Healthy Body Image
Body image is what we see when we look in the mirror and how we picture ourselves in our minds.
Having a positive body image means that, most of the time, you see yourself accurately, you feel comfortable in your body, and you feel good about the way you look.
A negative body image can cause you to feel depressed, isolated, low in self-esteem, and obsessed with weight loss. It also can be a big trigger for developing an eating disorder. Determine if you are at risk for developing an eating disorder by taking this eating disorder screening.
Healthy Body Image on Campus
Accepting, respecting and, yes, even celebrating our natural body shape is something we can learn to do. Here are some places on campus to start!
Healthy Body Image group is for students who want to give and receive ideas, motivation and support for moving eating habits and body image in a positive direction.
If you're interested in joining or learning more about the healthy image/eating group, email Lee Cocco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, there are many activities on campus to raise awareness around eating disorders and counter negative body image messages, including: a body-positive guest lecture, a film night, a display of life-size Barbie, and more.
The life-size Barbie display (see picture above) shows just how unrealistic our standards of beauty are and that if Barbie were a real woman, her measurements would be 38-18-34. The average woman's measurements, on the other hand, are about 41-34-43. Only about one in 100,000 women actually match the Barbie body image! Therefore, it is important for us to become aware of and challenge our culture's unrealistic expectations of beauty and become more active, critical consumers and viewers.
On Love Your Body Day, the campus community creatively decorates scales and smashes them, thereby symbolically smashing away our culture's impossible body ideals and promoting positive body messages instead.
Sometimes it can help to talk with a counselor about how you came to believe and feel negative things about your body, in order to start to challenge these beliefs that create pain and can cause disordered eating. By talking it out with a safe and objective person, you can gain new skills and perspective that will lead to a better relationship with the most important person – you!
If you would like to speak to a counselor, don't hesitate to make an appointment.