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In today’s Basic Science class, We will continue our discussion on Body Image. We hope you enjoy the class!
BODY IMAGE II
A person’s body image is influenced by many factors. These factors include family environment, ability or disability, the attitudes of peers, social media, cultural background, societal pressures and more. Another major and important factor is puberty.
PUBERTY AND BODY IMAGE
According to the Oxford dictionary, puberty is the period during which adolescents reach sexual maturity and become capable of reproduction.
During this period, the body of the adolescents experiences several changes as discussed when we treated human development.
For adolescents, at this stage, they become very conscious of their body and physical appearance. They become very concerned about what their peers think about their appearance in their bid to conform.
At puberty, there are appearances of distinct features of the body like the breasts and hips in the female body, broad shoulders in the male body, roundness of the face, appearance of facial hair, etc.
Some male adolescents become concerned about the growth of their moustache and beards because some believe it signifies maturity.
The girls become conscious of the size of their breasts and hips because it makes them look more feminine and attractive.
Due to the images projected by the media of what a perfect body should look like, adolescents beat themselves up trying to measure up and when they cannot, it results in low self-esteem.
Adolescents can begin to exhibit such signs as criticizing their body, continually comparing their body with others, not wanting to leave the house because of the way they look, not doing activities or trying new things because of the way they feel about their body, obsessing about losing weight, or about specific parts of his body, like his face or legs, spending lots of time looking in the mirror or taking photos and looking for changes or imperfections etc.
The following are some misconceptions about beauty and body image generally as presented in the media:
- There is the “Perfect Body”. This is a huge misconception because there is no such thing as a perfect body. There may be one body type that the media is displaying in magazines, on TV or in newspapers, but that is not the only beautiful body type out there.
- Sometimes, a lot of graphic editing has gone into making that body media perfect.
- What you see in the mirror is who you are. This is a very big misconception when it comes to our entire body image. This misconception is totally based on the physical attributes of a person and not the other wonderful attributes the person possesses.
- If I eat less I will look better. This is an extremely dangerous misconception to get caught up in as it can lead to eating disorders and an unhealthy eating lifestyle which is an entirely different subject.
- Being overweight means you’re unhealthy. Being healthy is not totally dependent on size. Weight gain happens as a result of several factors like heredity, hormonal imbalances etc. and so it should not always be related to an unhealthy lifestyle.
- You have to make a change to feel body positive. Losing weight, dying your hair, getting a nose job, buying a whole new wardrobe, etc.
There are so many other misconceptions but what is most important is that every individual needs to accept the way they look.
There is absolutely no need for comparison with others as no one is perfect. Everyone is unique in their own way and our individual uniqueness should always be loved and appreciated.
This will help the individual develop healthy self-esteem.
We have come to the end of this class. We do hope you enjoyed the class?
Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.
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