Counseling Center

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Body Image

What is Body Image?

  • Body image refers to a representation that you have of your physical appearance. Occasionally, people feel dissatisfied with certain aspects of their body. We are inundated with societal messages of how we "should look," which can increase any negative thoughts about our bodies. These negative thoughts can lead to high levels of worry or distress and a preoccupation with the concerned body area.
  • Think about the way you would describe your appearance
    • What did you focus on?
    • Were you able to describe things you liked or only those you disliked?
    • What words did you use?

The Negative Impact of an Unhealthy Body Image:

  • Worrying about the way you look and what others think of you, could have many negative implications for your general functioning.
    • Relationships- You may avoid socializing or interacting with others. You may complain to others about the way you look, which may cause others to assure you that you look fine and invalidate any concerns you may have. Others may also start to feel uncomfortable or frustrated if you constantly need reassurance about the way you look. Sometimes people keep their body image concerns a secret due to fear of appearing vain or drawing attention to the body area of concern.
    • Work/School- The extra time taken to focus on your appearance may distract from school or work required activities. Excessive worry could also interfere with your ability to concentrate.

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