A person’s perception of his or her physical appearance is referred to as body image. A person with bad body image will perceive his or her own body as unattractive to others, while a person with good body image will see him or herself as attractive to others, or will at least accept his or her body the way it is. Life orientation is also related to how you feel about your body. Exercise habits, sexual experiences and mood also influence the way people feel towards their body image. 44% of women express negative feelings about their individual body parts as well as their bodies as a whole (www.wikipedia.com). The desire to lose weight is highly linked with poor body image. Concerns with body image have been tied to a lowered self esteem and an increase in dieting or eating disorders. An individual with anorexia controls their body weight by not eating. Eating disorders are complex, chronic illnesses largely misunderstood and misdiagnosed. The most common eating disorders - anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder - are on the rise in the United States and worldwide. No one knows exactly what causes eating disorders. However, all socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural groups are at risk. Women trying to improve their appearances and attractiveness, at times taking unhealthy and dangerous measures, has not started in the last couple of years. Women’s body image has always been influenced by pressures from pop culture and the media. “Body dissatisfaction is the norm and has been that way for many years, especially among woman,” says Brownell, director of the Center for Eating and Weight Disorders at Yale University (Masci, CQ Researcher). One of the reasons for body dissatisfaction is that there is an “ideal” body type, which there is not. Women have turned to Barbie dolls or supermodels as the ideal bodied figures. But what women don’t know is that to have a body that looks like Barbie is nearly impossible and models get their pictures...
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