Satisfaction with one’s appearance is the indicator used to operationalize the concept of body image. For example, does a young person who is supported by family or friends have a different perception of his or her body? Is this perception related to self-esteem, which is also based on our self-image and which could be a protective factor allowing us to make choices based on our tastes and limitations and to assert ourselves, or is it related to other mental health indicators?
To answer these questions, we used data from the 2010–2011 Québec Survey on Smoking, Alcohol, Drugs and Gambling in High School Students. We reviewed the main findings presented in the report regardind the relationship between the level of satisfaction of high school students with their appearance and their sex, grade level and weight status.
Then, analyses according to certain characteristics of family, economic and social backgrounds provide us with information on the context in which youth are satisfied or dissatisfied with their appearance. Satisfaction with one’s appearance is then assessed in terms of mental health characteristics.
Finally, the relationship between the use of potentially dangerous weight loss methods and satisfaction with one’s appearance is examined.