The concept of a positive body image in modern foreign psychology



Research into the problem of body image has more than a century of history, most of which is associated with the study of negative attitudes towards the body and related psychopathology - eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorders, etc. In the last decade there has been a growing tendency in this area to shift the emphasis to the study of a positive body image, just as in psychology in general there are more and more works performed in the paradigm of positive psychology, which calls for abandoning the concept of disease and searching for new approaches based on the positive potential of the individual. This review presents the main stages in the study of the problem of body image in foreign psychology, the origin and development of ideas about a positive body image as a special construct that is not the opposite pole in the general “negative-positive” continuum, the key works of leading researchers who have formed the concept of a positive body image as an independent entity, the main components of a positive body image, methodological tools used to assess a positive body image, and the results of studies of a positive body image in various social groups. The modern perspectives of research in the field of body image are presented in accordance with the views of leading foreign experts.

General Information

Keywords: body image, positive body image, body appreciation, positive psychology, review

Journal rubric: General Psychology

Article type: review article


Funding. The study was carried out with the financial support of the Moscow State University of Psychology & Education within the framework of the scientific project "Features of the body image in persons with musculoskeletal disorders".

For citation: Meshkova T.A. The concept of a positive body image in modern foreign psychology [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2021. Vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 55–69. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2021100206. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Tatiana A. Meshkova, PhD in Psychology, Head of the Department of Differential Psychology and Psychophysiology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Leading researcher of the Laboratory of Age-related Psychogenetics of PI RAE, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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