What influences body image?

Body image is shaped by a variety of factors, some of which are controllable and others which are not:

  • Comments from family, friends and others about any person’s body
  • Ideals that we develop about physical appearance
  • How often we compare ourselves to others
  • Exposure to images of idealized versus normal bodies
  • The experience of physical activity
  • The experience of abuse (this can include sexual, physical, and emotional abuse)
  • The experience of prejudice and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, ability, sexual orientation or gender identity

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