François Nef, Emmanuelle Hayward

Accepting Your Body Image Publication date : November 5, 2008

What makes us feel good about our bodies? How can we learn to live with inferiority complexes about our physique? Diets, exercise classes, plastic surgery and other stratagems to remodel our bodies can only lead to disillusion. They express real suffering — and also exacerbate it.

Is there an actual physical problem (excess weight, dermatological disorders, hair loss)? Or is it a question of poor self-esteem? Perfectionism?

Behind every inferiority complex concerning physical appearance lurks a psychological trouble. So what can we do to accept our bodies as they are?

This book tells us how, by:

— Learning to understand complexes about physical appearance.

— Rebelling against the tyranny of the beauty canon.

— Overcoming complexes.

— Helping young people prevent negative feelings about their bodies.

This practical guide contains tests, tips, examples, and exercises to overcome inferiority complexes and progress toward greater personal development, by finding the balance between body and mind.

An epidemic of crash diets, the popularity of plastic surgery, and a plethora of advertising campaigns have put our (non)acceptance of our bodies in the news. This useful book teaches us to accept our appearance instead of fighting against it.

François Nef is a doctor in psychology, a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist at Erasme and Le Domaine hospitals (Free University of Brussels), a consultant, and a senior lecturer at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. He is the author and co-author of two books in the self-help series (Guide pour s'aider soi-même): Comment sortir de l'anorexie and Comment sortir de la boulimie (with Yves Simon).

Emmanuelle Hayward is a psychologist and a cognitive-behavioural therapist, in private practice in Brussels.