Eating Disorders and Body Image: The Body Project

Eating Disorders and Body Image: The Body Project

Do you wish you could lose 5, 10, 20 or more pounds? Do you feel unhappy with your looks, no matter how thin you become? Do you use eating disorder behaviors (meal skipping, purging) as a quest for thinness? If you answered “YES” to any of the above questions, then The Body Project can help. The Body Project workshop, which is a described as a “dissonance-based body-acceptance program is designed to help high school girls and college-age women resist cultural pressures to conform to the thin-ideal standard of female beauty and reduce their pursuit of unhealthy thinness. The Body Project is supported by more research than any other body image program and has been found to reduce onset of eating disorders.” At Positive Pathways, two of our therapists are trained to deliver The Body Project workshop. Our therapists are available to provide this workshop at schools in the Denver area – at no charge! In addition, our therapists can provide the concepts form The Body Project on a 1-on-1 basis as part of individual therapy, to help heal eating disorders and body image issues. Why is a workshop like The Body Project necessary? While the average American woman is 5’4 tall and weighs 140 pounds, the average American model is 5’11 and weighs 117 pounds. In 1995, before television was first introduced to Fiji there were no cases of eating disorder. Sixty-five adolescent schoolgirls were followed over three years and after the introduction of British and American television, 12.7% of the girls had developed high eating disorder after one month and 29.2% after three years. Self-induced vomiting as weigh control went...
Media Influences on Body Image and Eating Disorders

Media Influences on Body Image and Eating Disorders

How does the media influence your body image and the development of eating disorders? Specifically, how does society’s “ideal standard of beauty” affect your attitudes about your body image, weight, shape and size? How does the “pressure to look perfect” affect your behaviors with eating and exercise, possibly feeding your eating disorder? Based on the images that you see in magazines, on television, and in social media – how do you feel about your body, right now? Ugggh! I look so flabby. I need liposuction! My body is OK, but I’d look better with breast implants! Getting older is Hell. I hate the wrinkles on my face. Botox me! In the movie entitled, “America The Beautiful,” our beauty myths are revealed, so we can challenge them and discover our True Beauty beyond the mirror of society’s ideals. The movie follows the true story of a young model, as her career rises and falls. Her story helps us to examine the obsession with youth and beauty – and the damage that occurs when women try to live up to the impossible standards of physical perfection. The narrator of this movie is a middle-aged, balding, African-American male – who finds himself caught up in his own beauty myths as the story unfolds. His role shows us that everyone is vulnerable to the messages in the media about beauty – women, men, young, old, all races, all social classes. Take a moment to reflect about how the media has influenced you at different times in your life, as well as others you know. Imagine for a moment that you live on an island which has...