Willoughby Girls High School logo

Willoughby Girls High School

Willoughby Girls High School

A Leader in Girls Education

Telephone02 9958 4141

Emailwilloughbg-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Body image and self esteem

It is common for young people to feel increasingly uncomfortable with their bodies as changes occur during adolescence. Low self-esteem occurs when expectations of how you want your body to look don’t match up to reality. These types of feelings can lead to distorted thoughts and emotions about your bodies.

The four aspects of body image:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • the way you think about your body is your cognitive body image. This can lead to preoccupation with body shape and weight. For example, some people believe they will feel better about themselves if they are thinner or more muscular.
  • behaviours in which you engage as a result of your body image encompass your behavioural body image. When a person is dissatisfied with the way they look, they may isolate themselves because they feel bad about their appearance or employ destructive behaviours (such as excessive exercising or disordered eating) as a means to change appearance.

For support with body image and self-esteem issues, refer to ReachOut.