What do you think when I say ‘body image’?

Perhaps like many women you believe that body image is what your body actually looks like…

This might shock you, but it isn’t, there are many aspects to your body image and today I want to get clear on what body image actually is and then share with you 5 things you need to understand if you want to build a positive body image.

What is body image?

Body image is the perception you have of your physical self, but more importantly the thoughts and feelings you experience as a result of that perception.

Body image consists of:

The fact that your body image isn’t actually what your body looks like, is represented in a great way in a famous social experiment by Dove, who did a ‘real beauty campaign’ a few years ago, you might remember it?


The aim of this experiment was to explore the difference between how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. Each woman in the experiment had 2 portraits done, one based on how they described themselves and the other based on how a stranger described them.

Results found that the women described themselves more negatively and less favourably than the strangers did.

So how you perceive your body is the real issue, and something that needs addressing.

To get you started, here are 5 things you need to know:

1. You don’t have to love your body

A common misconception is that in order to feel good about your body and have a positive body image you have to love your body, like all the time. That expectation is unrealistic and unachievable.

However, what you do need to do is learn to respect your body. Respecting your body involves being grateful for what it can do, fuelling it well, nourishing it, caring for it, resting it and talking to yourself with kindness.

Respecting your body doesn’t mean loving it all the time, and you can respect your body even when you’re not ‘loving’ it.