What is body dysmorphia?


In the era of social networks and image culture, physical appearance becomes very important for a significant part of the population. What is known as body dysmorphia it's a mental disorder which will be characterized by an obsessive concern for physical defects and which has been gaining a lot of visibility in 21st century society.

In the next article we are going to talk in detail about body dysmorphia and the impact it has on today's society.

What is body dysmorphia

Body dysmorphia, also known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder It is a mental disorder in which a person becomes obsessed with physical defects, which are generally imperceptible to other people. This obsession can refer to any part of the body, although it focuses especially on the skin and face. People who suffer from dysmorphia may spend much of the day worrying about such defects, something that will interfere with their daily life.

main symptoms of body dysmorphia are the following:

  • Excessive worry by the physical.
  • Repetitive behaviors as is the case of constantly looking in the mirror.
  • They avoid social situations because of anxiety caused by his physical appearance.
  • Feelings such as shame, depression or anxiety related to physical appearance.

What are the causes of body dysmorphia?

There are three factors that will have a direct impact on body dysmorphia:

Biological factors

Body dysmorphia can have a genetic component. Various studies have shown that relatives of people with body dysmorphia have a greater probability of developing such a disorder.

Psychological factors

Certain traumatic experiences combined with emotional abuse in childhood can cause a person to suffer from body dysmorphia. Lack of personal confidence and anxiety disorders are other additional risk factors.

Social factors

The pressure of society combined with the beauty ideals promoted through the media and social networks, They are going to play a key role when it comes to the development of body dysmorphia.


What are the consequences of body dysmorphia?

A mental disorder such as body dysmorphia will have a negative impact in physical and mental health of the person who suffers from it:

  • People who have body dysmorphia often have significant episodes of depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Constant worry about physical appearance can lead to social isolation, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Body dysmorphia can interfere in a negative way in daily life of the people who suffer from it. In this way, this disorder can interfere with family life, life as a couple or one's own work.
  • The disproportionate use of beauty products can have adverse effects on physical health. Unnecessary surgeries will increase the risk of medical complications as is the case of infections. Apart from this, excessive use of cosmetics can damage the skin and other areas of the body.

How body dysmorphia manifests itself in today's society

Social Media

Social networks have increased concern about physical appearance. The Internet user has filters and photo editing tools to be able to modify your physical appearance. There is a constant search for validation through likes and comments, something that can further intensify body dissatisfaction.

Cosmetic surgery operations

The increasing popularity of cosmetic surgery will reflect the pressure to meet the beauty ideals imposed by society. Surgical interventions such as rhinoplasties or breast augmentations are increasingly common, many of them caused by body dysmorphia.

Celebrities and influencers

In today's society, celebrities and influencers are going to have a huge impact on body perception. A series of beauty standards will be created that are totally unattainable for normal people. Although all this is unrealistic, the damage in regards to physical appearance has been done and is difficult to repair.


How to treat the problem of body dysmorphia

cognitive behavioral therapy

cognitive behavioral therapy It is a fairly effective way to treat body dysmorphia. This type of therapy will help people identify and change negative thought patterns and compulsive behaviors related to physical appearance. This type of therapy helps improve self-image and reduce obsession with perceived flaws.


Increasing awareness about body dysmorphia in an important part of society is key when preventing possible cases. It is advisable to educate young people about how important it is to develop a healthy body image. We must also learn to avoid false stigmas about body dysmorphia and treat the problem face to face.

Regulate media and social networks

The regulation of the media and social networksIt is essential when it comes to combating body dysmorphia. An example of this would be promoting greater body diversity or implementing much stricter policies against cyberbullying and critical comments about physical appearance.

In short, body dysmorphia is a complex disorder that reflects how physical appearance plays a predominant role in today's society. There are more and more cases of body dysmorphia, so it is urgent to intervene as quickly as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse. Psychological therapy together with good education and awareness are key when it comes to avoiding the devastating effects of this disorder. We must promote a much greater perception of the body to avoid problems in society such as body dysmorphia.

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