What is Body Image?
We all have a body. The relationship we have with our body is called body image.
All of us have a body image. And, like any relationship, body image often changes, even from moment to moment.
Body image includes:
- Thoughts and feelings about our body
- Self perception of our own size and shape
- Behaviors we engage in or avoid because of our relationship with our body
The phrase "normative discontent" refers to just how darn common negative body image is among girls and women, and increasingly among men too. Poor body image is also common among people who are gender fluid, nonbinary, or who otherwise identify as LGBTQ. Much of the discontent is due to societal pressures to conform to what for most of us (as in about 98%) is an unrealistic ideal.
Like fish who do not know they are wet, we often don't recognize that we live in Diet Culture.
And that is the problem.
Your body is not the problem.
Cognitive behavior therapy, along with other treatment I design and tailor to help you feel more comfortable in your body, is an effective way to improve all aspects of body image.
Feeling happier in your body is associated with better self esteem, improved relationships, and more happiness. You don't have to love your body (although that would be wonderful!) to reap the benefits of embodiment.
Body neutrality is in and of itself a worthy goal.
So is body respect.
Your birthright is to feel at home in your body.
All bodies are good bodies.