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Body image is our mental picture of our physical self, encompassing visual, mental, and behavioral body aspects. Our weight and body image perception frequently incorporate visualization of your body created in our mind. It is also a multidimensional notion comprising neurological, psychological elements, and sociocultural. Underestimating our weight may lead to demoralization, lower self-esteem, feeling of embarrassment and anxiety, and social isolation. Self-perceived body image is an essential determinant of weight measurement and eating habits regardless of whether you are normal, underweight, or overweight. False recognition of body size and shape poses a danger to healthy weight management. Some factors contribute to body perception.


Here are some factors that can contribute to your body image perception;

Social norms and cultural standards



Educational attainment

BMI (Body mass index)

Social-economic status



Medial/social media

Social norms and cultural standards

Some cultures relay messages that your physical appearance determines your self-worth.


Adolescents and young adults are more concerned about their physical appearance.


Males may experience less body image dissatisfaction (Honton . N, 2014; Peat, Peyerl, Ferraro &Butler, 2011). Females tend to be more dissatisfied with their body image and more likely to alter their eating habits.

Educational attainment

One level of education plays a vital role in body image perception. An educated person understands the impacts of false perception and tries to eliminate it.

Body mass index

Weight status is one of the main determinants of body image perception.

How Does Self-Perceived Body Image Affect Your Mental Health?

Society believes that your physical appearance is usually how others first evaluate you. Sometimes you cannot alter your genetically inherited physique to meet societal standards irrespective of diet and workout. Body discontent arises when you can not achieve this socially defined level of beauty despite putting in great effort to change the body you perceive as inadequate.

When your natural body and ideal body images do not correspond, It often leads to mental health problems such as eating disorders, mood, and anxiety disorders. Body image concern is associated with several eating disorders. If you develop anorexia and bulimia, you may engage in risky conduct such as starvation, self-induced vomiting, excess workout, and laxative misuse.

In current years more men are struggling with body discontent. Men suffer from muscle dysmorphia more than women and involve over-workout and restrictive diet to enhance their bodies. There is a link between cognitive fitness problems and body image. But more risks are associated with body image disorder.

Body image disturbances also put you at risk for anxiety conditions, substance abuse, mood disturbances, and low self-esteem. Weight stigma is a risk of anxiety, depression, and body dissatisfaction. There is a nasty co-occurring process of mental conditions and eating disorders, and for a person to fully heal, simultaneously treat both. Appearance dissatisfaction will often make you feel devastated, unhappy, and nervous in social circumstances. It can lead to social isolation, pessimistic talk, and food over-consumption for solace. These conducts all internalize a harmful self-perception.

For adolescents, puberty onset can produce mood disorders due to the changes in their bodies. It is usually a time to encounter harmful body image with anxiety and depression.

For women, pregnancy and postpartum time is usually a period that can create a harmful body picture. The media strengthens this with photos of superstars with their intoned, seemingly perfect postpartum bodies.

As you grow older, your body changes and creates possibilities for unfavorable self-talk, sorrow, and dismay over the formation of wrinkles, grayish hair, and understanding that your body capability is less than usual.

Negative Or Harmful Body Image Perception

Distorted or harmful body image refers to an unrealistic presumption of how you see your body. A harmful body image can occur when you feel that your looks do not meet the expectations of society, family, mates, and the media.

You may often compare yourself with others, and you may feel flawed. You will feel sorry, ashamed, and lack self-confidence. You will often feel uncomfortable in your body.

You may look in the mirror and see parts of your body as distorted. For example, a lady with a healthy BMI (body mass index) may constantly see herself as fat.

Negative body image perception causes BDD (body dysmorphic disorder). When you constantly see your whole body or parts of your body negatively, you will develop BDD. You may request cosmetic surgery to fix it when to everyone else, it seems normal.

You may seek unwarranted surgery and hazardous weight-loss routines, such as a crash diet. A man might get involved in the unacceptable use of hormones for muscle building.

Signs & Symptoms of Negative Body Image

Signs of unhealthful body image may include:

Obsessional self-scrutiny in mirrors.

Thinking and making degrading remarks about your body.

Regular comparison of your physique and size to other individuals.

Envious of the body of a friend or superstar.




Positive Or Healthy Body Image

You have a positive or wholesome body image if you have an objective,

undistorted view of your body and appearance. You do not spend too much time checking your body or perceived flaws or comparing yourself to others.

Having a healthful body image may mean that you can engage in your social, sexual, work, or private lives without body image concerns getting in the way.

It may also mean accepting dissatisfaction with your body image or appearance and engaging in your normal day-to-day activities without concern.

A healthy body image may also include identifying the unrealistic and unattainable standards of beauty and thinness portrayed in the media or society and avoiding comparisons.

Although developing and fostering a healthy body image does not guarantee good mental or physical health, it can protect against poor self-esteem, disordered eating patterns, and mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphic disorder (Elisha,2018.).


When you perceive your body negatively, you are at a higher risk of developing mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. A healthy self-image perception shields you from mental conditions.


Ansari. W. E., Clausen. S. V., Mabhala.A., & Stock.C. (2010). How Do I Look? Body Image Perceptions among University Students from England and Denmark. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 7, 583-595. Eating disorder hope, (n.d.). weight and body image disorder: causes, symptoms, and signs. Retrieved from

Elisha. C. (2018). Healthy body image. Retrieved from https://www.mirro-mirro%2Corg/healthy-body-image.htm

Jeanine. B. (2011). Factors Affecting Body Image. Retrieved from


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