Body Image is how we see ourselves, think about our bodies, and feel in our own skin. It can relate to any physical characteristic or trait such as weight, shape, size, hair color or texture, skin tone, etc.
A positive body image is defined as seeing yourself as you truly are (no distortion); feeling comfortable in and about your body; not spending a lot of time trying to change your physical body; and appreciating your body as it is and what it does for you.
A negative body image is defined as having a distorted view of your body or specific body part; feeling uncomfortable, embarrassed, or ashamed about your body; spending lots of time, money, or going to extreme measures to changing your body; and believe that a perceived “flaw” is a sign of personal failure.
Some of the most common influences on body image in today’s society include media (TV, magazines, models, celebrities, and advertisements), peers, family and friends. Many messages that we see and hear tell us that we are not good enough the way that we naturally are, and will be “better” if we change, which contribute to negative body image.
However, more positive body image messages are appearing in the media that encourage us to celebrate ourselves and our bodies just as we are.
Campus Wellness provides educational programs to bring awareness about body image and offers suggestions on how to improve your own body image.
Additionally, students can also meet with counselors at the Center for Counseling and Student Development to discuss body image concerns.