image is what you perceive yourself to look like, and how that
makes you feel. Your body image isn’t always related to weight, although
weight is a major factor. Most women wish they could change at least
one thing about their appearance, and sometimes women will become
preoccupied with this desire. In fact, body image can be affected
by any aspect of your appearance—from a scar to acne to the
way you walk.
Body image is usually guided by the “standard” notion
of beauty in your culture. There are major differences in beauty
standards all over the world, and throughout time. But if you think
you have it bad now, remember there have always been restrictions
for beauty throughout history — sometimes less voluntary
than others. In ancient China, women were forced to bind their
to make them inordinately tiny, just because society thought small
were beautiful. This left women crippled and hardly able to walk.
Women in America often forced themselves into constricting corsets
to keep their waists looking “delicate” and to adhere
to the beauty guidelines of the time. Now, women starve themselves
to look rail thin and get implants inserted into their chests to
have the appearance of bigger breasts—the times may be changing,
but women are still faced with societal pressures to look a certain
How you feel about your body image is entirely up to you. If
you can acknowledge the effect of the media and society on your
of yourself, you are partially on the way to accepting yourself.