Is Body Image About Sexual Attractiveness?
In honor of eating disorder awareness and “love your body” week, I have been speaking a great deal about body image. In preparing my presentations, I decided to research the literal definitions of body image and learned some cool facts …
The first definition I uncovered was in the good, old Merriam-Webster:
Body Image: A subjective picture of one’s own physical appearance established both by self-observation and by noting the reactions of others.
(I never knew the definition actually had to do with the reactions of others! Isn’t our body image defined by how we view ourselves?)
The second definition came from what is considered one of the “original” sources of the concept — Paul Schilder’s 1935 book called The Image and Appearance of the Human Body
(love the cover image!)
In the book, the author defines body image as: A person’s perception of the aesthetics and sexual attractiveness of his or her own body.
In recent years, I have evolved my own definition of body image for myself… it is very different from those listed here.
How do you define body image? Is it defined by sexual attractiveness or by what others think?
WATRD Editor, Robyn Hussa, MFA, E-RYT, is Founder and CEO of NORMAL, for which she was awarded the 2010 Champion in Women’s Health award from Ms. Sue Ann Thompson and the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation. Ms. Hussa is also a professional performer and New York producer. She is the co-Founder of the Drama Desk and Obie award-winning Off-Broadway theatre company, Transport Group, for which she won the 2007 Drama Desk award for the company’s breadth of vision and presentation of challenging productions. She is the Editor of the WeAreTheRealDeal blog site and author of Healthy Selfitude — a result of Hussa’s in-depth training in the performing arts, voice, movement, and yoga. She holds a Master’s in Fine Arts and is an E-RYT yoga instructor with the Yoga Alliance.