Body Image & You

What is Body Image?

Body image refers to feelings and perceptions about your body. Having a positive body image means that you generally feel comfortable and good about your body. When you feel good about your body, you are also more likely to take care of your body’s needs by providing it with adequate rest, nourishing food, enjoyable physical activity, and stress reducing activities.

The impact of negative body image:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Eating disorders and disordered eating
  • Avoidance of physical activity,
  • Avoidance of social events

We live in a culture that promotes unrealistic standards of thinness/muscularity and a narrow definition of beauty. We are also bombarded with the message that being thin or muscluar means being healthy.

Factors that Influence Body Image:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Teachers, educators
  • Health professionals
  • Community leaders
  • Media-Magazines, TV, internet, video games
  • Culture/society
  • Parents
  • Coaches

What is Self-Esteem?

SELF-ESTEEM is how you measure your self-worth, value, and abilities as a person. Having a positive self esteem can help counteract the pressure you feel to achieve the “ideal” body.

PROTECTIVE FACTORS to build and strengthen to support a positive body image and self-esteem.

  • appreciating one’s body and what it can do
  • responding to internal cues with mindfulness and self-care
  • having self-compassion
  • connecting with role models with positive values
  • developing warm, supportive relationships
  • developing critical media literacy skill
  • ensuring body-inclusive spaces that are free from body-based bullying

What is Body Diversity

BODY DIVERSITY refers to the variety of physical differences that exist among people.  These include differences based on size, shape, weight, height, colour, physical abilities, cultural expression, gender diversity and intersex diversity.


Bodies come in many sizes, shapes, weights, and heights.  Body shape is primarily determined by genetics. Body size is influenced by genetics but also factors related to the social determinants of health. Diversity in body size and shape is natural.