What is Body Image?


The recognition of the influence of physiological, psychological and social aspects in the construction of body image occurred at the beginning of the last century, with the systemic approach of the theme by Paul Schilder. However, we observed in the twentieth century a tendency of researchers to focus on each of these aspects in isolation.


Initially the emphasis was given to neurological aspects, later, emotional or cultural issues became the focus of the question. These trends reflect a fragmented view of the human being.


In pursuit of a more complete view of the subject, body image has often been considered as a result of these three aspects. The need for systematization of research has reinforced this path, which generates inadequate interpretations of the results of several investigations. Why body image is not a simple result of these three aspects?


Currently, the study of Body Image has sought to mark the conceptual issues, referring to a perspective of the existential body in its singularity with the rigor of scientific research. Thus, aspects such as appearance or functional performance have been considered in the context of the complexity and subjectivity proper to the existential experience of the "being body". At the same time, research has sought to address several dimensions (cognitive, behavioral, sensory, perceptive, among others), contextualizing the results in a comprehensive view of the construction of the mental image of the body itself, a phenomenon that reflects the identity of the individual.


Thus, going beyond the Analysis and coming to transformation that happens by being present in oneself, enlarging the vital field by the awareness of oneself, of the other, and of the world that is the dynamic of the Image of the Body.


The individual becomes more sensitive to the manifestations of himself, of the other, and of the world, allowing more spontaneous verbalization and begins the process of "Real Person" involvement, because he is alive, that is, in a continuous mutation. Creativity and the preponderant factor all the time bringing about intimacy with oneself, with the other and with the universe leading us to live the web of life, where there are connections at all levels, motor, sensorial, cognitive, behavioral, affective and with balance of all parts, reflecting the flow between these elements, now loose, now more adjusted, or wider etc. There is poetry and rhythm because when a person reports some experience, he is in fact speaking as a "person" to another "person" who is in the universe.