What Are Body Image

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The War within Themselves: Body Image
Dr. Carla Rice (2015) defines body images as “an individual’s experience in his/her body. It is the mental picture a person has of his/her body as well as the individual’s associated thoughts, feelings, judgements, sensations, awareness and behavior.” Many people today think an overweight, or obese, individual chose to do that to his or her body, when in turn, there could be a multitude of things or medical problems plaguing them. Society perpetuates the image of the “perfect body” as an unnaturally thin woman, or an overly muscular man. These stereotypes give rise to eating disorders in both men and women, as well as drug use in men who aspire to look like the people pictured in the ads being promoted.
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There are many factors that play into body image, one being weight. Weight gain and loss have been correlated to genetics in some cases. Doctors say that if there is are many overweight family members throughout one’s lineage, there is a much higher chance that the individual will be overweight. If someone is considered “overweight,” their metabolism will slow down. The slowing of the metabolism causes lethargy , which leads to more weight gain. Doctors approach weight/being overweight like it is a clinical diagnosis. They believe that obesity is a sickness that needs treatment, and eventually, a cure. From nutritional plans, to exercise routines, to weight loss pills, doctors continuously treat weight issues in both men and women. Some individuals even choose to go as far as having plastic surgery to elevate the way they see their bodies. These treatments can either harm or help the person see themselves as who they want to be. If one cannot afford the treatments for such weight gain, their mental image of themselves is greatly affected. They believe, that without these treatments, they cannot be beautiful. In many ways, doctors are both beneficial to body image, and also harm one’s body…show more content…
They see someone’s body image as their level of self-esteem. Self-esteem can present itself in three levels: high, medium, and low. It is classified as quantitative data because it is seen as a numerical value. A person with low self-esteem also has a negative body image; that is a negative view of themselves. Research shows, a person with low self-esteem is closely correlated with negative outcomes (McLeod, 2012). These out comes include depression, self-harm, and the individual being withdrawn from society. This withdrawal leads to the person having less friends, meaning less social interaction, which could lead to severe depression. Research has also show a higher percentage of teenage pregnancy that is correlated with low self-esteem. Low self-esteem is critical to an individual’s development because it can lead them down a very destructive path full of poor or dangerous choices. On the opposite side of the spectrum, individuals with high self-esteem do not meet all of the criteria as those with low self-esteem. Generally, having high self-esteem sounds like it is the ideal level one would like to be; however, not everyone can see themselves in such an elevated way. McLeod published an article describing those with high and low self-esteem as the following: people with high self-esteem tend to show higher levels of confidence, they focus on constant improvement and growth; those with low
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