The body is an experience of the mind. Many psychological approaches sustain this, and a recent study from Griffith University’s (Australia) comes with a new kind of proof to sustain a similar belief. It seems that we are not what we are, but what we believe we are. The new study reveals that many of us don’t live in their body but in the distorted image of their body.
It also seems that social media has a lot to do with the distortion. It influences us to unconsciously create a model, and we fight to achieve it: the thin and toned body that can carry us to endless happiness and success.
Researchers at Griffith University came up with a 3 steps test that evaluates the perception one has on his own body: fit idealization, fit overvaluation, and behavioral drive. Based on the results from the test, their research also gives suggestions on how to fix the body image if affected.
What is the distorted body image?
To easily understand the concept of body image, one should imagine the way myopia works. A person suffering from this malfunction of the eye sees, but everything he sees is blurry. They don’t perceive the exact shape, the fine joining of colors, the distance they are from the object, nor people’s reaction. And they end up filling up the missing information with things they believe are missing from the picture.
It is the same with a distorted body image. It is why we don’t fell the age we truly have, why we think we are taller than other people and isn’t true, and why we believe we are fatter than the scale says. And why even very thin and fit people still complain about the way they look and get obsessed with gym and diet.
It’s important to correct the lenses we see ourselves through because the research says distorted body image has a bad outcome: body dissatisfaction, the tendency to exercise compulsively, excessive dieting, body surveillance, social comparison, compulsive exercise, supplement use, and psychological distress.