Body Image, Media and Eating Disorders Essay

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Body Image

Body image is defined to be a mixture of how and what an individual thinks or feels about his or her physical body. It commonly includes the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs the individual thinks of their body size, figure, or outer appearance (, 2019; Good Therapy Organization, 2019)

Body image is determined by four factors. By how the individual perceives their body image, by how the individual feels about their body image, by how the individual thinks about their body as their cognitive image, and by the individual’s behavior in which they choose to engage with their body appearance. (McShirley, 2015)

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Positive Body Image

Positive body image refers to the clear, true, and authentic perception of a person’s shape or the individual’s way of seeing various parts of his or her body as they are. Further, this involves the feeling of confidence, comfortableness, and acceptance of one’s outer appearance. (National Eating Disorders Association, 2018)

In applying a positive body image reflection, an individual needs three various factors such as a positive attitude, high self-esteem, and emotional stability (Halsted, 2016)

Negative Body Image

Negative body image refers to the distorted impression or discontentment an individual has towards their body. Further, this involves feelings of shame, anxiety, and self-consciousness. Usually, people who typically experience a high level of body dissatisfaction feel their bodies are very imperfect when compared to other people’s bodies or are not capable of passing the standard set by society, media, family, and friends. Also, these individuals have a high chance of experiencing negative effects such as emotional distress, low self-esteem, unhealthy diet habits, anxiety, depression, various eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), drug usage, social withdrawal or isolation, increased risks of sexual health, self-harming behaviors and the withdrawal from manners and labors that may involve the exposure of one’s body. (National Eating Disorders Association, 2018; Perspectives of Troy, 2019; Eating Disorder Hope, 2019)


Body image consciousness is proven to be a significant element in every individual’s impression of himself or herself. With this, body image is said to affect every aspect of an individual’s life such as their mental health, physical health, social interaction, and the concern the individual has towards himself or herself. Sadly, body image consciousness is subdivided into two contrasting categories such as positive body image and negative body image.

The effects of positive body image on a person include the rise of conviction and comfortableness on one’s outer image, the rise of emotional stability, the acceptance of the person’s authentic figure, mass, and size, the acceptance of their consciousness, the ability to accept the word and messages a person receives relating to their outer image, the ability to engage in an individual’s social, sexual, work or private lives without getting conscious with their body and the ability of an individual to attain a healthier image of themselves.

On the other hand, the effects of negative body image on a person include several mental health problems such as the acquirement of an unrealistic perception of an individual towards his or her body, the possibility of acquiring emotional distress, low self-esteem, unhealthy diet habits, anxiety, depression, self-harming behaviors, social withdrawal or isolation, drug usage, a high chance of suicidal thoughts, unhealthy diet habits and various eating disorders that may lead to the attainment of a body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which may make a person alter their “flawed” look through different surgeries and other mental and physical health issues.


Due to the discovered results accumulated by the researcher on the various effects body image consciousness may bring to an individual’s psychological health, the researcher recommends that if an individual assesses his or her body image, the individual must consider his or her body as an example of a positive body image, the researcher would like to suggest that this could be attained by applying seven steps on their daily lives. First, individuals must apply the essence of self-love and self-acceptance. Second, individuals must possess a high self-confidence in everything they do. Third, individuals must see themselves as someone who is incomparable to others. Fourth, individuals must be proud of their differences with society’s expectations. Fifth, individuals must know when they are still healthy or unhealthy, with this, individuals must possess a healthy lifestyle every day. Sixth, individuals must know that negative body image is something that may not be used as a motivation for anything. Finally, know that every individual has their definition of beauty, you may have bad days where you see yourself as someone who is “unbeautiful” but know that within the 7 billion population of the world, you will always be beautiful in someone’s eyes. Therefore, remember to always establish a positive body image!           

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