The more you know

When low self-esteem is reflected in your body

It is very easy and frequent that a LOW SELF-ESTEEM affects the perception that one has of one’s BODY.

The low esteem that one has of oneself, not loving oneself, not accepting oneself often projects itself towards one’s body, creating a real distorted and negative vision.

Not accepting oneself leads to not accepting the body either.

Hatred of oneself and all negative emotions are transformed and then transferred to one’s body, creating a tormented and suffered relationship with one’s physicality.

This is very common in adolescence, when the perception of one’s own body takes on an important value due to the continuous bodily and hormonal changes that the body undergoes with puberty, not always in keeping with the stereotypes offered by society. Young girls in particular are often obsessed with thinness and perfection.

But it is by no means less frequent that this discomfort and this negative perception of one’s body also drag on into adulthood. I have listened to many stories, of people who look in the mirror and don’t like each other at all, they feel ugly, they see themselves fat, when in reality they are not at all.

This is not a problem to be underestimated or downplayed because this condition can cause further discomfort or feed others such as in extreme:

Social phobias

Do not go to public places for the fear of being observed, judged, laughed at. This can compromise in the long run to avoid social relationships, interpersonal relationships and therefore to prefer isolation.

Eating disorders

For example, doing extreme diets or fasting to lose weight quickly, often resulting in real eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia.


Getting physical pain for example by deliberately cutting yourself or by subjecting the body to excessive strain beyond its capacity. Physical suffering therefore can become an extreme way of self-consolation.

So why is low self-esteem projected on the body?

Sometimes it is much easier to accept an ugly body than to feel unacceptable, incapable, inadequate. So the body becomes the privileged tool to control one’s emotions and to manage one’s inner discomfort.

Body image is something that is built over time. It is a constant, continuous and complex path that lasts a lifetime. Creating a balanced and harmonious relationship between our Self and our Body is not always easy and obvious. And often this relationship is troubled if we haven’t built a good foundation of self-esteem.


There are many areas of intervention with the aim of:

  • increase awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of your body
  • increase awareness between the image of the idealized body self and the exaggeratedly devaluing one
  • understand the causes of this distorted and negative perception
  • learn to feel and perceive one’s body in its authentic physicality, through sensory and body awareness exercises
  • find out what are those rituals and habits that are put in place to avoid any frustration due to your body perception (for example, avoid putting on your swimsuit at the beach)
  • increase one’s SELF-ESTEEM, addressing the feelings of dissatisfaction and discomfort related to the physical aspect, expressing negative feelings, emotions, perceptions, thoughts about one’s body, experimenting with practical exercises to improve self-esteem.

Through therapeutic work and psychological support it is possible to achieve these goals.

The therapeutic space is a non-judgmental space, it is a space for listening, support, sharing where you can increase your awareness and where you can learn to accept and love yourself.

And what perception do you have of your body?
What do you say in the mirror when you look at yourself?
Tell me by leaving a comment at the end of the page.

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