Editorial for the Special Thematic Section on “Body Image and Disordered Eating in Cyprus” of the European Journal of Counseling Psychology
Dear Reader, Both body image as a construct and eating disorders as diagnoses are complex and multidimensional. Therefore, their continuous research and in-depth assessment is a necessity in order to better understand both. Additionally, research is indicating that some regions are more at-risk than others for the development of body image concerns and disordered eating. One of these regions is Cyprus. It has been previously supported that Cyprus is of significant interest in the body image and disordered eating literature for four main reasons: (a) Cyprus has experienced a great financial boost a few years after the Turkish invasion in 1974 which resulted in an “unwritten culture” where an emphasis was placed on the external image being portrayed by the citizens. This was translated into building larger houses, buying expensive cars, designer clothes, etc., mphasizing the image externally portrayed, inevitably extending to body image as well; (b) the year-round warm weather of Cyprus allows for lighter clothing to be worn, therefore, making it more difficult to cover possible physical imperfections. This inevitably results in people being more cautious of these imperfections and investing more in their appearance; (c) Previous research in Cyprus has shown that the number of adolescents with disordered eating is significantly greater than almost all countries assessed in the literature and (d) the school curriculum minimally addresses these topics and the curriculum hours have decreased even more the last few years.