Oral Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Positive Body Image: A Contemporary Challenge (#219)

Marika Tiggemann 1
  1. Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Body image is a multi-faceted construct that encompasses all aspects of how people see, think about, feel about, and behave toward their bodies. Despite this very broad remit, both theorizing and research have been largely pathology driven and focused on negative body image. This is not surprising in a contemporary culture where beauty ideals are largely unrealistic and unattainable, where women’s bodies are objectified, and where it has become normative for women and girls (and increasingly men and boys) to be dissatisfied with their body, giving rise to a variety of negative health consequences. Recently, however, contemporary research attention has finally turned toward positive body image. This presentation will present an overview of current knowledge and research about the core facets, predictors, and benefits of positive body image, including its strong connections to individual health and societal well-being. This will lead to a consideration of strategies for nurturing and promoting positive body image, that is, ways in which individuals can come to love, respect, celebrate and honour their bodies, even in the face of an appearance-obsessed society. In sum, positive body image is an exciting new venture with the potential to free up and enrich contemporary lives.