Body Image

Body Image is how you see your self and is linked very closely to self esteem. You may have good body image, where you feel confident about your looks or you may want to hide away from the world - everyone feels differently. 

According to a BBC study, over half of women and nearly a quarter of men said they would consider having plastic surgery. 

For women the most popular surgery was a boob job, with liposuction next and for men Liposuction and nose jobs were the most common choices.

IMG_7212-1024x683

More than half of girls aged 12 to 16 felt that their body image either stops them from getting a boyfriend or from relaxing in a relationship. 

Half of the women asked said there was "lots they would change" about their bodies - and over 10% "hated" what they looked like. 

These statistics are worrying, but why is it that so many of us feel so unhappy with our bodies? 

The media is probably the biggest factor. Everywhere we look, on TV, in magazines and even just walking down the street, we are being bombarded with images of ‘perfection’. The problem with these images is that it is almost impossible to look like them. Even the models themselves often look nothing like they do in the pictures!  Everything is airbrushed or enhanced in some way. After just a few minutes looking through a glossy magazine, most women and a lot of men feel pretty bad about their own looks, regardless of their own attractiveness. 

It can be very difficult to feel confident in a society where the very thin or beautiful are celebrated and normal is rarely even featured. 

The scary thing about our feelings towards our bodies is that it is not uncommon to go to extreme lengths in our efforts to achieve ‘perfection’. Dieting can go from cutting out sweets to skipping meals and even lead to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, which can severely damage health. See the video below for a real life story of how eating disorders can impact a person’s life. 

Body image is becoming an issue for boys and men too, though discussion of the issues (as reflected by the links on this site) focuses on more on girls and women. 

Things to think about

1. Know you are unique and special; no-one in the whole world is like you. 

2. Have a look at yourself and think about the person you are. Write a list of things you like about yourself (not just your body). Don't go looking for your faults; other people will be attracted by a positive personality. See Dove's Amy video at the end of this page. 

3. Don't compare yourself with other people. Some people will be more attractive and some not so; some will have more muscles and be better at football. That is life. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Trying to be someone else and thinking about the way you look all the time, can be a real bore in a relationship. 

4. Those celebrities never look THAT good in real life. Go to the end of this page to see the Dove 'Evolution' video and see what they do to make people look stunning

5. Do lots of things and adopt hobbies that don't rely on what you look like. 

6. Accept compliments. 

7. If people are negative or bullying about the way you look, remember that you are more than your looks. 

8. Friends that are supportive and caring are better than those who insult you to feel better about themselves, even if the latter are seen as the cool kids. 

9. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you have. It will affect your relationships with everyone else, including parents, partners, husbands and wives. If you are a young person of faith, it will also affect how you see the god you believe in, especially if yours is a creator god.