Body Image and Perspective

Sophomore (College 2nd year) ・Sociology ・MLA ・5 Sources

Human beings are concerned with their public image in every culture. This can include how they walk, talk, and even dress. The definition of body image is made up of all of these components. This definition refers to a person's internal image that may or may not correspond to how other people see them. Furthermore, body image is distorted by various external factors such as moods, feelings, and the behaviors of those close to us, and early experiences. The idea of self-image is so central to humans that it affects their behavior. To human being, the concept of body image is so important that it influences their behavior.

To human being, the concept of body image is so important that it influences their behavior. Additionally, the human community has placed so much emphasis on the idea of the beauty of the body, but the concept that a person has on their bodies may not correspond to that of the society. In light with this, the research will illuminate on the concept of body image and the effect it has on different classes of people in the society. This will include the different aspects of body image and how they can be improved .Besides, the research will also evaluate the advantages body image has on human beings and why it is also an important aspect of the personal development.

Body image is used in a number of disciplines including psychiatry, psychology, physiology, medicine as well as cultural and feminist studies. Although the concept has different definitions in all these disciplines, it has the same effect on human beings. Moreover, body image is thought to be a product of personality, personal experiences plus other social and cultural forces (Shloim 414). How a people see their bodies in relation to some of the cultural beliefs in the society can help them shape their own bodies.

From a personal perspective, body image can be grouped into three different aspects; the way a person sees himself (perceptual perspective), the way a person feels about how he looks (affective perspective), the personal cognitive perspective and the behavioral standpoint. The cognitive perspective involves the rational understanding of what a person looks like. For example, some people, especially the masculine gender, believe that having more muscles make them look better while others feel better about themselves if they are thinner. The perceptual perspective, on the other hand, explains that how a person sees himself may not be the correct representation of your body image. For instance, an individual may take an individual may perceive himself to be underweight while in real sense he is fat.

Affective perspective involves those things that a person may like or dislike about the way he looks including the feeling that a person might be having about their bodies. This may include the amount of satisfaction or dissatisfaction that the individual may have pertaining their shape weight and the appearance of other body parts (Breines et al. 433). The different personal aspects of how a person may define personal perspective give an overview of the extent that body image can affect the personality of different people. In addition to the personal perspectives, body image can also be affected by other factors including the media, the society, self-esteem, and age.

The Media and Body Image

The body image among human beings has become so much of a great deal that most of the media houses and several other media platforms are engaged in its discussion. Through the media, human beings are always exposed to dreamlike images from different media such as the web and magazines, televisions and movies. The images make people to form different ideas on how certain parts of their bodies should look. This, in turn, makes a person feel that they do not have enough or what they have may not be seen as good by other individuals in the society (Shloim 420). The discussion has over the years intensified and more people are involved in article writing and blogging on body image.

Additionally, adverts and other pop culture icons have powerful influences on how people view their bodies especially the adolescent. These advertisements always use the images of attractive individuals who are portrayed to have the typical features of the body and therefore creating the notion that everyone can achieve a similar face, body or outlook if they make more effort. Also, the covert and the overt messages transmitted in the media can be harmful because of the level of physical attractiveness that is usually portrayed by the press. These images in most cases are not flexible and attaining them may require the employment of numerous resources that may, in turn, be costly. On the contrary, other procedures can be carried out on the facial structure and body shape to make it look desirable but may have different side effects to the person carrying it out (Fisher 489). The media has also made the public believe that individuals with attractive body shape are more successful and respected in the society.

More people fancy a positive body image desirable body image since they see it a platform to earn popularity and respect. In other cases, an individual may be engaged in the idea of attaining the perfect body making them to participate in extreme behaviors including excessive dieting, cosmetic surgery, and extensive dieting so as to achieve the perfect body (Wiederman 370). Through this practice, a person may face different risks such as eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. In most cases, women tend to report concerns over their weight, facial features, shape, thighs and buttocks while men put more emphasis on their height and muscles. To achieve this, people go to the extent of using anabolic steroids to help them increase their body mass. Women, on the other hand, pay for risky surgeries which are also costly to enable them to achieve their desired image.

Body Image and Self-Esteem

Body image and self-esteem two are distinct concepts that mutually related. The body image of an individual helps to describe his attitude towards himself while his self-esteem refers to the view that a person has towards himself. A person’s self-esteem may also involve an evaluation of the individual’s general worth and is not limited to the physical characteristics that the person has. Different studies suggest that different age groups have shown different response self-esteem and the body image. Notably, the study also demonstrated that a positive body image could be linked to high self-esteem while a lower self-esteem is related to a negative body image.

Additionally, people with low self-esteem have a tendency to engage in negative comparison of their shapes with others that may lead to personal dissatisfaction about their body (Wiederman 345). Also, people who focus more on their body image are less likely to focus on their strengths that may result in unfavorable evaluation of oneself. On the contrary, the decline of body image does not produce a change in the self-esteem of a person. In the modern world, most of the people take a keen interest in the concept of body image and how they appear in public. If person self-esteem is lowered due to a comment on body image, the concentration of the person will be shifted from the initial activity they were doing to the negative body image commented on. Through self-esteem man has made the body image a great deal since he cannot have enough courage or record high level of productivity without having a positive body image.

Body Image and Plastic Surgeries

The emphasis that the man has put on body image can also be seen by the increase in the number of people engaged in different surgeries to improve their body image. In the United States, for example, the American society of plastic surgeons (ASPS) reported that an average of 15.6 million cosmetic procedures that include both minimally invasive and surgical had been performed in 2014 in the United States. The figure represented an overall increase of 3 percent of the figure that had been recorded in 2013 (Fisher 467). These procedures were also done to improve different parts of the body. Of the 10.2 million procedures done in 355661 was breast augmentation, 341,144 were lipoplasty, and 195,104 were procedures for eye surgery.

