What Is Body Image?

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The theme of this years Mental Health Awareness week is ‘Body Image‘, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to open this discussion… Body Image is the term used to describe how an individual thinks and feels about themselves and how they believe others see and perceive them to be.

Recent studies carried out by the Mental Health Foundation show the following:

♡ 1 in 4 men have felt depressed because of concerns of body image.

♡ 1 in 10 women have self harmed because of their body image.

♡ 1 in 5 UK adults have felt shame in the past year because of their body image.

♡ Over a 1/3 of UK adults have felt anxious or depressed because of concerns of their body image.

♡ 1 in 8 adults have experienced suicidal thoughts or feeling because of concerns about their body image.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) it’s important to know that body image is not just about what we see in the mirror; it also involves memories, assumptions and generalisations.

Not surprisingly, body image isn’t a contemporary concept.. Appearance and sexuality have been paramount throughout history, although society, media representations and pop culture have some influence, they are not the only body accountable for how we perceive ourselves and what we feel to be important.

Body image has been described as a ‘multifaceted psychological experience of embodiment’ which includes how an individual feels emotionally about their body and their beliefs and their perceptions of their body. Body image can be positive or negative, however – negative body image often leads to disorders including Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), Body Integrity Identity Disorder and Eating Disorders.

Body image issues can affect both males and females, during any stage of their life, for a number of reasons and their is conflicting research to say whether or not one gender is affected more than the other.

Individuals with a positive body image have:
♡ Self Confidence
♡ Energy and vitality
♡ Feelings of attractiveness and beauty
♡ Trust and respect for their bodies
♡ Freedom of expression for their bodies, regardless of weight

Individuals with a negative body image have:
♡ Dissatisfaction with their physical appearance
♡ Belief their appearance is being scrutinised and evaluated by others
♡ Excessive emphasis on their physical appearance
♡ Distressing preoccupation with their bodies
♡ Feelings of shame and/or embarrassment

You may be familiar with experiencing feelings of negative body image during you life, this is not uncommon and according to statistics, these figures are on the rise.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing body positive affirmations…

Until then: be kind to your body, be kind to your mind, be kind always.

Thanks for reading,

pixee pea
Pixee xo

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