Body image is your own attitude towards your body – how you see yourself, how you think and feel about the way you look, and how you think others perceive you. Your body image can be influenced by your own beliefs and attitudes, as well as those of society, media and your peers.
An unhealthy body image is the belief that your body is different from what it is in reality, in a way that makes you feel bad about yourself. Nobody is perfect on the outside, and feeling ok about your appearance is important. An unhealthy body image can damage your self-esteem. Once you feel bad about the way you look, you may be inclined to think that you, as a person, are not as worthy.
If you are feeling inadequate about your body or yourself in general, it may be worth talking to someone you trust about it. This may be a family member,friend, teacher, elder or counselor. If you feel that you might be trying to control your weight in unhealthy ways, check out our fact sheets on eating disorders.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.
Special thanks to: CAPT Donnie Lee, MD, Indian Health Service