What is Body Cathexis?

Legal Definition
Body cathexis refers to person's investment of mental or emotional energy (cathexis) in their own body.

The Secord-Jourard Body Cathexis Scale introduced in the fifties, linking low body cathexis to low self-esteem, is still in use today. Otto Fenichel considered disturbances in body cathexis as one of the early accompaniments of schizophrenia, while empirical use of the Body Cathexis Scale subsequently found significant differences between schizophrenic patients and normal controls in this regard.

Body cathexis drives multiple behaviors, such as clothing choices and weight management, and cosmetics purchases. Studies show that people are more satisfied with their hair and eyes than their waists. Consumers who were more satisfied with their bodies were more frequent users of such preening products as hair conditioner, blow dryers, cologne, facial bronzer, tooth polish and pumice soap.
-- Wikipedia