Most people, at one time or another, have felt insecure about their bodies. To some, it’s the desire to lose the extra holiday weight or to lose their love handles. For others however, it goes much, much deeper and becomes an obsession.

Body image is a mental idea about your physical body and how it looks to you. It’s something that constantly changes as it’s based more on feeling than fact.

It can start young. Body image isn’t something that hits during puberty, high school, or college. It can start as young as elementary school. Maybe the child is taller than their classmates, weighs more or less, or has a different body shape.

It isn’t just women who struggle. Males are being told to look a certain way just as women are. Look at the leading men in major movies today: Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Channing Tatum, and Ryan Gosling to name a few. Whereas many women desire to be thin and fit, men are told to be strong and muscular.

Know the warning signs. Do you obsessively scrutinize your body? Do you tend to want to stay in because you feel that people are scrutinizing your body? Do you compare your body to others (friends, strangers, celebrities)? Do these comparisons make you feel like you aren’t beautiful?

Celebrities and the media don’t help when it comes to body image issues. Photoshopping has become the norm. Celebs like Katy Perry and Jennifer Lawrence are being slimmed down for magazine covers; women who are already beautiful (and talented, smart, funny) without needing to be photoshopped. It’s easy to see why we struggle with negative body image.

How can therapy help?

  • A therapist can help you work though the negative thoughts you have about your body. Talking with a professional and letting someone know about your struggle is sometimes the best way to go deeper into the problem in order to find a solution.
  • A therapist can suggest ways to cope in order to replace the negative mechanisms used in the past. They can put you in touch with people who have struggled in the same way you have, whether it be people from your city or people on the Internet.
  • It’s amazing what the support of a non-judgmental therapist can do for a person suffering from negative body image.

If you’d like to set up an appointment to talk to Reka about any body image issues, she can be reached at 402-881-8125.

You can also email her at  Make sure to follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: martinak15 via photopin cc