Moreover, the numbers of women engaged in the surgery were twice that of men with a high number of the women engaged in Breast Augmentation, breast lift, and tummy tuck. The American Society for Plastic Surgery also suggested that cosmetic procedures had experienced an average of 12 percent growth in 2013 with an income of 12 billion dollars being collected from the patients (Tiggemann 129). This has also seen an increase in demand for plastic surgeons in different parts of the world. Additionally, some of the procedures such as the nose job have in the recent past become attractive to a larger population of the United States citizens. All these activities are aimed at improving the body image to attain a more desirable shape. Therefore man has put so much emphasis on body image that has led to the increase in the number of people and institution engaged in plastic surgery.

Body Image and Disordering Eating

Most people who may have a body image that may seem not desirable may engage themselves in intense internal scrutiny. They may also set unrealistic goals on size and weight that may be regarded by some as extreme (Breines et al. 432). Some of these actions may include starving oneself, overeating, purging and binge eating. Considerably, others may stick to different kinds of food to avoid gaining too much weight while others may stick to various diets so as to gain weight.

A research done by the IPSOS public affairs also suggests that the number of people in the United States who value their body image over their work has been on the increase in the last decade (Wiederman 363). The study also indicated that the number of women taking yoga classes has been on the rise from 2012 with the ladies representing 72 percent of the practitioners. 30 percent which is an equivalent of 80 million people suggest that they will be increasing their yoga sessions over the next twelve months to achieve their goals (Shloim 424). Additionally, the practitioners cite yoga as one of the best methods that can help them maintain or improve their body shape. Beyond its increasing popularity, the research also indicated that those who practice and teach yoga to achieve better perception of their individual strength, dexterity, balance and mental clarity as opposed to yoga non-practitioners.

Research has shown that a significant number of both men and women are dissatisfied with the way their bodies look or even suffer from low self-esteem or low confidence. These effects may translate to adverse effects in relationships. By building a positive body image, a person may benefit the relationship of the individual. Also, relationships benefit the most when both partners develop positive body images. Notably, individuals who have a healthy body concept are often more often expressive, open and intimate with their partners which lead to secure attachments. This is mainly brought up by the fact that when people perceive themselves as admirable and lovable, they are likely to be more open, trust and securely open to their partners (Tiggemann 130). Having a positive body image has a significant impact on people’s satisfaction with their sexuality as well as sexual interactions. Most of the pleasurable sexual activities need disclosure of other private aspects of themselves that people with negative body image are often uncomfortable with.

It is the nature of human being that anybody disconnected with their bodies and often experience sexual problems including the inability to orgasm. On the other hand, individuals who feel comfortable about their bodies often find their sexual experiences more enjoying and fulfilling. Fisher (453) noted that being familiar and confident with your body will improve almost any aspect of an individual’s sex experience. Research has also proven that building an individual positive body image and having a healthy self-concept are essential in creating more intimate and fulfilling relationships. Activities such as excessing with your partner, healthy eating and participating in various activities help in creating better body images as well as stronger relationships which will, in turn, lead to living a happy life.

Body dissatisfaction is mainly developed when a person has negative thoughts about and feelings about their bodies. The environment a person is in often plays a significant role in how people feel and perceive their bodies. Some of the aspect in the environment that may affect a how a person feels about themselves may include teachers, family, friends, and the media. Specifically, when a person lives in an environment that gives him a negative feedback about their body image for example through teasing, they will experience an increase in body dissatisfaction. People of all ages are always bombed with the images that are always portrayed through the media (Shloim 432).

Although the images are usually unrealistic, it created an environment that makes many people feel uncomfortable about their body image. They also send strong messages that affirm that we live in a society that has developed a culture that thin is beautiful, for women and muscular is the ideal and desired body shape for male, and if these body shapes are achieved happiness, love and success will be the end result (Breines et al. 435). The ideals that are demonstrated by these images have been fabricated by different sources including stylists, digital manipulations, and art teams and are rather difficult to create in real life. If anybody feels that they cannot compare themselves with these images, the feeling of dissatisfaction will intensify that has an impact on damaging person's psychological and physical wellbeing (Tiggemann 128).


In summation, man has made the body image a great deal through the increase of different activities such as operations to improve look as portrayed in the research. So much of a great deal has the body shape become that man has developed different products, programs and services that can help in the improvement of the body image. This includes the increase in the number of plastic surgeries being done, the development of different body products, yoga sessions and the management of daily diet to avoid the development of the a negative body image. Although some of the procedures are usually expensive and time consuming, individuals are willing to take all the risk as long as they attain the desired body image.

Works Cited

Breines, Juliana, Aubrey Toole, Clarissa Tu and Serena Chen "Self-compassion, body image, and self-reported disordered eating." Self and Identity 2014, 13.4: 432-448, doi: 10.1080/15298868.2013.838992

Fisher, Seymour. Development and structure of the body image: Volume 2. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2014.

Shloim, Netalie, Marion Hetherington, Maria Rudolf, Richard Feltbower. "Relationship between body mass index and women’s body image, self-esteem and eating behaviours in pregnancy: a cross-cultural study". Journal of Health Psychology. 2015, 20.4: 413-426, doi: 10.1177/1359105313502568

Tiggemann, Marika. "The status of media effects on body image research: Commentary on articles in the themed issue on body image and media." Journal of Media Psychology, vol 17, 2014: pp. 127-133.

Wiederman, Michael, and Sabina Sarin. Principles and practices of sex therapy. Body image and sexuality. Edited by Yitzchak M. Binik, Kathryn S. K. Hall. New York: The Guilford Press, 2014

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