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

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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?
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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?'

Why I'm Resolving NOT To Diet This Year

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on January 02, 2017 in Eating Mindfully
Weight loss is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions. This year, I'm resolving NOT to diet. Here are 4 reasons why. I hope you'll join me in making 2017 a diet-free year.

Is Skin Picking the Solution or the Problem?

Is the need to remove skin imperfections becoming addictive?

It's No Wonder

Yes, DC Entertainment’s Wonder Woman was named the UN’s ambassador for gender equity.

Is Weight Loss Surgery a Good Treatment for Binge Eating?

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on December 16, 2016 in Eating Mindfully
For many who struggle with binge-eating disorder (BED) and "obesity," weight loss surgery may seem like a cure. But is it really the utopia patients hope for?
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Why Do Women Risk Pain and Injury Wearing High Heels?

By Michael Castleman M.A. on December 13, 2016 in All About Sex
One reason women choose heels: As height increases, men find them increasingly attractive.

Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

By David Ludden Ph.D. on December 06, 2016 in Talking Apes
It’s perfectly normal in adolescence to question your sexual orientation and gender identity. For some, these questions linger well into adulthood.
Edward Abramson

Can Mindfulness Reduce Your Belly Fat?

If you have an apple shape, mindfulness might help.

Lose Your Phone, Find Your Body

By Emily T. Troscianko on November 27, 2016 in A Hunger Artist
As technology helps us live more and more distractedly, it becomes both more important and less likely for us to engage positively with our bodies, as subjects not objects.

The Diametrics of Personal Space: Autism vs. Schizophrenia

New research into the sense of personal space.

Muscle Tone Is Sexy, But You Don’t Want To Look Too Buff

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on November 12, 2016 in Fit Femininity
Women athletes need to be fit and strong. Are they happy with their bodies?

Adolescence and Creativity

By Albert Rothenberg on November 05, 2016 in Creative Explorations
Although young children are often free and spontaneous and therefore considered to be creative, true creativity begins in adolescence with the structuring of developmental tasks.
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The Sexual Censorship Controversy

By Diana Raab Ph.D. on November 03, 2016 in The Empowerment Diary
After its publication last week, Anais Nin's latest book of erotica was censored by Amazon, though Amazon later withdrew its censorship.

What if Women Controlled Our Own Bodies?

If girls and women did not have to think about the dangers of going out alone

Body-Love, Body-Shaming, and Health

By Ruth C. White Ph.D. on October 27, 2016 in Culture in Mind
As Americans get fatter, there is a sense of a 'new norm' and the language regarding how we frame our bigger selves is changing. But is this change good for our health?

8 Ways to Stop Worrying About What Everyone Else Thinks

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