Speaking Body Image: A Glossary of Terms We Use to Describe How We See Our Bodies

Body image is a key component of a person’s overall sense of self. It’s also complex, and impacted by so many factors. It’s a combination of someone’s “emotional attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of their own body,” explains Holly Schiff, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at Jewish Family Services of Greenwich in Greenwich, Connecticut.

There are many terms and concepts that get thrown around when discussing body image, and many of these terms are confusing. Some are often misused or misunderstood.

The following alphabetical guide can help you understand the relevant terms commonly used in conversations about body image, giving you more insight into your own body image and how other people feel about their bodies, too.

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