Body Image

Body image refers to the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses an individual has to his or her body. Cognitively, individuals maintain a specific perception of their own bodies, which may be accurate or inaccurate. Emotionally, individuals evaluate their bodies, feeling satisfied, dissatisfied, or even ashamed. Behaviorally, individuals might engage in dieting practices or frequent body monitoring. Scholarship on body image began with clinical research into eating disorders; as a result, research and theory emphasized weight concern, especially among the population believed to be most at risk for disordered eating: young, White girls and women. The field has since broadened, but extant literature is still shaped by this early bias. Understanding body image requires careful examination of the multiple ways in which body image is ...

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