Body Image: Unraveling Dissatisfaction Factors

Body Image

Body Image: Unraveling Dissatisfaction Factors

Written By: Rose Mardiah Mazlan (Intern)

Verified By: Shaundtrya Ganasan, Licensed Counselor (KB11097)

Body image is the representation of personal feelings about our external appearance which consists of physical and perceptual dimensions. In other words, it is the way you perceive yourself when you look in the mirror or how you picture yourself in your thoughts. You will shape these perceptions based on:

  • What you believe about your appearance.
  • How you feel about your body, height, weight, and shape.
  • How you sense and experience your body.

It is more than just how you look from the outside.

These different perspectives eventually build up a complex perception of your appearance. It gradually shapes the body image you see every day. There are also several other aspects of body image, which include evaluation, investment, and emotions.

Your evaluation comes from body dissatisfaction.

As for investment, it is when you place importance on your physical appearance.

On the other hand, emotion plays a role in your response to your body image. 

If you feel that you or your loved ones are experiencing body image issues, seek a therapist's assistance. You can also reach out to our Kota Damansara or Ipoh branch admin to get further information. Seeking assistance can be the first stepping stone towards your healing.

Why does Body Image Matter?

No matter how many people try to convince you to be confident about how you look, you can’t help but still think about it.

Appearance contributes to your identity. It is the first trait that lands in people’s eyes. In a sense, you will remember what people say about your looks and those remarks will engrave into your thoughts. You will think about the first thing people perceive about you. In most of our societal norms, body image, and attractiveness have become big concerns among women and adolescents. Hence, you are not alone.

For decades, the standard of beauty has been linked with a thin body among countless regions worldwide. Consequently, many young women and adolescents feel insecure if they do not possess the quality of being thin. This results in body dissatisfaction.

Recognizing Body Image Dissatisfaction

Body image dissatisfaction is the negative thoughts and feelings you have about your weight or body shape. It can lead you to experience physical and psychological concerns as well as behavioral issues. This includes smoking, drinking, obsession, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and eating disorders. Thus, the constant negative perspective you may have about yourself needs to be addressed before it grows into other issues.

Contributors of Body Image Dissatisfaction

Several factors influence body image dissatisfaction.


Your attitude towards yourself or your evaluation of your body image may depict your self-worth. Low self-esteem is often associated with poor self-worth. Your feelings about your physique can affect a major part of your self-esteem. In other words, self-esteem issues may also be the root of your concern about your physique.


Internalization involves the societal ideas of attractiveness. These societal norms can evolve into personal codes that you may practice to fit into the societal set standards of beauty. For example, women aspire to be thin while men wish to appear muscular. They may feel unattractive and negative about their image if they do not achieve the ideals.

Social comparison

Body image issues are also shaped based on social comparison. Social comparison is when you compare yourself to another person to evaluate your physique. Hence, you may have higher body dissatisfaction if you compare yourself with someone thinner or someone with the specific body shape you wish for.

It Brings You Down

In short, body dissatisfaction shapes a negative perception of your appearance within you. The effects can be:

  • You tend to compare yourself with others and feel inadequate.
  • You feel obligated to monitor your body rigidly; measuring, weighing, and looking in the mirror.
  • You feel embarrassed about your physique.
  • You feel uncomfortable in your body.
body image
Seeking Help

Remember, if you are struggling with body image issues, you are suggested to seek professional assistance to further understand and work on the underlying roots of the issue.

If you’re looking for a therapist in Kota Damansara or Ipoh area, you can click here for more information.

If you enjoyed reading this, why not broaden the horizon of knowledge by learning about "Self-Compassion Practices"?
You can read the blog here.

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