Body image is an important contemporary concern. It is a complex and multifaceted concept that covers more than just a mental picture of what one looks like. Thomas Cash describes body image as encompassing all of a person’s beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions concerning his or her physical appearance. Although this definition is very broad, most of the thinking and research has focused on body size and shape and weight.

This is most likely because size and shape are important features of contemporary beauty ideals for both women and men: The ideal for women is a thin and toned body, and for men, a muscular V-shaped body. This entry addresses body image across the lifespan, presents the consequences and antecedents of negative body image, and ends ...

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