Body image: How we think and feel about our bodies

Our latest body image research, released during Mental Health Awareness Week 2019.

Colourful graphic with the text 'body image'

Body image report - Executive Summary

New data on the extent of body image concerns across the UK, how body image impacts mental health, plus practical steps we can take as a nation, all wrapped up in this easy to read summary of the research.

Graphic showing multiple phones using image-editing apps

Body image report: Introduction

What exactly is body image? How comfortable are we in our bodies? We begin to unravel the complex and very personal experience of body image.

Body image in childhood

With new, unprecedented pressures facing this generation, we unpack how social media, family and friends can all play a role in how children think and feel about their bodies.

Children playing together, sat at desks
Read more

Body image in adulthood

Advertising, relationships, the workplace and changes during pregnancy can continue to affect the way we see ourselves as adults.

Woman looking at her reflection in glass
Read more

Body image in later life

Body image concerns are not exclusive to young people. A lifetime of experiences as well as ageing, retirement and loss can all contribute to our body image in later life.

Elderly couple smiling at the camera
Read more

Body image and long-term health conditions

Physical health conditions such as cancer and chronic pain can all change the way we relate to our bodies as well as living with mental health problems, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

Woman reading a book with a cup of tea
Read more

Body image and ethnic background

We look at how body image can vary across different ethnic backgrounds, cultural influences on body satisfaction, and the limitations of body image research in this area.

Two women sat on a sofa talking together
Read more

Body image, sexual orientation and gender identity

We explore how body image differs across the LGBT community and highlight the impacts of stigma and discrimination.

Crowd of people on the street
Read more

How can we protect, promote, and maintain body image?

Everyone has a right to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin, We cover the ways we can all take action to foster a more inclusive and accepting environment.

Three women smiling and laughing
Read more

Implications and recommendations for policy and action

We set out our priorities for regulation, policy and practice. This includes calling for diversity in media, training for healthcare professionals, compassionate and timely support for those in distress and better education and media literacy in schools.

Man looking at camera
Read more

Individual actions - tips to improve body image

Actions we can take to improve how we feel about our bodies and help us to protect, promote and maintain a positive body image throughout our lives.

Two men sitting talking at a table. One has his back to us, the other is gesturing with his arms.
Read more

Body image and mental health

Body image issues can affect all of us at any age and directly affect our mental health. However, there is still a lack of much-needed research and understanding around this.
Learn more about body image and mental health
Colourful graphic with the text 'body image'
Was this content useful?