A study published in 2015 showed 89% of American women are dissatisfied with their bodies, and 84% of those women want to be thinner. I had to take pause when I read that. That is very high. This is becoming more of a global experience. Years prior, the studies were showing that body dissatisfaction was more isolated to certain cultures and countries, but now it's a global issue, and I would imagine a lot of that has to do with social media.
Body dysmorphic disorder or body dysmorphia is defined as excessive worry about the way a particular part of our body looks, which is often unnoticeable by others. Body dysmorphic disorder has increased since Covid because video conferencing. Being on a Zoom or another type of video conferencing platform makes people more self-conscious about their appearance.
Medication, therapy and mindfulness are some effective ways to treat body dysmorphia. The reason mindfulness and therapy/coaching are really valuable for someone who struggles with negative body image is because they help you focus ony our emotions and thinking. Overcoming the challenges of negative body image involves becoming mindful of the emotions that come up due to this struggle, as well as, the thoughts we think. With mindfulness we can heal through these thoughts and emotions.
Listen to the podcast episode of The Aware Mind
“Assessment of Pandemic-Related Body Dysmorphia and Implications for the Post-lockdown Era” Cureus; 2022.
“Monsters in the Mirror” Nature, 2015.
“Associations Between Women's Body Image and Happiness: Results of the YouBeauty.com Body Image Survey” Journal of Happiness Studies, 2015
“Intranasal oxytocin alters amygdala-temporal resting-state functional connectivity in body dysmorphic disorder” Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2019.