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

8 Ways to Stop Worrying About What Everyone Thinks of You

For some people, anxiety is the defining characteristic of their interactions with others. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Online Pornography and Young Minds

By Shimi Kang M.D. on October 12, 2016 in The Dolphin Way
How pornography and sexual imagery may be affecting your kids, and what to do about it.

It Only Works If You Work It

By Joy Jacobs J.D., Ph.D. on October 04, 2016 in One More Bite
What to do when treatment seems to "stop working"

Imagined Ugliness

By Graham C.L. Davey Ph.D. on October 04, 2016 in Why We Worry
Around one in 10 individuals seeking cosmetic surgery may be diagnosable with body dysmorphic disorder

The Secret to Outsmarting Your Acne

By Georgia Ede MD on September 30, 2016 in Diagnosis: Diet
Learn how the foods you eat control the hormones governing your skin. Recent science reveals three powerful dietary strategies that get to the root of your acne problem.

How Frequent is Sexual Objectification?

By Nathan A Heflick Ph.D. on September 30, 2016 in The Big Questions
New research tests the frequency of unwanted sexual gazing.

Why Donald Trump Needs to Stop Fat-Shaming

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on September 29, 2016 in Eating Mindfully
Over 80 million people watched as Trump used the presidential debate as platform for fat-shaming. Could his messages be increasing the rates of eating disorders in our children?

5 Ways Pole Dancing Can Improve Your Life

By Caitlin Cantor LCSW, CST on September 27, 2016 in Modern Sex
Pole dancing can help you celebrate your body just as you are right now. Give your inner critic a day off!

New Study Finds the Average American Woman is Now Plus-Size

Although it is widely acknowledged that the standard sizing system is flawed, being designated as plus-size is nevertheless something of a damning fate for many women.

Fashion Photography and the Feminist Aesthetics of Disgust

By analyzing fashion photographs—as well as the discourses that envelop them—it is possible to glimpse the ideologies that undergird contemporary aesthetics, ethics and anxieties.

Bare Faced, Glowing and Dewy

Freckled and fresh-faced, these are the girls we want to be: evolved beyond the tyranny of traditional makeup, but effortlessly beautiful. It is a paradoxical beauty ideal.
Dean Drobot/BigStock

Self-Compassion in Eating Disorder Recovery

By Greta Gleissner LCSW on September 12, 2016 in Bottom's Up
Your eating disorder does not define you. Cultivating self-compassion will help you to understand your experience and find peace within yourself.
CCO Public Domain/Free for Commerical Use

Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

Why can’t I lose weight? Optimism is key to taking off the pounds. By Julie Jarrett Marcuse, Ph.D.

The Pleasures and Perils of Writing a Revealing Memoir

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on September 12, 2016 in Creating in Flow
A memoir can be written by anyone, yet the best ones are authored by those who have learned to dig deep and write what others might fear to.

Scaling the Walls of Weight Loss

By Kristin Meekhof on September 07, 2016 in A Widow's Guide to Healing
How one man lost 160 lbs and has kept it off for six years
freeimages.com/Steve Knight

Feeding Your Addiction

By Nicole Avena Ph.D. on September 06, 2016 in Food Junkie
While it’s easy to list differences between foods and drugs our brains can have a very hard time differentiating between the pleasure derived from mild doses of some drugs.

No More Diets... and Other AAP Recommendations

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on September 06, 2016 in Eating Mindfully
New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics warn against dieting and other weight-focused interventions.

Has Obesity Prevention Led to a New Epidemic?

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on September 06, 2016 in Eating Mindfully
Are eating disorders the collateral damage in our war against obesity?

Food Addiction Is Not About Willpower

Food addiction is an obsessiveness with food and with your body.

“Date Someone Your Own Size”

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on August 30, 2016 in Attraction, Evolved
Couples who vary in weight experience more prejudice, receive advice to not date in public, and are rated as less likable, according to new research from California.

Dissecting the Clean-Eating Meme

By Emily T. Troscianko on August 29, 2016 in A Hunger Artist
At the heart of 'clean eating' is a potent metaphor. It's worth taking a long hard look at its threats and promises and the rest of its dangerous box of cognitive tricks.

Haven’t Things Changed in Gender Relationships?

Often people assume that with close to four decades of women having entered the workforce, we’ve arrived. Haven’t we given enough attention to this gender problem at work?

Dissection of a Food Binge

By Frances Kuffel on August 23, 2016 in What Fat Women Want
I wanted more than practicing normal. I wanted more than I had at hand. I wanted OUT – out of my apartment, out of my anger and resentment and loneliness.

The Danger of Talking to Children About Weight

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on August 16, 2016 in Eating Mindfully
How our misguided quest for health and wellness in our children may be causing harm, and what to do about it.

What Does Body Positivity Actually Mean?

What, exactly, does it mean to be body positive? And do efforts to market the concept miss the point?

Why Intimate Sex Is the Key to a Successful Relationship

By Lisa Thomas LMFT on August 10, 2016 in Save Your Sex Life
Sex + Intimacy = Mindblowing Experience

Gender Identity Is in the Brain. What Does This Tell Us?

Has the surge in our knowledge of the brain told us anything useful about the basis for gender identity? If it did, how would we use it?

Things That Matter to an Amputee

Have you ever wondered what it is like to have a limb amputated? The first challenge is accepting a new image followed by a psychological acceptance of yourself as adequate.

Feel Good About Your Eating and Your Weight

You can lose excess weight and keep it off by changing your relationship with your body. You can do it by becoming more compassionately self-aware.

Four Attractive Stereotypes You Shouldn't Try to Conform To

By Mairi Macleod Ph.D. on July 26, 2016 in Sexy Science
If you act dumb to appeal to men, or you flash your cash to pull women, then don't be surprised if you attract the wrong types.