What is BODY IMAGE? Who can it affect you? How can I get help for it?  

 

Body image is related to a person's thoughts, feelings and perception of one's own beauty, appearance, and sexual attractiveness of their own body. It could also mean the way ones views themselves through their memories, (Hearing yourself stating, “I remember when I was at this weight or worn this pants size.”), It could mean how your experiences, assumptions, and comparisons are about your own appearance.  In addition, it involves your overall attitudes towards your own respective height, shape, and weight. Other concepts that sway our BODY IMAGE are your overall thoughts and reactions to social and cultural ideals. 

BODY IMAGE can become a topic of conversation with your medical provider, therapist, friends, and family. It is out there in many arenas and sometimes hard to remove yourself from in conversation.  How many times have compared yourself to a movie star or even a friend wishing you had a “body” like them?  

How often have you felt displeased at yourself when you look in your mirror? What do you hear yourself say about YOU?  BODY IMAGE can act as a distortion from your early experiences like past messages you have heard from someone about your body shape that you have made a true reality about yourself. It could be the slightest part of your body you are displeased with to the most severe. These thoughts can become intrusive daily and create an obsession in your life.  

Experiencing a POOR BODY IMAGE can affect you in several ways, such as in academics - not being able to concentrate because you are always looking at others and their body image wishing; why could not that be me. In relationships, when you do not like a part of your body or your whole body; then how can you then begin to share it with others? Professional careers,  holding you back from achieving;  thinking you are not worth that promotion. 

Most of the time what you think Is “wrong” with your BODY IMAGE is very personal and only to you in your perception through your eyes. To the outside world people do not see what you see.  Some people will seek plastic surgery to correct these issues they feel that are having such an impact on their lives.  

Research has found that even very  children as early as age 8 or 9 can begin to suffer from body distortions due to peer pressure and self-consciousness with the hopes that they will and can grow out of this. But, if they do not it can manifest itself throughout their lives.  

BODY IMAGE issues do not matter if you are young, or old, male or female, gender type or race. It can affect anyone for a variety of reasons. Getting help is most important not matter what age, it is never too late. Seek out professional psychological help and medical help for these people are there for you.  

How do I know if I need to seek help: below are some signs of poor BODY IMAGE and if you have any of these- think about asking for help? 

  1.   You may have chronic negative obsessive thought about the way you look.  

  1.   You may focus excessively on and give too much attention to minor flaw in your appearance. 

  1.   You may view yourself as unattractive or even ugly. 

  1.   You must be a perfectionist about yourself in general, your appearance of course. 

  1.    You tend to avoid social engagement just not to be seen.  

  1.   You are constantly grooming yourself, looking in the mirror wondering how else I can make myself look better. 

  1.    You are constantly trying to hide “your perceived flaws” covering them up with makeup and clothing. 

  1.    You may be constantly asking medical advice for validation of  needing  plastic surgery.  

  1.    You may be constantly asking others, “how do I look?” “Do I look fat in this?” 

  1.     You may be consumed in constantly changing your clothing because you just cannot be satisfied with your appearance.  

 

So where can you get help? Talk to your medical doctor is you have any of the above symptoms. Talk to your friends and family members that you feel you can trust. Talk to your teachers, guidance counselors, counselor, coworker. People want to help you. Call me and we can work on this issue.