The Body Image
Body image may be identified as a way that a person perceives his or her own physical appearance. More often than not, body image is closely related to an individual’s self esteem because people care more about how others see them and what others are thinking of them. Body images sometimes reflect an individual’s personality, it creates influences that are sometimes beneficial and sometimes are not (“Body Image”).
A person with a positive view regarding their body image is more likely to accept their body parts as they are. They give emphasis on “natural body” and understand that physical appearance has nothing to do about one’s character and value. In addition to this, people with a more positive outlook about their body images are more confident and comfortable with their bodies thus, they are not fond of worrying about how they look like and how other people may view them (“Body Image”).
Although, some people may not be particular with their body images, majority of the people today are not satisfied with what they see whenever they look in the mirror. With the media being persistent in bombarding people with the desirable physical images, many people are becoming more pressured to undergo changes that they think would somehow meet the social and cultural idea of “real beauty.” Because majority of the people are seeing the same images in the television all over again, they tend to believe that what the media is showing is the ideal version of body image, and because these images are sometimes far from reality, the result would make a person feel bad about his or her body image (Schooler qtd in Keim).
Based from the facts presented by the Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention, Inc., 7% of 12 grade males have used steroids so that they could become muscular. In addition, for every four women in college, one has an eating disorder. Every year, 40 billion dollars are spent by Americans for dietary products which is almost equivalent to the budget allotted by the US Federal Government for education. The facts are startling yet the preferences of people to attain the right body image still continue to circulate (Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention, Inc.qtd in Northwestern Health Sciences Univesity).
Although the real problem lies in the negative perception of people regarding themselves, the superficial representation of the media about “real body and beauty” worsens the negative feelings of people which may lead to more serious problems. Based from Ric Ferraro, the distorted perception of people about their images makes them feel unhappy and because of this they tend to stay away from people and are afraid to speak up for themselves or sometimes they try to impress people so that they could feel better but the results are worse than they expect (Ferraro qtd in Keim, 2006). Discomfort with one’s body image could also affect sexual relationships because an individual may feel that his or her partner is assessing how they look. Likewise, researchers also claimed that the negative body images make a person feel much worse about themselves which often result to the practice of unhealthy behaviors (Schooler qtd in Keim).
Every person would want to have the best body image; however this would not be attained by changing one’s physical appearance alone. It is better to understand that each individual is endowed different body structures and that having the best body image should also mean the acceptance of every individual’s flaws. Although this would be easier said than done, the best thing that a person can do is learn to overpower the negative thoughts that they have with their body by entertaining thoughts that recognize and respect a person’s worth without relying too much on the physical attributes that would fade in the long run.
Keim, Brandon. “The Media Assault On Male Body Image.” Seed Magazine. 15 September 2006. 28 August 2008 <http://seedmagazine.com/news/2006/09/the_media_assault_on_male_body.php?page=2>.
National Eating Disorder Association. “Body Image.” 2008. 28 August 2008 <http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/p.asp?WebPage_ID=286&Profile_ID=4115 7>
Northwestern Health Sciences University. “Body Image Startling Facts.” 2008 28 August 2008 < http://www.nwhealth.edu/healthyU/stayHealthy/eating2.html>.