Essays About Body Image: Top 5 Examples Plus Prompts

Essays about body image tackle delicate subjects like insecurities and mental illnesses; to effectively discuss it with tact, see our top essay examples.

The term “body image” refers to how you see and feel about your appearance. Although many support body positivity today and push for body acceptance, studies still show that 86% of women suffer from negative body image and want to lose weight. The inability to accept oneself results in low self-esteem, stress, and depression. Picking body image as your essay topic lets you join the discussion regarding this always-timely issue. Consider the examples listed below as inspiration for your essay:

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1. Long Essay on Body Image by Prasanna

“People have forgotten the concept of inner beauty. A person should always think of themselves to be perfect in front of the mirror.”

Prasanna explains what body image means, including its consequences in the form of disorders. She delves into how a person’s perception of their physical appearance affects their lives and how it’s now a big problem in today’s society. The author believes cultivating a supportive environment dramatically improves one’s body image. In the end, she reminds the readers how God made everyone unique in their own right and to start having a positive attitude towards their bodies.

You might also be interested in these articles and essays about appearance.

2. Gender and Body Image Essay by Anonymous on Ivypanda.Com

“Online blogs, television, and films all provide examples of perfect female and male bodies. When real people compare themselves to these ideals, they experience dissatisfaction with their body that results in body image issues.”

The essay scrutinizes ideals that trigger someone’s body issues, often leading to physical and mental problems. For example, today’s ideal female body is fit, with low body fat and a slim waist. Meanwhile, men should be muscular with sharp facial features. Because these are the only acceptable “right” bodies, many go through unhealthy diets, take dubious pills, and engage in strenuous exercises. The writer supports the body positivity movement that demands diversity from mass media.

See how to write an essay about diversity if you want to write about it instead.

3. The Negative Body Image Presented by the Media by Anonymous on Gradesfixer.Com

“The media also provide unrealistic body image that no human can meet without causing harm to themselves.”

Harmful diets, dangerous treatments, expensive surgeries – people do these and many more to achieve and maintain the perfect body presented in mass media. This “false advertising” even results in eating disorders and food-related diseases. The essay adds research findings and relevant cases to support the author’s distaste for mass media’s impact on individuals’ perceptions of themselves.

4. Social Media and Body Image by Anonymous on Edubirdie.Com

“… social networking can cause an individual to set a high expectation on themselves. The media encompasses a set thought of what is attractive and what is not attractive.”

While social media is a great platform to promote healthy living, the author brings up how it also presents unrealistic body standards. Although most are thanks to digital editing, photos depicting perfect body images of celebrities, models, and influencers on social media still affect individuals’ concept of how they should look. By constantly seeing these “perfect” photos online, people turn to doctoring their pictures and deluding themselves into thinking they look like something they aren’t. Sometimes, people even go under the knife to replicate their altered photos.

5. Negative Body Images Essay by Writer Valeria

“Seeing overly skinny models in the media does not enhance women’s self-esteem, self-worth or self-image.”

In this essay, Valeria shares her review of the book Understanding Negative Body Image by Barbara Moe which focuses on the culture’s obsession with weight, shape, and body image. The writer includes her favorite part of the book, where flat chests are fashionable in Ms. America. She compares it to today, where bigger breasts and thinner bodies are preferred. Valeria believes the media needs to show more diverse and realistic body shapes to reduce negative body image.

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10 Helpful Writing Prompts On Essays About Body Image

Are the samples above effective in giving you inspiration for your essay? If you’re still thinking of what to write about, you can use the following prompts:

1. Aspects of Body Image

Identify and explain the four main aspects of body image: perceptual, affective, cognitive, and behavioral. Provide examples to make it easier for the readers to understand how they differ and contribute to a person’s overall body image. Add surveys or research findings to support your statements and increase your essay’s credibility.

2. Body Image: The Good and The Bad

You don’t create your body image with your eyes alone. Your feelings and thoughts about your body are also part of the equation. These are all the results of your experiences, whether they are positive or negative. For this prompt, share any encounters that affected how you look at your body. 

3. Factors Affecting Teenager Body Image

Youngsters in their puberty are the most affected by today’s body image pressures. First, discuss factors that significantly impact how teenagers value themselves. Then, share steps to help young people overcome these issues. You can also write down the causes and warning signs of a negative body image.

4. Beauty Pageants: Pros and Cons

Essays About Body Image
Write your opinion about the “beauty” standards in beauty pageants and whether you favor them or not.

Write your opinion about the “beauty” standards in beauty pageants and whether you favor them or not. Talk about its benefits and drawbacks to children, adult participants, and anyone who consumes such media. To demonstrate the severity of these standards, present cases where a contestant’s appearance or body became the matter in question.

5. Body Image and Mental Health

The pressures of attaining a perfect body take their toll on an individual’s quality of life. These taxing pressures, such as eating disorders, anxiety, and mood swings, spill over the person’s relations and even hinder everyday living. Therefore, incorporate the importance of maintaining a positive body image to achieve healthy psychological and physical well-being.

6. Victoria’s Secret Models and Body Image

Victoria’s Secret, a brand known for its skinny models, hired its first-ever plus-size model in 2019. Find out why the brand made this significant change and how its customers received it. Include your opinion about the brand’s decision. Add if you believe the company did what it did to start a more diverse line of clothing or because it succumbed to people’s demand of wanting to see more realistic bodies in media.

7. Men’s Body Image

Although most body image essays are about women, men also cope with self-acceptance. Discuss common problems men have to deal with daily regarding their appearance. Integrate how men are described in books and movies and probe how these visuals can affect a man’s ego. To make your essay more compelling, you can also delve into why there are more rigid rules on beauty standards imposed on women versus men.

8. What Is Body Shaming?

Explore what encompasses body shaming and add why people do it. Relay to your readers how it affects people with a history of depression, low self-esteem, trauma, and other mental illnesses. Through this prompt, your essay will help raise awareness against body shaming. You might also be interested in these articles about eating disorders.

9. Knowing What’s Real: Curating My Body Image

One excellent way to improve body image is to tailor what you see, especially on social media. Then, remind yourself that these photos are altered and unnatural. For this essay, list steps that can help protect one’s self-image away from the fake “perfect” bodies flooding mass media. For example, add joining groups highlighting edits in photoshop pictures, etc.

10. My Journey to Self-love

Everyone has something they want to change regarding their appearance. Through this essay, share what you did to overcome the struggles of accepting yourself as you are. You can also recommend books that helped change your perspective.

If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips!

If you still need help, our guide to grammar and punctuation explains more.