Other than body image few things have more control over your psychological life. Body image is less about how you look, than about how you think you look. Your body image isn't just about how you fit into clothes. It's about how you think about yourself and how self-confident you feel.
In today's materialistic society, we have become accustomed to valuing people and things by how they look. Because it's a collective mind set, we tend not to realize how destructive it is. People with a negative body image will often live a depressing and hampered life. Having a negative perception of the way you look can hold you back from getting the job you deserve, from making friends, from developing a fulfilling relationship. At worst, it can pave the way for an eating disorder. In short, it can have a stranglehold over your entire life.
There are some easy ways to identify negative self-perception. If you or someone you know has a preoccupation with weight and weighing themselves, that's always a good indication. People with this problem will often want approval from friends about how they look or dress. They make constant comparisons between their appearance and other peoples, and generally think they come up short. They will avoid exposing certain parts of their bodies, which they don't feel, are up to scratch. They may develop an unhealthy relationship with food, and try elaborate eating plans. They also may be less likely to socialize, and find excuses for lack of participation in outings.
Some people go through phases of feeling badly about themselves, but for others it's a fairly permanent condition. Some people can only reverse their self-destructive thought patterns through therapy. This is why it's important to be able to recognize the early signs of negative self-perception in yourself, or people you know. With well-timed intervention and support, people are able to turn around the way they think about themselves, and effectively change their lives.