What the Numbers Show
If you’re someone who’s feeling like their body image is poor, you’re not alone. A 2006 study examined associations of body satisfaction to age, height, gender, and body mass index (BMI) in over 52 000 adults and the findings weren’t much of a surprise. They noted that 60% of women thought they were too heavy and were self-conscious about their weight, 30% reported being too uncomfortable in a swimsuit, and 20% thought that they were unattractive. For men, 41% thought they were too heavy and were self-conscious about their weight, 16% reported being too uncomfortable in a swimsuit, and 11% thought that they were unattractive.
Doctors Lexie and Lindsay Kite, sisters and co-authors of the book More than a Body shed light on why these stats may be high:
“Too many of us not only feel awful about our looks, since we can never achieve or maintain the aspirational beauty ideals presented to us, but also feel awful …because all we care about is how we look. This is truly the root of negative body image. To add insult to injury, we will likely feel awful about ourselves as a whole because we’ve learned that our bodies define our worth.”