times of both positive and negative body imageinfo-icon. In recent decades, the media has become a big factor in many people’s body image. How bodies appear in magazines, movies, TV, and online have a strong impact on how we feel about our own appearance. Often, because the media shows us unrealistically perfect bodies, it makes us feel as if our bodies aren’t good enough or attractive enough.

Positive Body Image People who have a positive body image feel good about how they look and how others perceive them. They do not feel they need to lose weight or change their appearance to be more attractive to others. It’s not because they have a “perfect” body or are more attractive than others, but because they feel good about who they are and how they look. They also tend to feel comfortable with physically intimate relationships, because they are not self-conscious about their bodies.

Negative Body ImagePeople who have a negative body image do not like how they look and think that they are unattractive to others. They focus on what’s wrong with their appearance, and can become obsessed with wanting to change parts of themselves. This can lead to serious issues like eating disorders. It can also negatively affect people’s intimate relationships and how they interact with others.

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