How do you define body image?
Your initial thought might be that body image is how you see yourself. What you see when you look in the mirror or the physical traits you notice.
In actuality, body image encompasses the way we think, perceive, and behave towards our bodies. Body image is just as much perception as the actions that follow.
When addressing body image concerns, it’s critical to take a holistic view of the individual. Just as body image itself isn’t limited to our self-concept, there are many factors outside of the singular individual that impact thoughts and perceptions about our bodies.
Some of those factors include:
️ Ability & disability
Mental health status
The people in your orbit, your identity, and your circumstances all impact how you may view your body. The key is to build awareness and create the skills that allow you to have a healthy reaction to outside pressures.
This is why the ‘fix’ isn’t as simple as working on how you see yourself. Addressing all-or-nothing thinking, challenging the norms you’ve accepted, and reframing where you place your self-worth are all great places to start. You can appreciate your body and work to grow; the two can exist simultaneously.
Did any of these factors surprise you? Where do you see these influences popping up in your own life?
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