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Bianne Teresa L.

Bautista GE-UTS (10:30-12:00 pm)


BSA-1 April 16, 2019

What is Body Image?


Body image is the perception that a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result from that
perception. These feelings can be positive, negative or both, and are influenced by individual and environmental factors.

What shapes body image?


Body image is determined by 4 factors:
1. How you SEE your body is your perceptual body image. This is not always a correct representation of how you
actually look. For example, a person may perceive themselves as overweight when they are actually underweight.
2. The way you FEEL about your body is your affective body image. This relates to the amount of satisfaction or
dissatisfaction you feel about your shape, weight, and individual body parts.
3. The way you THINK about your body is your cognitive body image. This can lead to preoccupation with body
shape and weight.
4. Behaviors in which you engage as a result of your body image encompass your behavioral body image. When a
person is dissatisfied with the way he/she looks, they may isolate themselves because they feel bad about their
appearance.

Beauty in the Context of Body Image


There are certainly some very direct messages associated with body weight in the media; celebrities, fashion models and
show hosts are often seen as role models, especially by teenagers. They appear to demonstrate what it is to be successful
and popular. Their body weight, appearance and beauty are often associated with their popularity and wealth. This is
particularly obvious in what is referred to as thin-ideal media, a concept which has been looked at with interest by
researchers in the field of social psychology. The term “thin-ideal media” refers to media images, shows and films that
contain very thin female leads. This is something that comes up a lot in fashion magazines, clothing catalogs and pop culture
television shows. Thin-ideal media highlights the idea that thinness is a good and desirable thing to be, even if it is to a level
that is potentially damaging to a person’s health.

However, it's not just women who get hounded. Men are criticized for their bodies as well; it's just a lot less publicized.
Men are concerned about their physical images and experience the same thoughts women do when it comes to their bodies.
Quite a few men feel uncomfortable taking off their shirts at the beach and gym. They feel self-conscious about the way
society views their physical bodies and the critiques that come with it.

Cultural factors that influence body dissatisfaction

When a person has negative thoughts and feelings about his or her own body, body dissatisfaction can develop. Body
dissatisfaction is an internal process but can be influenced by several external factors. For example, family, friends,
acquaintances, teachers and the media all have an impact on how a person sees and feels about themselves and their
appearance. Individuals in appearance-oriented environments or those who receive negative feedback about their
appearance are at an increased risk of body dissatisfaction.

One of the most common external contributors to body dissatisfaction is the media, and more recently social media. People
of all ages are bombarded with images through TV, magazines, internet and advertising. These images often promote
unrealistic, unobtainable and highly stylised appearance ideals which have been fabricated by stylists, art teams and digital
manipulation and cannot be achieved in real life. Those who feel they don’t measure up in comparison to these images, can
experience intense body dissatisfaction which is damaging to their psychological and physical well-being.

Factors Affecting the Development of Body Image

Media

 Examples are advertisements, beauty contests, fashion shows, magazines, newspapers, music lyrics, movies, T.V.,
music videos.

 Delivers the message that "thin is in"and large body shape is unacceptable.

 Computer technology enables the media to adjust pictures to make them look perfect.

Family

 A family inflences eating habits, activity patterns and attitudes about body image.

 Family may comment on a teenager's appearance more often tan others.

Adult Role Models

 Unspoken words and actions influence teenagers.

 Sports coaches place pressure on individuals to become "stereotypical athlete.

Friends

 Peers reinforce each other's beliefs about the "ideal" body.

 Teenagers feel the need to conform in oder to belong.

Society

 Popular culture relays messages that a person's self-worth is based on their physical appearance.

 Lack of people of various shapes and sizes in positions of power.

 Corporate industry makes billions of dollars on products to make people look "perfect" - for example: protein
powder, fitness clubs, weightloss pills.

Self Esteem

 Develops from birth and continues to be shaped by significant people.

 We are socialized to look for approval from others as a way to define self-worth.
Healthy Body Image
A person with a healthy body image has an objective, undistorted view of their body and appearance. They do not spend a
large amount of time checking their body or perceived flaws, or comparing themselves to others. Having a healthy body
image may mean that a person is able to engage in their social, sexual, work, or private lives without body image concerns
getting in the way; Or, it may mean accepting some dissatisfaction with one’s body image or appearance and engaging in
life’s day-to-day activities anyway, despite this concern.

Having a healthy body image may also include identifying the unrealistic and unattainable standards of beauty and thinness
portrayed in the media, and avoiding making comparisons with these portrayals. While developing and fostering a healthy
body image does not guarantee good mental or physical health, it can offer a layer of protection against poor self-esteem,
disordered eating patterns or yo-yo dieting, and, potentially, other mental health conditions like depression, anxiety,
and body dysmorphic disorder.

Sexuality
Sexuality is not just about “sex” and certain body parts that are associated with males and females. Sexuality includes sexual
orientation, such as who a person is attracted to and whether the person identifies as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual,
as well as their sexual fantasies and attitudes and values related to sex.

Sexual orientation refers to sexual and romantic feelings for people of the same gender, a different gender, or more than one
gender. People who identify their sexual orientation as “straight” or “heterosexual” typically feel attracted to people of a
different gender than themselves. People who identify as “lesbian” or “gay” typically feel attracted to people of the same
gender as themselves. People who identify as “bisexual” typically feel attracted to more than one gender, such as being
attracted to both women and men. “Pansexual” is a term used by people who feel attracted to more than one gender and
feel that other terms don’t include people who are transgender and gender nonconforming (people who have a gender
identity or gender expression that doesn’t match their sex assigned at birth). People who use the term “queer” may use it to
mean lesbian, gay, bisexual, or pansexual, or they may use it because other terms don’t quite describe their experiences.

