What do you think you look like? Body image is the mental representation one creates, but it may or may not bear close relation to how others actually see you. Body image is subject to all kinds of distortion from internal elements like our emotions, moods, early experiences, attitudes of our parents, and much more. Nevertheless, it strongly influences behavior. Preoccupation with and distortions of body image are widespread among American women (and, to a lesser extent, among males), but they are driving forces in eating disorders, feeding severe anxiety than can be assuaged only by dieting.

Recent posts on Body Image

A Semi-Parody One Item Personality Test

What is the opposite of eating?
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What Is Dance Movement Therapy?

The same endorphins that make you feel better when moving also help you concentrate, sleep better, have more energy, and deal with mental and emotional challenges in life.

What Do the Latest Plastic Surgery Statistics Say About Us?

In 2016, Americans spent more money on elective plastic surgery and non-invasive cosmetic treatments than at any other time in our nation's history. What exactly are we "fixing"?

The Real Sex Lives of Men Over 65

By Michael Castleman M.A. on March 31, 2017 in All About Sex
By 65, most erections are history, but with semi-firm or even completely flaccid penises, older men can still enjoy great, orgasmic sex.

Is There Feminine Muscularity?

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on March 29, 2017 in Fit Femininity
Is sculpting a muscular body feminine? There are several options for women to display visible muscularity.

5 Ways Self-Compassion Promotes a Healthy Body Image

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on March 22, 2017 in In Love and War
Many people are overly critical of their appearance. If you're one of them, self-compassion might help.
Kristen Fuller

Eating Disorders: It’s Not All About Food

We often think if we lose those ten pounds, gain muscle or adopt that healthy skin glow then we will feel better to only soon realize our self-esteem is still in the gutter.

A Nose Away From Beautiful

Besides its critical function in smell and breathing, the cartilaginous protrusion we call nose has long been crucial in considerations of human beauty. How could this not be so?

Six Signs to Assess an Eating Disorder

Understanding the signs of an eating disorder diagnoses can help you take life-saving measures.

Should We Focus on a Women’s Weight During Pregnancy?

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on March 11, 2017 in Eating Mindfully
The irony of weight-focused care is that the more preoccupied we become with trying to control our weight, the more out-of-control it often becomes.

Male Body Image and Neckties: What's the Relationship?

What a man's necktie says about his personality may not be exactly what you'd expect. Research on the male body image sheds light on this part of a man's clothing selections.

The Big Myth That Losing Weight Will Extend Your Life

Losing weight can be hazardous to your health.

Call Children’s Private Body Parts What They Are

Children who know the correct names for their genitals feel better about their bodies, and have an important protection against molesters.

A Parent’s Guide to Surviving Spring Break

By Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. on March 05, 2017 in Social Lights
12 suggestions from a college professor

Why Successful Women Gravitate Toward Younger Men

By Suzanne Lachmann Psy.D. on March 04, 2017 in Me Before We
If you’re a successful woman who gravitates toward younger men, it may be because you appreciate the non-defensive willingness to absorb what you can provide.

Why Women Want to Lose Weight

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 02, 2017 in The Human Beast
In subsistence societies, heavier women are perceived as fertile and sexually attractive. In developed countries, women strive to be more slender. Why?

3 Myths About Men and Eating Disorders

Not an #AlternativeFact. Men do struggle with eating disorders
Andrey Arkusha/Shutterstock

How to Stop Criticizing Your Appearance

By Tara Well Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in The Clarity
Feeling critical when you look in the mirror? Try this to become more accepting.
Chuttersnap/stocksnap.io

How New Year's Resolutions Succeed or Fail

Why change is so hard and why it doesn't have to be.

Do Tattoos Make Us Appear More Attractive?

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on February 14, 2017 in Attraction, Evolved
Why do men get tattoos? New research suggests that getting 'inked' makes a man appear more healthy.

The Hidden Faces of Eating Disorders

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on February 10, 2017 in Eating Mindfully
Research indicates that people at higher weights—fat people—are at increased risk for eating disorders. But their symptoms often go unnoticed.

Recognizing and Treating STDs

Do you have a mental illness or an STD?
SpeedKingz/Shutterstock

Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?

Is the "Y" chromosome doomed?

Dieting, Weight and Making Peace with Food

By Kari Anderson DBH, CEDS on January 31, 2017 in #BeHerNow
As a therapist who works with women with disordered eating, I wish Oprah Winfrey's “success” story wasn’t about the weight.
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Chubby, Chunky, Heavy, Big

Many parents are watching their children getting bigger and bigger and wonder, when do I say something? How do I help them when I can’t even help myself?

Self-Stigmatizing About Your Weight Increases Health Risks

By Christopher Bergland on January 26, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Fat shaming is bullying. And it takes a heavy toll. According to a new study, internalizing negative stereotypes caused by fat shaming is linked to a variety of health risks.

Sexual Liberalism and Body Image Acceptance

Criticism of others’ bodies is generally fueled by insecurity and dissatisfaction with one’s own body. Having body acceptance generally predicts sexual openness.

Do Scars Always Make Us Stronger?

By Erin Wood on January 18, 2017 in Marked
How a cliché causes us to miss important discoveries.

Was Frida Kahlo a Narcissist?

By Roberta Satow Ph.D. on January 13, 2017 in Life After 50
Why is there so much interest in Frida Kahlo? When she married Diego Rivera, he was a world-renowned painter and she was virtually unknown.

How's That New Year's Diet Working Out For You So Far?

By Gregg McBride on January 07, 2017 in The Weight-ing Game
This year why not make this the last time you begin a 'weight loss plan' and, instead, think of it as a 'clean, healthy eating for life plan?'