The datasets generated for this study are available on request to the corresponding author. Body image disturbance is associated with several mental disorders. Previous research on body image has focused mostly on women, largely neglecting body image in men. Moreover, only a small number of studies have conducted gender comparisons of body image over the lifespan and included participants aged 50 years and older. With regard to measurement, body image has often been assessed only in terms of body dissatisfaction, disregarding further aspects such as body appreciation or the importance of appearance. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to explore different aspects of body image in the general German-speaking population and to compare men and women of various ages.
Much has been made over the years about how mainstream media presents unrealistic beauty standards in the form of photoshopped celebrities or stick-thin fashion models. Now that influencers fill up our feeds, it's easy to imagine that social media, too, is all bad when it comes to body image. But the reality is more nuanced, and there may be ways to curate your Instagram feed to make you feel happier in your own skin — or, at least, stop you feeling worse. That being said, using social media does appear to be correlated with body image concerns.
Your body image is how you perceive, think and feel about your body. Your body image may not be directly related to your actual appearance. For example, a person may think and feel that their body is much larger or smaller than it is. Body image issues affect people of all ages, genders and across all cultures.