Home / Teen / Media / What does “body image” mean? What does “body image” mean? Why don’t I like the way I look? Check out this video from AMAZE What does “body image” mean? We hear the word “body image” EVERYWHERE. In the media, our schools, amongst friends, it’s a term that surrounds us… but what does it really mean? Body image is how we see ourselves when we look in the mirror. This can influence how we feel, think, and act. These feelings can be positive or negative, and can be influenced by social media. Positive body image! Have mixed-emotions with your body image? Don’t worry! You’re not alone. Having a positive body image may look different for everyone, because we are all unique. A positive body image is accepting and respecting our bodies for what they are. A positive body image is not the absence of insecurities, we all have insecurities! Viewing our bodies in a positive way includes self-acceptance of our strengths and even limitations. How does the media impact my body image? Check out this video from AMAZE Whether we’re watching Netflix, scrolling through social media, or even seeing an advertisement for our favorite store, we are constantly flooded with images. These images that we see in the media can be fun to look at, but it can largely affect how we see ourselves. Have you ever scrolled through your favorite influencer’s feed and wondered how they take such perfect pictures? Most pictures that we see are filtered, photo shopped, and curated to appear “perfect”. While it might seem harmless, it presents unrealistic beauty standards and can lead to self-comparison. This can influence how we perceive our own bodies, and even leave us with unrealistic expectations of how we “should” look. Stereotypes: Sometimes the media portrays conflicting and negative messages about minority groups. This can be difficult to maintain a positive body image when the media is flooded with stereotypes and misrepresentation of our diverse world. There are various stereotypes in our media outlets that we should be cautious about. Some of those stereotypes include: Gender Stereotypes, Racial Stereotypes, Sexuality Stereotypes, and Ability Stereotypes. Affirmations: Song lyrics to remind you that you are perfect the way you are! “Hey (hey) I am not my hair I am not this skin I am not your expectations, no (hey) I am not my hair I am not this skin I am the soul that lives within” – India Arie “I was born this way Don’t hide yourself in regret Just love yourself and you’re set” – Lady Gaga “When I look in the mirror and the only one there is me Every freckle on my face is where it’s suppose to be” – India Arie “I got my tough, tough power And I call this body my home, my home” – BAUM “You don’t know what it is to be me, and I don’t know what it is to be you. That is because we are made different from each other, but all girls are meant to shine. All girls are meant to be something special in this world, even if they’re told they’re not supposed to be…They might paint a pretty picture of your likeness but you are just as deserving. In fact, you deserve even more.” – Princess Nokia “I thank God every day (uh huh) That I woke up feelin’ this way (uh huh) And I can’t help lovin’ myself” – Meghan Trainor Need help? National Eating Disorders Organization https://www.dove.com/us/en/dove-self-esteem-project.html https://www.montenido.com/transgender-anorexia-dysphoria-vs-dysmorphia/ Additional Resources Visit our Puberty and Gender, Sexuality, and Expression section to learn more.