The Integrative Model of Body Image Development

IMBIDThe Integrative Model of Body Image Development (IMBID) was initially formulated by Dr. Baker to incorporate a variety of viewpoints from a range of disciplines and empirical evidence pertaining to body image. It was then refined with the assistance of over 800 individuals who shared their thoughts and feelings on body image.

The IMBID is the roadmap that will guide your journey towards revolutionizing the way you feel about your body, with the 5-Step program. Working through the model will help you understand where your body image comes from; how it developed over time and how it has shaped the way you think and feel about your body today.

According to the IMBID, body image satisfaction is mediated by a discrepancy between body ideal and body reality, so the smaller the discrepancy the greater the satisfaction. These are influenced by four primary factors: socio-cultural factors, health and function, physical features, and personal characteristics.

Reducing the discrepancy between body ideal and body reality involves a range of body image management strategies and results in body presentation, which is continually evaluated via self-evaluation and social feedback. Over time, the information obtained is reintegrated with the primary domains that influence body ideal and body reality development, allowing for continuous changes in body image.


Each aspect of the IMBID is covered in detail within all our full-programs but for now, here is a brief overview:

Socio-Cultural Factors refer to the influences that originate from individuals’ immediate and wider environment, throughout their lifespan. This includes familial, social and cultural interactions.

Health and Function refers to physical and biological elements that change as people age and influence physical competence in terms of health and fitness or physical ability. It encompasses one’s overall health status, movement, gross and fine motor skills, and sense of balance, and can be defined as the body’s capability to perform tasks.

Physical Features pertains to the physical characteristics that affect appearance, such as body weight and shape, but also includes factors caused by aging such as wrinkles.

Personal Characteristics refer to personal traits and self-concept issues that may affect how individuals view their body as well as affect the extent to which they subsequently engage in body image management strategies and self-monitoring.

The above four domains are the focus of Step-2 in our 5-Step program. Together, determine one’s body ideal and body reality.

Body Ideal refers to the way an individual would like his/her body to be in terms of physical appearance as well as health and function, while Body Reality refers to the body as it is perceived to be, looks and feels, affected by the normative aging process and previous lifestyle choices. In turn, discrepancies between body reality and standards of body ideal may result in body image dissatisfaction.

Body Image Management Strategies refer to all the strategies, such as the use of cosmetics and anti-aging skin care products, as well as hairstyling, jewelry, clothing, dieting, and exercising, that a person may engage in, in order to narrow the discrepancy between body ideal and body reality to a level that is satisfactory to them. Body Presentation refers to how the body is presented to the outside world, after appearance management strategies are applied.

Social Feedback then communicates to the individual approval or disapproval of the body presentation as displayed in the wider social context and Self-Monitoring refers to the extent to which individuals compare themselves to others as well as to prototypes and the subsequent effects of such comparisons.

Over time, information obtained via social feedback and self-monitoring is reintegrated with the primary domains that influence body ideal and body reality, namely, socio-cultural factors, health and function, physical features and personal characteristics, thus highlighting the dynamic nature of body image.

By following the 5-Step program, achieving a positive body image is attainable. It’s incredibly rewarding and we can help.