- Women's Health
How Bad Is Your Body Image?
Affecting Us All
We hear the term "body image" thrown around a lot these days, mostly in regards to eating disorders. But what is it, really, and how does it affect the average person? Because, increasingly, body image is becoming a problem for everyone... from you to your daughter, your mother, and even your husband or boyfriend.
The statistics are shocking, even if you've heard them before:
- 42% of elementary school students between the 1st and 3rd grades want to be thinner.
- 80% of children who are ten years old are afraid of being fat.
- 25% of men and 45% of women are on a diet on any given day.
- 80% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance.
- 51% of 9 and 10 year old girls feel better about themselves if they are on a diet.
- 91% of women recently surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting, 22% dieted "often" or "always."
- 45% of men and 55% of women are dissatisfied with their physiques.
So how bad is your body image? Read on to find out.
A Working Definition
Body Image is...
Assessing Your Image
Take out a pen and paper. For every question, write a 1 if your answer is "rarely/never," 2 if your answer is "sometimes," or 3 if it is "often/always." Answer as truthfully as you can, trying to think about the big picture as you do, and not just how you're feeling today.
- Does your mood affect how you feel about your body?
- Is it hard to accept compliments on your appearance?
- How often do you worry about your weight?
- Does what you eat affect how attractive you feel?
- Are you self-concious about eating what you want in front of others?
- Do you feel guilty if you skip a workout?
- Do you find yourself not liking those you see as more attractive than yourself?
- How often do you make negative comments about your looks?
- Do you regularly ask others how you look?
- Do you avoid situations, simply because of what you would need to wear? (eg swimming, parties)
Now, total your score, and check it against the categories below. If you got:
10-15: Great! Your body image is healthy and relatively positive.
16-23: You fall in the middle, or average range. While your body image is better than some, you could appreciate your body more for what it does for you.
24-30: Body image is a real struggle for you. Take some time to pamper your body, and work on the mental aspects of the problem, by picking up a body-positive book, or joining a support group.
Wherever you fall on the spectrum, remember, you are not alone. You can feel better about yourself.
What score did you get on the body image quiz?
Please vote in the "exit poll" to the right and see where you fall compared to other readers.
Check out how to improve your body image, as well as some of the resources below, and feel free to leave a comment below with your questions/concerns.
Good Sites for Bad Body Image
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