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BODY DISSATISFACTION; What are the Causes?

When a person has negative thoughts and feelings about his or her own body, body dissatisfaction can develop. Body dissatisfaction is an internal process but can be influenced by several external factors. For example, people around you and the media all have an impact on how people see and feel about themselves and their appearance. However, those who receive negative feedback about their appearance are at an increased risk of body dissatisfaction.
For many their body is a source of pain and discomfort. Ignoring our body is a sure way to develop pain and suffering. Our body is in fact the first to signal if something goes wrong. Besides that, she has like an inner doctor that tell us what we need to pay attention to.Not doing so can affect our entire well being. We need first of all to diagnose the kind of relationship we have with our bodies.

Causes of Body Dissatisfaction.

Many factors contribute to body dissatisfaction. One of the most common external contributors to body dissatisfaction is the media. TV, magazines, internet and advertising bombard us with images. These images often promote unrealistic, unobtainable and highly stylized appearance ideals. Stylists fabricate these images, art teams and digital manipulation and cannot be achieved in real life. Those who feel they don’t measure up in comparison to these images, can experience intense body dissatisfaction which is damaging to their psychological and physical well being.
Besides the media, the following factors make some people more likely to develop a negative body image than others:
  • Age

    Our body image is frequently shaped during late childhood and adolescence but body dissatisfaction can affect people of all ages and is as prevalent in midlife as young adulthood in women. Its alarming the number of adolescents especially girls who hate and are trying to modify their bodies everyday. We see it from the way they react to food and the kind of clothing their parents get for them.

  • Gender

              Adolescent girls are more prone to body dissatisfaction than adolescent boys. This is for the most part due to media                  and peer influences. However the rate of body dissatisfaction in males is rapidly approaching that of females.

  • Low self-esteem and/or depression

Low Self esteem  or depression are strong factors for the development of body dissatisfaction. A poor self image and                            esteem of oneself can cause one to have a poor body image.

  • Personality traits

             People with perfectionist tendencies, high achievers, ‘black and white’ thinkers, those who internalize beauty ideals,                and those who often compare themselves to others, are at higher risk of developing body dissatisfaction

  • Teasing 

    When we are teased about appearance/weight, regardless of actual body type, have an increased risk of developing body dissatisfaction.

  • Friends and family who diet and express body image concerns 

Role models expressing body image concerns, can increase the likelihood of an individual developing body                                          dissatisfaction regardless of actual body type.

  • Body size 

    In our weight conscious society, larger body size increases risk of body dissatisfaction.

Why is body dissatisfaction a serious problem?

Body dissatisfaction is the top ranked issue of concern for young people (Mission Australia, 2011). Body image issues have increased worldwide over the last 30 years and do not only concern young people but affect people of all ages. This pervasive problem is concerning because overvaluing body image in defining ones self-worth is one of the risk factors which makes some people less resilient to eating disorders than others. People experiencing body dissatisfaction can become fixated on trying to change their body shape, which can lead to unhealthy practices with food and exercise. These practices don’t usually achieve the desired outcome (physically or emotionally) and can result in intense feelings of disappointment, shame and guilt and, ultimately, increase the risk of developing an eating disorder.
You may already know if you are dissatisfied with your body.

Ask yourself the following questions :

Do you perceive your shape in an unrealistic way?
How do you perceive yourself in respect to others? Do you think that only other people are attractive?
Do you think that your body size or shape is a sign of personal failure?
Are you  ashamed, self-conscious, and anxious about your body?
How do you feel in your body? Do you feel uncomfortable and awkward ?.

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be dissatisfied with your body.

Are you or Do you know anyone struggling with body image?

We would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and tell us how you have been able to deal with the situation.

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6 thoughts on “BODY DISSATISFACTION; What are the Causes?

  1. Interesting information especially “…People with perfectionist tendencies, high achievers, ‘black and white’ thinkers, those who internalize beauty ideals, and those who often compare themselves to others, are at higher risk of developing body dissatisfaction…”
    Loving ourselves–body, mind, and spirit–is so important!
    Thanks for continuing to raise this issue, Leila.

  2. I respect my body and try to take care of it to the best of my abilities, Leila. There have been times when I have put on weight due to illness which had me stuck in bed – like slipped discs etc and it has been a challenge to lose the excess weight.

    I mean, I only have to think of chocolate cake and I can feel the pounds padding up. 🙂

    Yet, I don’t allow the shape to affect my self-esteem because people around me don’t care about my shape. They like me the way I am and so do I.

    1. Hahahhaah that’s awesome Vatsala. Being surrounded by the right or supportive people can make a whole lot of difference.
      Am glad you have that.

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