Distorted Body Image

The Health Consequences of a Distorted Body Image

Distorted body image is a problem of millions of people today worldwide. It is a consequence of the media influence, and also the lack of personal relationships. Having a positive body image is easy if somebody is getting good comments and constant confirmation from their friends or family.

However, as we have less time to spend with people we like being around, there is less chance to get the confidence boost we need. And this leads to unrealistic body images; in case of men and women equally. The main problem is that many people think appearance has more significance in life than it really does.

What causes an unrealistic body image?

The main problem lies in the society. The norms have changed since the beginning of the 20th Century, and many fashion designers did work out that it is much easier to design clothes for skinny people than ones with curves.

These models did later start influencing the whole media; starting with movie stars, famous people: everyone wanted to be skinnier.

Currently we are bombarded with idealized images of celebrities every day, want it or not. And it does not take too long until one accepts those images as norms.

The problem is when the media suggests that there is no other way of living a successful and happy life than having an ideal body. This is the main cause why some men and women get really hung up on their looks, weight and appearance.

What are the mental consequences?

There are many mental consequences of an unrealistic body image. The first and most important one is losing connection with the real world. If someone keeps on thinking about their ideal weight all day, they will not be able to concentrate on their daily activities, relationships or even work.

Another very important effect people need to face is the lack of confidence. It is something that prevents men and women from building successful relationships, finding their own dressing style, and accepting themselves.

There is no proof that happiness is reserved for skinny people, and indeed, it isn’t. People wanting to become skinnier all the time can although deprive themselves from the chance of happiness.

The health consequences of an unhealthy body image

You might have already heard about eating disorders. And most of them are caused by an unrealistic body image. We need to know that in some cases it is not only the media that builds up these expectations in people.

Even some primary school children are concerned about their weight, and this is sad. The society, schools, and most importantly: parents can ruin a person’s life. These children will later develop more serious eating disorders, like bulimia and anorexia.

And we all know how damaging these illnesses are to the body, skin, digestive system and overall health. Some people also have such a huge confidence knock, that they will develop depression. In some cases they can even attempt suicide, as a result of an unhealthy, distorted body image.

Male body image

Female body image

Building self-esteem home page from distorted body image

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