What Is a Healthy Body Image?

Daniel Liden

A healthy body image is a perception of one's body characterized by a generally positive and realistic attitude toward one's appearance and attractiveness. Poor body image is both a major cause and a major symptom of low self-esteem, and may be related to issues such as depression and a variety of eating disorders. As such, it is important to develop a healthy body image. A crude measure of one's body image can be taken by examining the difference between how one perceives one's own appearance in reality and how one would like to look. An individual with a healthy body image should report little difference between self-perception and desired appearance.

Regular fitness can improve a person's body image.
Regular fitness can improve a person's body image.

Healthy body image is incredibly important to one's overall well-being, even on a day-to-day basis. An individual with a generally positive body image tends not to obsess over his appearance because he is comfortable with how he looks. His body image does not distract from his normal lifestyle and it does not detract from his self-esteem. One who does not possess a healthy body image, on the other hand, may spend hours attempting to make himself look better by trying to hide perceived flaws or by over exercising. An individual with a poor body image may even avoid social situations for fear that others will be disgusted or otherwise dissatisfied with his appearance.

Being extremely obsessed with physical appearance is a sign of poor body image.
Being extremely obsessed with physical appearance is a sign of poor body image.

Get started

Want to automatically save money while you shop online?

Join 3 million Wikibuy users who have found 
$70 million in savings over the last year.

Wikibuy compensates us when you install Wikibuy using the links we provided.

It can be difficult to develop a healthy body image, particularly if one does not think highly of his own appearance. Doing so requires conscious acknowledgment of one's positive physical features and recognition of the fact that physical appearance is not the only important aspect of a person. It is also important to recognize the societal factors that influence body image. Many people hold themselves to unattainable standards based on the appearance of models and movie stars, who tend to appear to have no major physical "flaws" and who are often quite skinny. One must recognize that such standards are unrealistic and, in many cases, unhealthy.

Healthy body image is important to a person's overall well-being.
Healthy body image is important to a person's overall well-being.

Though the main obstacles to developing a healthy body image are social, it can be difficult to develop a healthy body image if one does not have a healthy body. Eating badly, sleeping erratically, and never exercising can lead to poor health and, in many cases, an unhealthy physical appearance. As such, maintaining physical health by eating well, exercising, sleeping sufficiently, and following other healthy practices is an important part of developing a good body image.

Sufficient sleep may help cultivate a healthy body image.
Sufficient sleep may help cultivate a healthy body image.
Poor body image is a major cause and a major symptom of low self-esteem.
Poor body image is a major cause and a major symptom of low self-esteem.
A healthy body image is the positive and realistic perception of the size and shape of one's body.
A healthy body image is the positive and realistic perception of the size and shape of one's body.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: