This paper analyzes the internal mechanisms of the individual positive and negative attitude towards appearance, the description of which is under-represented in the psychological literature. The process of creating a consistent image of the physical «Self» and maintaining a positive emotional evaluation of the body and appearance particularly seen through the idea of assigning the individual components of appearance, committed throughout the whole course of life, and is understood as a specific psychological problem, addressable only in human personality as integrative unity, preserving and maintaining its integrity. The hypothesis of the study made by the assumption that a positive attitude to their external appearance is ensured, actualization processes semantic and symbolic mediation of the physical and expressive features, and on the contrary, a negative attitude toward the appearance indicates the failure of such processes. The following characteristics of body image were considered: emotional assessment and the nature of the work on the body, the internal means of maintaining a positive attitude to their appearance, and also the broader context of personal characteristics, particularly the motivational sphere, psychological defenses, the general harmony, integration of personality structure. Differences were demonstrated between conscious and unconscious relation to the external appearance among the subjects, presented significant correlations between the non-integration of personal organization and the negative attitude towards appearance, and between the presence of supervaluation group needs and the negative assessment by the subjects of their appearance. The subjects who accept their appearance are characterized by a greater representation of mediation systems as the assignment of funds in the structure of the physical image «Self», as compared to subjects not receiving their physical appearance.
Available Online: 30.03.2017
The paper aims to systematize modern concepts of body image and body scheme. For the analysis of theoretical models the following criteria were allocated: explication of the mechanism underlying the formation and restructuring of body image, development of certain aspects of body image which are explained by the presented concepts. Separately the issue of the difference between the body scheme and the body image is discussed that seems relevant in connection with the specific features of the neural mechanisms of body image. In the study of the phenomenological level of bodily experience the assumption that the body scheme is fragmented and has no hierarchical structure is considered. Significant differences in viewing basic mechanisms of developing the body image associated with attention to various bodily phenomena are showed. Psychodynamic, cognitive, socio-cultural, feminist and interdisciplinary approaches are analyzed, which permitted to identify mechanisms of integration-differentiation, cognitive generalization and internalization-introjection. The analysis suggests the consideration of the body image in the context of issues on the appropriation of the body. If person is considered as a tool for shaping and maintening integration of mental processes, the patterns of interconnected and interdependent changes in the processes that occur in the construction of the image of the external situation and the body image acquires a special psychological meaning. It becomes necessary to allocate correctly the structure of the integrating object in which the subject is involved during the normal course of life, and in exceptional cases, i.e. in the presence of physical defects, the sudden change of appearance, etc. These development objects determine specific form of body image and its possible distortions.