Body image is a multidimensional construct that reflects the way we perceive and feel about our physical appearance. This inside view of our body heavily influences our self-esteem, mental health, and overall well-being. Under the influence of mass media, peers and family, individuals, especially women, may feel pressured to conform to the societal standards of beauty, engage in upward social comparison, and consequently experience negative body image. While our sociocultural surroundings plays a role in the internalization process, other intrapersonal factors, such as appearance-based rejection sensitivity and lack of self-concept clarity, may heighten the risk for some individuals. Body image disturbances can be manifested in forms of avoidance behaviors, monitoring, eating restraints, and body modification. In order to promote body acceptance, we ought to gain insights into the formation of our body image and challenge the commonly held belief on who defines beauty.
Part of the book: Beauty