How we perceive our appearance is body image and how we believe others may perceive how we look. It is influenced by how are body actual is by our culture, and by the ideals of our society and many other factors. Body image is part of the elements that together contribute to or detract from our self esteem and overall sense of being.
Media images are very strong influences on people and their image and most particularly in women. The ideals that the media present are quite far from the average woman’s body. The Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) says that in 1972 the ideal women presented by the media weighed only 8% less than the average woman. In the 1990’s that difference had increase to 23%
If someone keeps seeing the ideal that is so far from their reality it can create a great deal of pressure and lead to things that are not necessary like dieting. A Harvard University study says that 7 out of 10 teens by the age of 17 had been on a diet and close to 80% of teens had a negative body image.
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a condition when people are extremely preoccupied with what they feel is the defects in appearance when that particular concern is non existent or just minor. The causes are still unclear but those that suffer can at times take drastic steps cover the flaw and it often times causes problems in social situations.
Being overweight may bring body image issues into play. Teens that are either overweight or obese may have a poor self body image because of that. The body weight issue fluctuates according to states and in 2005 in the 39 states that had reported percentages the average percentage who fell into the 95th percentile for body mass index was 12%
Usually or approximately 86% of eating disorders start before people finish their teens. The Eating Disorders Association in England has said that a distorted self body image can lead to an eating disorder.