Body Image Distress In Women
Body image is a perception of our body, and simultaneously, a measure of our attractiveness. It is very closely linked to self-esteem and how much we value ourselves, or believe we are valued by others.
Female body image is a product of personal, social and cultural experiences, and often emerges as a desire to adhere to an “ideal” body shape. Unfortunately, very few, if any, can achieve the airbrushed perfection portrayed in the media.
Hence, many women tend to have an inaccurate perception of their appearance, often believing themselves to be larger and fatter than they actually are. The combined consequence is that many women feel trapped in a cycle of dieting and continual feelings of failure and guilt. In some cases, this may lead to disordered eating patterns, eating disorders and negative outcomes on general physical health.
REMOTE SESSIONS – WORKING ONLINE WITH OUR TEAM
The current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global situation is affecting us all.
We understand that the uncertainty and disruption to daily life this brings, can be an extra burden for people who are already struggling with their eating, weight and mental health.
All of our therapists are experienced in delivering remote sessions using Zoom, Skype and FaceTime, which means your therapy can continue online without disruption.
Our four central London locations currently remain open, and we are happy to see you in person as well.
Please book a call with our friendly and experienced assessment team who can explain how remote sessions can work for you.
Each year, in acknowledgement of Eating Disorder Awareness Week (2nd-8th March 2020), we have a Spring Promotion to provide greater access to our services.
We want to support people, who struggle with their weight and eating behaviour, change the mechanisms and patterns that are keeping them stuck.
Our experience tells us this can be achieved through psychological support, nutritional support, or a combination of both.
Purchase a 6-session block of therapy, and get 1 session FREE
Purchase any nutrition package, and get 1 session FREE
- This offer is available with all of our therapists, at all price points
- This offer is available to new WM clients only
- Offer ends on 31st March 2020
How Female Body Image Develops
Body image issues can be a long-term challenge for some women, but they can also emerge at specific periods. The stresses and strains of life, work and family can find expression in altered or lower than usual body image.
Physical and hormonal changes after pregnancy and childbirth, and the onset of the menopause, can often lead to weight gain and be a negative influence on female body image, and create feelings of distress and shame.
Comorbidity with gastrointestinal problems, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which induces hormonal and physical imbalances, can have a huge impact on our perception and attitude towards our body.
The slowing of the metabolism with age might lead to weight gain in older women, together with loose and aging skin.
This can create feelings of fear and anxiety as body shape changes with aging.
Subsequently, the social comparison with younger women can negatively influence body image perception of older females.
Finally, a feminist perspective on body image supports the idea that body dissatisfaction in women emerges from cultural believes around how an ‘ideal’ female body should look.
Most girls from a young age take care of their looks and appearance, and are pressured to have an ideal size of different body parts.
Subsequently, many women are faced with sexual exploitation, as the female body is idealized and seen as an ‘object’ by men creating feelings of misogyny and promoting behaviours of sexual harassment.
Symptoms of Female Body Image Distress
Here are some ways your thoughts, feelings and behaviours may change as you become increasingly distressed with your body image:
- You worry continually about changes in body shape or weight, and may diet or exercise excessively.
- You prefer to wear baggy clothes.
- You compare your body unfavorably with others.
- You set yourself unrealistic goals and aspire to the body shapes you see in fashion magazines.
Learn more about Female Body Image
Here are some articles and blogs about female body image