Body Image vs. Self Esteem

Topics: Obesity, Dieting, Nutrition Pages: 4 (1565 words) Published: April 2, 2012

According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, diet is food and drink regularly provided or consumed. It is also defined as the regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight. The latter definition will be the one used for this research paper. Currently, up to fifty percent of women have tried dieting at some point in their lives and at least 90 percent of teenagers diet regularly. Due to this, the “diet fad” is worth billions with its government, pharmaceutical, and weight loss agencies funding it. Americans alone spend more money on weight loss programs and products than any other nation. People go on diets for a number of reasons. One reason is their concern for their health. Many people who live a healthier life are geared towards a restricted diet and lifestyle due to medical reasons. Second reason and probably the most common is to achieve a better body image. Body Image is how people perceive their physical appearance due to self-observation and the reaction of peers. It is how people see themselves and how comfortable they feel about their physical appearances. Even though it is more of a personal evaluation there are several factors that can influence how we perceive our bodies. One factor that can shape one’s body image is culture. Different cultures have different definitions of what they consider beautiful or ugly. For example, a culture would consider a girl with many tattoos as beautiful which could then bring about a positive body image. On the other hand, other cultures would label women with tattoos as impure. Another factor would be the influence of the media on body image. It can either heighten positive body image or aggravate it. Standards of beauty are often defined by what we see on magazines and televisions. People are often exposed to images of “perfection” that it sends messages that this is how men and women should look. The pressure to achieve “physical perfection” causes people to be...
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