CW: This article discusses topics of body shapes and sizes and effects which could be distressing to some readers.

Body image is how we see our physical appearance and how we assume others perceive us. There are many ways we might think about our bodies and how we appear when we discuss body image. There may be moments when you like your body or certain areas of it, and other times when you struggle with your appearance.

When talking of body image focus goes directly to weight and height but this is not always the case.

Issues related to body image include;

  • Comparing one's appearance to that of friends, online users, influencers they follow and celebrities.

  • Impression that media representation of your body type is lacking

  • Having trouble finding clothing that fits your body, especially if you have a physical disability.

  • Having the impression that you are not attractive enough.

  • Birthmarks, surgery scars, or acne, affecting your self-esteem.

  • Feeling as if your body does not conform to your gender.

Consequences of Negative Body Image

1. Increased chance of health problems. Eating disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and nutritional deficiencies are examples of health problems that are more likely to occur in people who have a negative body image. Avoiding health behaviors that expose your body, such as going to the doctor, also increases your risk of medical problems. Drug abuse, such as the use of steroids or diet pills, is another increased health risk.

2. Having trouble appreciating oneself. A negative body image contributes to a feeling of dissatisfaction with one's body. Then there is no room to acknowledge and honor one's greatness. Having difficulty appreciating oneself has an impact on one's relationships, academics, hobbies, and career.

3. Social withdrawal. Avoidance of activities, events, and specific locations. Self-consciousness and despair are unavoidable consequences of negative body image. Particularly when preparing for a party, going out, or making other social plans. Not knowing what to wear, "feeling grossly overweight," or "nothing looks good" may lead to a decision to disengage from certain friends or family members.

4. Increased mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Negative body image is associated with poor mental health, particularly among adolescents. Increased depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior occur in conjunction with negative body image. Furthermore, if one is critical of one's body, one is more likely to experience cognitive distortions that worsen one's relationship with one's body. The same distortions contribute to poor body image and are linked to depression and anxiety.

5. For some they may turn to extreme cosmetic surgeries which alters how their body looks and they may end up looking worse and being addicted to cosmetic surgeries which may have adverse effects to ones body

Positive Body Image

Remind yourself that "real beauty" extends beyond the surface. You carry yourself with a feeling of confidence, self-acceptance, and openness that makes you gorgeous when you feel good about who you are and how you come across. Beauty is a mental state, not a physical one. Consider who you are. Make the decision not to concentrate on any particular body parts, when you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind. Consider yourself as a whole person, as you would like people to perceive you.

Be in the company of uplifting individuals. When you are surrounded by people who are encouraging and understand the value of accepting yourself as you are, it is simpler to feel good about yourself and your body. Treat yourself to something that shows your body how much you appreciate it, schedule a nap, or find a quiet spot outside to unwind.

Body Image

Every body shape, color and size matters and should be portrayed in advertisements and campaigns to show how each customer matters despite the differences
Equal representation matters!