Body image is how we think and feel about our bodies and how we believe others see us. The view we hold of our body image may affect our actions, feelings of happiness, and levels of overall well-being.
There are many factors that influence how we feel about our appearance including our family environment, the media and social media, friendship groups and natural changes in the body.
As our bodies develop and change throughout life, so do our thoughts and feelings about it. It is common to have concerns and to feel worried about your body image, and a majority of us will experience this at some point in our lives.
When children and adolescents start to view their body in a negative way, they may feel uncomfortable and unable to do certain things, such as going to a swimming pool or wear shorts. As negative body image develops, young people may stop hanging out with their friends, spend time obsessively looking into a mirror and change their eating habits and exercise routines. These thoughts and feelings can sometimes be overwhelming and stop individuals from doing the activities that they enjoy.