Body Image (Notes)

Body Image (Notes)

Your Body Image reflects how you feel your body is esthetically and how attractive you perceive yourself. Throughout history, humans have regarded the beauty of the human body as important. What we regard as society's standards may not always correspond to our perception of our own body.

Paul Ferdinand Schilder (1886-1940), an Austrian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, and student of Sigmund Freud, was the first to coin the phrase body image in his book The Image and Appearance of the Human body. Schilder contributed greatly towards including psychoanalytic theory in psychiatry.

Body image, in medicine and psychology refers to a person's emotional attitudes, beliefs and perceptions of their own body. The term is used when discussing various disorders and illnesses, such as body dysmorphic disorder, body integrity identity disorder, eating disorders, and somatoparaphrenia.

According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, Body Image is:
1. the cerebral representation of all body sensation organized in the parietal cortex.

2. personal conception of one's own body as distinct from one's actual anatomic body or the conception other peole have of it.

Every single one of us has a body image. We cannot avoid having feelings about how we look; it is part of human nature. We are influenced by how we imagine others might see us. People's overall body image can range from extremely negative to very positive.

It is normal to like some parts of your body and dislike others. Body image refers to the overall perception, not just certain parts of your body. It refers to how comfortable we feel in our bodies, how much in control we feel, how agile we are, as well as our attractiveness.

In our society today, body image has become significantly influenced by the media - TV, the press, the Internet, radio, magazines, etc.

Over the last few hundred years, women have tended to be under pressure to look nice, have tiny waistlines, and curvaceous bodies - often,...

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