“Our body image includes more than what we look like or how others see us. It also refers to how we think, feel, and react to our own perception of our physical…”.1

Body Image

What is body image?

Depending on the Source (DotS) the definition of body image may vary. The (United Kingdom) Mental Health Foundation’s (MHF) definition is:

“‘Body image’ is a term that can be used to describe how we think and feel about our bodies”.2

Self-Image

What is body image a part of?

The (United States) Cleveland Clinic’s note:

“Body image is part of self-image. Our body image includes more than what we look like or how others see us. It also refers to how we think, feel, and react to our own perception of our physical attributes”.3

Poor Body Image

What is poor body image?

In Body Image Report: Introduction – What Is Body-Image? the MHF explain:

“Often, when we talk about ‘poor body image’, we are referring to a feeling of being unsatisfied with our body – either because of appearance, or the way it functions. This is described as ‘body dissatisfaction’. In contrast, positive body image can be described as being satisfied with our body, holding respect, appreciation and acceptance of its abilities, and having a healthy balance between valuing our body and valuing the other aspects of ourselves that make us ‘us’”.4

Factors

What factors shape and influence our body image?

In Body Image: What Is Body Image? the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health’s (JH) elaborate on:

“From childhood through adolescence and on to adulthood, your body shape changes and so can your body image”.5

In Fostering A Positive Self-Image: What Is Body-Image? the Cleveland Clinic elaborate on:

“Body image development is affected by cultural images and the influence of family, peers, and others. A positive body image contributes to enhanced psychological adjustment (less depression, positive self-worth, life satisfaction, less interpersonal anxiety, fewer eating disorders). Distortions in our thinking contribute to a negative body image”.6

In Body Image: What Affects Body Image? the JH also elaborate on:

“There are many different influences on body image including:

  • Personality
  • Health
  • Illness and disease
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self-esteem (whether you value and respect yourself)
  • Childhood experiences
  • How important people in your life talk about and refer to your body (and their body too)
  • Media
  • Society and culture
  • Self-talk – what are you saying or not saying to yourself about your body image (does it start with “I should”… “I ought”… “I must”… or “I wish”…?)”.7

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and body image?

The JH note:

Menopause Body Image
“Many women approaching midlife find that changes to their body, lifestyles and relationships can affect the way they feel about themselves”.8

Enhance Body Image

What are specific steps to enhance body image?

In Fostering A Positive Self-Image: Specific Steps To Enhance Body Image the Cleveland Clinic include:

  • “Explore your personal body-image with its strengths and limitations
  • Confront thinking distortions related to your body
  • Challenge misleading assumptions about body appearance
  • Accept and love who you are
  • Be comfortable with your body
  • Have positive experiences with your body
  • Be a friend to your body with positive affirmations”.9

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help with my body image?

If you would like help with your body image, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. Together you can discuss your options and if required, agree on who may be the most appropriate health care provider to help you.

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Menopause Body Image?

In Health Topics A-Z find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Menopause Body Image?

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Fostering A Positive Self-Image – What Is Body-Image? This Document Was Last Reviewed on: 18 October 2016. Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/healthy_living/hic_Stress_Management_and_Emotional_Health/hic_Fostering_a_Positive_Self-Image Accessed: 18 May 2020
  2. Body Image Report: Introduction – What Is Body-Image? Release Date: 13 May 2019. Mental Health Foundation https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/mental-emotional-health/body-image Accessed: 18 May 2020
  3. Fostering A Positive Self-Image – What Is Body-Image? This Document Was Last Reviewed on: 18 October 2016. Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/healthy_living/hic_Stress_Management_and_Emotional_Health/hic_Fostering_a_Positive_Self-Image Accessed: 18 May 2020
  4. Body Image Report: Introduction – What Is Body-Image? Release Date: 13 May 2019. Mental Health Foundation https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/mental-emotional-health/body-image Accessed: 18 May 2020
  5. Body Image: What Is Body Image? Last Updated:  14 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 10 March 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/mental-emotional-health/body-image Accessed: 18 May 2020
  6. Fostering A Positive Self-Image – What Is Body-Image? This Document Was Last Reviewed on: 18 October 2016. Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/healthy_living/hic_Stress_Management_and_Emotional_Health/hic_Fostering_a_Positive_Self-Image Accessed: 18 May 2020
  7. Body Image: What Affects Body Image? Last Updated:  14 January 2020 |   Last Reviewed 10 March 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/mental-emotional-health/body-image Accessed: 18 May 2020
  8. Body Image: Menopause & Body Image. Last Updated:  14 January 2020 | Last Reviewed 10 March 2014 Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/mental-emotional-health/body-image Accessed: 18 May 2020
  9. Fostering A Positive Self-Image: Specific Steps To Enhance Body-Image. This Document Was Last Reviewed on: 18 October 2016. Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/healthy_living/hic_Stress_Management_and_Emotional_Health/hic_Fostering_a_Positive_Self-Image Accessed: 18 May 2020
Topic Last Updated: 18 May 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 18 May 2020
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