Body Image, Self-Esteem, Acceptance, and the Courage to be Imperfect

Body image is the mental image that individuals have of themselves. How individuals see themselves, how they think others see them, and how they feel in their body all make up body image. Self-esteem is a multi-faceted concept that is essentially an evaluation of self. Both body image and self-esteem are influenced by many factors, and both can be impacted by one another. This thesis explores the correlational relationship between self-esteem and body image and the impacts of self-compassion, self-acceptance, and perfectionism on body image. Alfred Adler’s concepts of encouragement, life tasks, and striving for perfection will be presented and discussed to see how they relate to body image. This work details methods for improving self-esteem, self-acceptance, and body image, and includes research to support the effectiveness of improvement methods.

Melissa Peterson
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