The messages we get and absorb as children, teenagers and as adults about our bodies and appearance can really shape how we feel and think and about our bodies.
These messages can come from school, parents, family, wider society, peers, friends, health professionals and things we read and see.
These messages work to shape our perception of our body and can lead to negative body image. This perception, however, is often not how we 'actually' look and so a discrepancy exists between 'perceived' or 'interpreted' body image, based on the messages we have absorbed over the years and our 'actual', 'real', or 'factual' appearance.
Therapy and counselling, amongst other things, would seek to reduce this gap or discrepancy and help you see the 'real' body, not the negative body image that has been shaped and coloured by unhelpful and even harmful messages from elsewhere over the years.