Answering the Time-Old Question – What is Self-Image?

Self-image has been scrutinized by psychologists and philosophers alike for centuries. Even though there are many arguments as to what self-image is exactly, people will agree that self-image has much to do with how a person feels about him/herself. Some would say that self-image means how a person views himself in the world. What a person does every day – their job, how they treat others, how attractive they are to others – hinges on their self-image. Some people have positive perceptions of themselves, while others do not. It is believed that people who have positive perceptions of themselves have been told they are good, or useful. Those who are constantly told they aren’t good or useful, have negative perceptions of themselves.

This leads to another definition of self-image which is how others view a person. If others do not enjoy a person’s company, the person may develop a poor self-image. If other people do not find a person attract, the person may suffer from poor self-image. People often put too much emphasis on what others think about them. It is important to remember that one’s self-image will change throughout their lifetime. They begin to rely less on what others think about them as they mature and find hobbies and social groups that accept them. Their perception changes as they become more educated. Learning a skill or learning more about the world can have a positive impact on a person’s self-esteem.

Sometimes, though, a person needs counselling in order to develop a positive self-image. This is very common among women and teenagers. Fashion magazines show women that are perfect when in reality they are not. Some women feel they cannot live up to these expectations and become depressed. Teenagers feel the same way when they compare themselves to others in their peer group. Unrealistic comparisons like these are dangerous. They can lead to eating disorders, disruptive behaviour, and eventually drug or alcohol abuse. Talking with a therapist can sometimes make a person realize that they do not have to compare themselves to others. Their self-image improves and they can lead happy lives.

Self-image needs to be nurtured. Everyone feels less than perfect sometimes. But most people recover and go on with their lives. But some people cannot let go of these bad feelings as easily. Their self-image is so unrealistic, they make themselves sick and need professional help and advice in order to gain the strength needed to get past those bead feelings.