WHAT’S Body Image?
The link between body image and major depression, low self-esteem, cultural nervousness, and eating disorders has been examined as a personal mental problem for more than fifty years. As the physical body image epidemic grows culturally, we can identify the nagging problem and stop it from spreading to your own children. But first, we need to recognize it in ourselves, and we need to know very well what body image is.
What is body image? Body image is defined as a person using his or her body to construct a sense of self. The image of who she is becomes constructed by how she appears psychologically, her appeal, her sexuality, how her body performs (athletically), or if her body is healthy.
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In short, body image is used as a gold standard of worth for people who are able-bodied. Are you attractive enough, thin enough, sexy enough, athletic enough, or healthy enough? I like to refer to these as sacred body-righteous standards. These are sacred because they are considered unquestionable truths, and righteous because the body can be used to define the individual morally. If, however, the misfortune is had by an individual of an illness, a disfigurement, or an accident that leaves her disabled, none of the body image rules apply and the person is free to be and to love herself without condition.
But if you are able-bodied, you are kept to a remarkably high standard to be able to feel good about the body and for this to be approved. Once an individual internalizes and thinks a body-righteous standard is important and required, he is held to the ideal and in comparison to it to be able to determine and prove his worthy of.
When he compares himself to the able-bodied gold-standard, the difference between what he thinks is ideal and his actual body creates feelings of discontent and dissatisfaction. But if his body matches the perfect he can feel proud, a feeling of power, accomplishment, and safety. Either real way, someone who uses body image to establish his value, sense of worthy of, or to build his sense of identity is at risky for eating disorders, as well as exercise craving. But again, for all of this to take hold, an image of what the perfect is must be identified, understood, and internalized as an unquestionable “sacred” requirement.
Corporate-driven media is a huge contributing factor to the definition of the idealized body image. They use airbrushed and perfected pictures as examples of what should be aspired to. The dietary plan, beauty, and health industries use perfected body images as their main feature and motivation behind what they are selling.
Most people are aware that making your teen’s weight and diet a concentrate is an apparent contributor to negative body image and eating disorders. But, they don’t always recognize that how parents feel about themselves and how they treat their own physiques can be just as important. Conversely, powerful contributors to poor body image are the parents and people who believe they already have the energy and righteousness of the ideal body that others aspire to have.
Many of these people are in the dietary plan, nutrition, health, and fitness industry and they use themselves as the example. They have a tendency to use their ideal body as a way of measuring their success and also have a higher, more righteous standard for themselves and their children. These parents are more likely to over-criticize their children’s systems and make sure they are diet out of their own projected concern with being judged for having an obese child.