Introduction to Body Image

Introduction to Body Image

Body image is an individuals attitude towards their body, and also how they feel other people perceive them. This includes and includes height, weight and shape, and can be influenced by people’s own beliefs, society, and friends and family. Negative body image can include a false image of ones shape or certain parts of the body, which can lead to anxiety and low self-esteem (Nationaleatingdisorders.org, (2015). Self esteem is how a person feels about themselves, and therefore how a person perceives their self worth. Low self esteem can lead to a negative view of life, trust issues and depression.
It is clear that people are using the internet and social media more than ever. There has been a steady rise in internet users, with 37.9% of the population having internet in 2013, to 40.4% in 2014 (Internetlivestats.com, 2015). Also, Pew Research Centre’s Internet & American Life Project states that 74% of Adults online use Social media sites. Due to individuals comparing themselves to celebrities and other unrealistic media images, this can lead to negative body image issues and therefore eating and exercise disorders. This issue is concerning for individuals of all ages, but especially to young people and children who have less realisation for unrealistic images. Here are a few facts taken from cdc.gov, ‘Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance’:

  • In a survey of adolescents aged 14-18, over 59% of females and 29% of males were currently trying to lose weight.
  • Over 18% of girls and 8% of boys had gone without food for 24 hours or more to lose weight in the last 30 days. Of the girls, 11.3% had used diet pills and 8.4% had vomited or taken laxatives to lose weight.
  • 56.2% of teenagers ate less food and fewer calories to lose  or keep from gaining weight.
  • 65.7% exercised to lose weight.

‘My image, my body’ will focus on various aspects of body image, issues regarding this topic and different ways in which digital  media has affected this.

References 

Dove.us, (2015). The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty. [online] Available at: http://www.dove.us/Social-Mission/campaign-for-real-beauty.aspx [Accessed 7 Apr. 2015].

Hulme, M. (2015). Life Support: Young people’s needs in a digital age. YouthNet. Available at: http://www.youthnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Life-Support-Report.pdf [Accessed 4 Apr. 2015].

Nationaleatingdisorders.org, (2015). What is Body Image? | National Eating Disorders Association. [online] Available at: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/what-body-image [Accessed 7 Apr. 2015].

Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, (2013). Social Networking Fact Sheet. [online] Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/ [Accessed 7 Apr. 2015].

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2003 (2004). CDC. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5302a1.htm (Accessed: 13 April 2015).

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