What is body image? Body image issues can affect people of all ages and genders. Body image describes how a person feels about their own body and appearance. It includes how you see yourself, how you think and feel about how you look and how you think others see you. Our body image often affects the way we treat our body. We all have negative thoughts and feelings about our body sometimes. However, persistent concerns in relation to body image can hold someone back from engaging fully with other aspects of their life. How we feel about our body is strongly linked to our overall well-being.
Why is body image important? Whether we are satisfied with our body image, dissatisfied or somewhere in the middle, these thoughts and feelings can influence the way we interact with others and the way we live our lives, affecting the way we feel about ourselves in general, our mental health and well-being. Research in Ireland indicates that body image concerns are increasing in people of all ages. Body dissatisfaction is linked to the development of eating disorders, higher levels of anxiety, depression and other negative mental health outcomes. Realising that body image is an issue that is holding you (or someone you care about) back in life is the first step on the path to promoting a healthier body image.