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What does it mean to have a negative body image?

A negative body image is something that many people are often warned about, but what does it mean? Everyone has a sense of self-image that factors into their confidence. Your self-image is all about how you feel about yourself--you might picture yourself as having beautiful hair, bright eyes, and an exuberant attitude. That would be a very positive body image, and it's something everyone should work towards.

However, many people--especially younger females and people over-exposed to social media--tend to have a more negative body image. They may not think about what they don't like about themselves constantly, but they will tend to focus on those things they view as negative. They may even find it hard to pick out positive things that they like about themselves.

An extremely negative body image can help you deprecating yourself every time you look in the mirror. If you look in the mirror or down at yourself and you only see things you don't like, that is a very bad thing. You might say you're too short, too tall, too pale, too freckly, or something else entirely. You may see yourself as disproportionate or otherwise be unsatisfied with your appearance. Thinking these thoughts can be extremely harmful to your confidence and happiness, which is why it's important to recognize whether or not you have a negative self-image.

Of course, having a negative self-image should not be confused with simply wanting to make some improvements to yourself. Even people with every positive self-images may want to make some improvements to things that they can change, whether that be losing fat, adding on lean muscle, changing their hair, or something else entirely. There is nothing negative about wanting to improve or change your appearance, so long as you are not being self-deprecating.

In other words, wanting to lose weight doesn't necessarily mean that you have a negative self-image, but constantly putting yourself down for being overweight or having features you think are too full is representative of a negative self-image. You must learn to love yourself the way you are. By accepting how you look now and who you are now, you will find happiness and confidence go through the roof--and suddenly any wholesome improvements that you do want to make will come that much more easily. Plus, you'll be able to enjoy the journey!

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