How to Deal With a Negative Body Image for Positive Results

What is your definition of a positive body image? Is your theory based on the concept of a tall, thin, sharp featured, big eyed perfectly pretty woman; or a well-built, tall, dark and handsome man? Have you ever thought how we came to the conclusion that a woman or man who looks a certain way has perfect body? Well, in this post we will look at a few aspects of body image and how to deal with a negative body image.

How to deal with a Negative body image does not sound like a good thing at all,does it? A negative body image literally means that a person does not look at their body in a positive way. Body image refers to how people see themselves. Hence, a negative body image simply is when a person does not like what they see in the mirror.

A negative body image is relatively common among women for obvious reasons. The exposure to television and media from an early age, gives them an idea of how they are supposed to look compared to how they actually look. From childhood to adulthood, body image keeps on forming based on statements, critical comments, and feedback from friends, relatives, trainers and family. Constant self-criticism and strife to look perfect also play an important role in creation of a negative or positive body image.

How do you Take a Measure of Body Image?

The most common way of measuring body image is by asking the subject to rate their actual and desired body shapes using a series of pictorial depictions. The variation between these two values gives the measure of body dissatisfaction. It has been concluded that negative body image leads to low comfort level with sexuality. This further leads the subject to consider cosmetic surgery in an attempt to improve their body image. There are many factors you have to take into account when measuring body image, these can include: gender, ethnicity, culture, and age.

Psychology Today  found that 56% of the women and about 40% of the men who responded to their survey in 1997 were dissatisfied with their overall appearance. American youth (37.7% of males and 51% of females) express dissatisfaction with their bodies. These numbers are quite disturbing because it means that almost have of America’s youth do not feel good about the way they look. A few more facts to consider are:

The dieting industry in America earns about 40 billion dollars per year

A Harvard study in 2000 revealed that 86% of American teenage girls are on a diet or believe that they should be on one.

These facts are quite disturbing since they tell us that people are developing a negative body image at a very early age. This makes it all the more difficult to make them get rid of this image they hold for their bodies. The negative body image statistics continue to pose a threat in recent time as well.

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Let us Look at a few Symptoms That are Common Among People With a Negative Body Image:

  1. Constant and intense scrutiny in front of the mirror
  2. Thinking bad thought about your body
  3. Comparing your body shape and size with other people
  4. Feelings of jealousy towards a person who has perceivable good body
  5. Let us also take a look at the reasons that cause a negative body image.
  6. Exposure to print or televised medias’ idea of a good body
  7. Constant criticism of self-body image
  8. Paying too much attention towards physical appearance

We have to analyze the relationship that a negative body image has with weight and eating disorders. A person with a negative body image may be within the perfect weight range but will always feel the need to be thinner or fatter. They directly associate the image of their body with the set standard for a good figure. Once a person has developed a negative body image, eating disorders come into play. You might start eating too much or too little. Both of these are extremely harmful for your physical being. We have all read quite a few stories on bulimic or anorexic patients. These two diseases are directly related with a negative body image.

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