The concept of beauty - Dermatology and aesthetics

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Dermatology and aesthetics

Dermatology and aesthetics

The concept of beauty

Body image Beauty models Types of disturbance
  • The body image
  • Beauty models
  • Types of disturbance

The body image

The body image is a mental representation of the body which constitutes the way a person considers his physicality, as he feels he is from a psychophysical point of view; PD Slade called it "the image that is built in our mind of the size, shape, size of our body and all the feelings associated with these characteristics, but also with the individual districts of our body", while later we it sought to provide a definition in which the importance of perceptual, emotional, "ideological" factors in the consideration of one's own body was even more evident. This also allows us to better clarify the difference between the concepts of image and body scheme: the latter is a process of knowledge of one's own body, which starts from birth and develops through acquisitions of a sensorimotor, spatial and temporal order; body image, on the other hand, refers to the experience related to the body, determined by the interaction between factors such as sensory or kinaesthetic perceptions (of movements) and the feelings or attitudes that each has towards his or her own body, without forgetting the role of social type (the image that the group refers to the person, the observation of others, the comparison between one's own body and that of other individuals, etc.).

According to Leon Festinger, there is an innate motivation that pushes each individual to confront each other to evaluate their own abilities or characteristics: the information and judgments, more or less positive, that are implicitly obtained from such social confrontation regarding their own self can damage or increase self-esteem, also acting on other psychological variables (for example directing mood on the depressive side).

Scholars say that the body image of itself begins to form at birth and has a fundamental stage in the adolescent phase: in this period, in fact, important body changes occur as regards proportions and dimensions, in addition to the fact that the modification of sexual characters affects deeply on the emotional sphere.

During adolescence, in essence, the image of oneself and one's own body becomes a necessary requirement for the search and the constitution of one's identity, to energetically influence the attitudes and types of social relationships that are created and for the constitution of the 'self esteem. In particular, self-esteem (definable as the result of a self-assessment process of one's self) is closely connected to the concept of body image: numerous researches have in fact highlighted the existence of a negative correlation between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem, according to which the higher the levels of dissatisfaction with one's image, the lower the self-esteem of the person and vice versa.

A poor satisfaction with one's image, therefore, also negatively affects social relationships and the quality of contact with the other, as the body is the first means by which contact with the world is created, and its being visible it makes it the first knowable (and therefore judgmental) part of a person, constantly under the eyes and judgment of all. Consequence of this is that the image obtained from one's own and others' judgment on one's own body influences not only the perceptions but also the actions of a person: bodily perception, reflecting that of one's own self, can determine the way of relating to the others.

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