Some people might identify their sexual orientation one way, but experience attractions that don’t match the label they are
using. For example, a person might identify as “straight,” but feel attracted to people of the same gender or more than one
gender and sometimes act on those attractions. Sexual orientation can also change over time for some people. For example,
a person might be attracted only to people of the same gender as themselves, and then later be attracted to more than one
gender. This is normal! It just means that sexual orientation is complicated for some people.

Types of sexuality

People use a few common labels to identify their sexuality. Your sexuality isn’t defined by who you have sex with – it’s
about how you feel and how you choose to identify yourself. The important thing is that you choose what label feels
comfortable, or you choose no label at all. You might find, like many others have, that the label you choose changes over
time.

 Straight/Heterosexual

Attracted mostly to people of the opposite sex or gender.

 Gay/Homosexual

Attracted mostly to people of the same sex or gender (refers to guys – and often to girls, too).

 Lesbian

Attracted mostly to people of the same sex or gender (refers to women).

 Bisexual
Attracted to both men and women.

 Pansexual

Attracted to romantic and sexual partners of any gender, sex or sexual identity. (‘Pan’ means ‘all’.)

 Polysexual

Attracted to romantic and sexual partners of many but not all genders, sexes or sexual identities. (‘Poly’ means ‘many’.)

 Asexual

Not really sexually attracted to anyone.

Some people also choose the labels ‘queer’ or ‘fluid’ as a way of expressing themselves by their own personal feelings.

What is sexual orientation?


Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and want to have relationships with. Sexual orientations include gay,
lesbian, straight, bisexual, and asexual.

Sexual orientation is different from gender and gender identity.


Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and who you feel drawn to romantically, emotionally, and sexually. It’s
different than gender identity. Gender identity isn’t about who you’re attracted to, but about who you ARE — male, female,
genderqueer, etc.

This means that being transgender (feeling like your assigned sex is very different from the gender you identify with) isn’t
the same thing as being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Sexual orientation is about who you want to be with. Gender identity is
about who you are.

There are a bunch of identities associated with sexual orientation:

 People who’re attracted to a different gender (for example, women who are attracted to men or men who are
attracted to women) often call themselves straight or heterosexual.
 People who’re attracted to people of the same gender often call themselves gay or homosexual. Gay women may
prefer the term lesbian.
 People who’re attracted to both men and women often call themselves bisexual.
 People whose attractions span across many different gender identities (male,
female, transgender, genderqueer, intersex, etc.) may call themselves pansexual or queer.
 People who’re unsure about their sexual orientation may call themselves questioning or curious.
 People who don't experience any sexual attraction for anyone often call themselves asexual.

It’s also important to note that some people don't think any of these labels describe them accurately. Some people don't like
the idea of labels at all. Other people feel comfortable with certain labels and not others. It's up to you to decide how you
want to label yourself, if at all.
What does queer mean?

The term queer can include a variety of sexual identities and gender identities that are anything other than straight
and cisgender.

In the past, “queer” was a word used to hurt and insult people. Some people still find it offensive, particularly those who
remember when that word was used in a painful way. Others now use the word with pride to identify themselves.

You may not want to refer to someone as “queer” unless you know that’s how they identify themselves. When talking to
someone about their sexual orientation, use the terms that they use. It’s okay (and often encouraged!) to ask what labels
folks prefer.

What’s asexuality?

People who identify as asexual don’t really feel sexual attraction towards anyone. They may think other people are
physically attractive, or they may want to be in romantic relationships with people — but they’re not interested in having
sex or doing sexual things with other people. Asexual people sometimes use the word “ace” for short.

Asexuality has nothing to do with romantic attraction. Many asexual people feel romantically attracted to people — so they
may identify as asexual, and also as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or straight. They just don’t feel any desire to act on these feelings
in a sexual way.

Asexual people have emotional needs just like everyone else. Some asexual people have romantic relationships, and others
aren’t interested in that. They get close to people or experience intimacy through ways other than sex.

There are also people who don’t feel romantic attraction or want to be in romantic relationships — they may identify as
aromantic. Being aromantic and being asexual are two separate things.

Some asexual people do get aroused (turned on), but they don’t feel the desire to be sexual with other people. And some
asexual people masturbate. But others may not feel arousal at all.

It’s totally normal to go through times when you don’t want to have sex, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re asexual.
And asexuality is not the same thing as being celibate. Celibacy is a choice you make, and asexuality is a sexual identity —
who you naturally are.

Like other sexual orientations, asexuality isn’t always black and white. There’s a spectrum between being sexual (having
sexual attraction) and being asexual. Different people fall into different places on that spectrum. Some people who have
very little sexual attraction to other people identify as gray-a. Some people who are only sexually attracted to people they’re
in relationships with identify as demisexual. Want to know how someone identifies? Ask them.

There is nothing “wrong” with people who are asexual, and there’s no evidence to support that people are asexual because
of any kind of mental health or trauma. It’s actually kind of common — some research says that 1 out of 100 adults is
asexual. You can find more information about asexuality at the Asexual Visibility and Education Network.
Resources

Body Image. (13 April 2019). Retrieved from https://www.nedc.com.au/eating-disorders/eating-disorders-explained/body-


Image/

The Odyssey Online. Society And Its Ideal Body Image. (12 April 2019). Retrieved from
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/society-ideal-body-image

Factors Affecting Body Image. (11 May 2011). Retrieved from https://prezi.com/uncgontuj07w/factors-affecting-body-
image/

Center for Young Women's Health. What is sexuality and sexual orientation? (26 October 2018). Retrieved from
https://youngwomenshealth.org/2018/10/26/what-is-sexuality-and-sexual-orientation/

Planned Parenthood. What is Sexual Orientation? | Definition and Meaning. Retrieved from
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/sexual-orientation-gender/sexual-orientation