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

Skin Problems and Depression

Are you dealing with skin issues and depression?

Being "Good in Bed"

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on June 25, 2017 in Fighting Fear
Many men and women worry about not being "good in bed." The advice I give applies to many other sort of personal encounters: a first date, a job interview, or selling something

Put Your Own Spin on It

Have you ever wondered just how far to push your body while exercising? Is pain really good for your psyche?

Caution, Moms: Your Daughters Are Listening

It’s summer. For millions of women, wearing a bathing suit in public is agonizing. Do we keep beating ourselves up or try something new this year for the sake of our daughters?

The Relationship Between Waist-Hip Ratio and Fertility

In women, a low waist-hip ratio correlates with health, fertility, and attractiveness. However, a new study reveals that it may also distinguish between past and future fertility.

Sins of the Mothers: Perpetuating Older Feminine Stereotypes

Sometimes it's the little things that count when trying to change things up for future generations of girls.

Dove’s Latest Body Positivity Failure

By Renee Engeln Ph.D. on June 15, 2017 in Beauty Sick
If Dove’s bottles could speak, they’d blend right into the chorus of voices encouraging women to take an objectified perspective on their own bodies.

Eating Disorders Spread Among Asians

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on June 13, 2017 in Minority Report
In the past three decades, Asian countries have seen a surge in eating disorders coinciding with exposure to western standards of beauty. Asian culture also plays a role.

Eating Disorders in the LGBT Community

Why does the LGBT population have a higher prevalence of eating disorders?

Drunkorexia and the Rise of “Rexias” in Disordered Eating

Excessive drinking, clean eating and food restriction are all known to contribute to poor body image, low self-esteem and worst of all; eating disorders.

Of Gods and Burqas: on Seeing a Student in a Burqa

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on June 02, 2017 in Excellent Beauty
We are losing the fight between religion and both science and morality. The ghost of Orwell smiles.

The 3 Best Tips for Eating Ice Cream

Do you love to eat ice cream? Here are some tips to help you eat it mindfully!

Is Body Positivity Leading Us Astray?

In the body positivity movement, self-acceptance has been bypassed in our quest for self-love. But when you feel anything but love for your body, might acceptance be a better goal?

Is Hair Down There Going, Going, Gone?

An increasingly large majority of American women (84 percent) and men (51 percent) now trim, shape, or completely shave their public hair. What, if anything, does this mean?

Excessive Tattooing on Film

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on May 25, 2017 in In Excess
Excessive tattooing has been central to many storylines featured in films. This article takes a brief look at the psychological themes of the tattoo obsessives in some of the films
Witthaya Phonsawat/123RF

Can Dogs Help Solve Our Childhood Obesity Problem?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on May 23, 2017 in Animals and Us
What should we make of claims about the impact of dogs on obesity in children and teenagers?
Unsplash/CC0

A Gift From Mothers to Daughters

By Renee Engeln Ph.D. on May 22, 2017 in Beauty Sick
The messages we hear about women and beauty make it hard to have healthy attitudes toward our bodies. But we can make certain those messages stop at our own front door.
Inner City Books, used with permission

Jungian Analyst Marion Woodman on the American Psyche

By Pythia Peay on May 18, 2017 in America On The Couch
Your ancestors went through the anguish of breaking with their mother country [Britain], even fighting and killing the soldiers of “the mother.” Marion Woodman

Trading in Celiac Disease for an Eating Disorder

The billion dollar "gluten-free" diet fad may be causing more harm to your mental health than you realize as we trade in gluten in exchange for disordered eating.

How does Our Body Change as We Age? (Part 1)

Is normal aging really as benign as we think? Yes it is.

Claire Dederer Talks About Love & Trouble

By Jennifer Haupt on May 12, 2017 in One True Thing
"...I went through old journals and letters and photos, revisiting my younger self. I won’t pretend it wasn’t excruciating, but that research really did inform the whole book."

What’s So Sexy About Belly Buttons?

Academic journals examining the psychological and sexual aspects of the navel are almost nonexistent. But Wikipedia’s extensive, even scholarly, coverage fills this gap.

Forgiveness Part 1

Beginning at the age of ten, Monica was frequently sexually assaulted for a period of more than six years. The assailant was her father.

Is Anorexia the Latest Treatment for Obesity?

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on April 27, 2017 in Eating Mindfully
Is it possible that a mental illness holds the secret to treating obesity? That’s what some leading eating disorder experts propose.

A Semi-Parody One Item Personality Test

What is the opposite of eating?
shock/BigStock

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.