Increase Body Acceptance with the Body Project and Eating Recovery Foundation
The Body Project changed my perspective and I only wish I had had it sooner. It does such a good job of organically building up body satisfaction. It makes you laugh, cry, love, reflect, and view yourself and your world differently. As someone who works with students who have eating disorders, finally being a part of prevention is refreshing!
- Katie G., Professional, Colorado
The Body Project Collaborative
The Eating Recovery Foundation has been partnering with the Body Project Collaborative to bring the Body Project to new college and university campuses across the United States and Canada since August 2014.
To date, this partnership has resulted in 42 trainings covering 51 colleges and universities, with a total of 299 faculty/staff and 442 students trained. As a result, 1,200 additional college students have been a part of this life-changing program, and this number is growing!
What is the Body Project?
The Body Project is a dissonance-based body-acceptance program designed to help high school girls and college-age women resist cultural pressures to conform to the appearance-ideal standard of female beauty, and reduce their pursuit of unrealistic bodies.
The university/college peer-led version of the Body Project is facilitated by peers across two separate two-hour sessions.
Supported by more research than any other body image program, The Body Project has been found to reduce onset of eating disorders.
With almost 18 years of research, through Randomized Control Trials (RCTs), with results replicated by over 7 independent labs, the Body Project can tout very strong effects at reducing body dissatisfaction, and decreasing eating disorder risk factors. (If you’re interested in reviewing the data, check out some of the references at the end of this article!)
How has the Body Project helped people?
In addition to all of the quantitative data we’ve collected, the Body Project Collaborative is always humbled by the glowing qualitative feedback that we receive in the form of participant testimonials.
Here is what faculty, staff and students have had to say about their experience with the program and training:
- Coming into the first session I was unsure exactly what to expect to gain from the training; little did I know that my thoughts for the appearance-ideal and perfect woman or my own body image would be drastically changed even before the end of session two. I have a new and different confidence in my body. I love it even more now and am encouraged by this confidence to pass the "healthy ideal" on to others. My hope is that I as a peer leader, I will be able to provide other young women with the means to find this new confidence within themselves. - Hannah C., Student, Colorado
- This program changed the way I view my body and my overall outlook on life. I am empowered to accept me for who I am and truly love my body – appreciate all the gifts it offers! I will also challenge others when I hear fat talk or body shaming. The only one suffering is you – and you love you – why would you say that to yourself? - Amanda H, Professional, Kentucky
- Participating in Body Project training was honestly life changing. The program really opened a dialogue about important issues that aren’t usually addressed. I’ve always been aware of the harmful effects of the media’s skewed portrayal of beauty ideals, but this program really helped me to explore and challenge all of the messages the media is sending. The practice that we all got at handling “fat talk”, negative comments, etc. was incredibly helpful and educational. It was very refreshing to spend time discussing these issues with others who are passionate, caring, and welcoming. I feel as if this program is already helping me to live a fuller, more authentic life. - Savannah C., Student, Ohio
- I’ve struggled with body positivity since I was 8 years old. It consumed my life for all of my teenage years and 20’s. This program has removed scales from my eyes to begin to see myself for who I am and society for what it does to impact that view. I intend to use these tools that have been provided for me to implement a new standard for the perfect woman. I also will hold myself accountable by reviewing my forms frequently and using sticky notes to promote positive thinking. This has been an extremely helpful program to me and I feel peace in my heart. - Briana A., Student, California
Together, the Body Project Collaborative and the Eating Recovery Foundation are committed to bringing the Body Project to more university and college campuses across the United States and Canada, so that more and more young women can learn to appreciate and love their bodies, and feel good about doing what is healthy for both their mind and body.
Learn more about the Body Project Collaborative — Get more details at the Body Project Collaborative's website; follow us on Facebook at the Body Project Collaborative and find us on Instagram @bodyprojectcollaborative. Or, feel free to email us.
Learn more about the Eating Recovery Foundation — Learn more about the Eating Recovery Foundation and how to support its work here.
Alan Duffy is Research Process Manager at Eating Recovery Center and Associate Director of the Body Project Collaborative. Send an email to Alan.
Becker, C. B., Bull, S., Schaumberg, K. Cauble, A., & Franco, A. (2008). Effectiveness of peer-facilitated eating disorders prevention: A replication trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(2), 347-354.
Becker, C. B., Bull, S., Smith, L. M., & Ciao, A. C.(2008). Effects of being a peer-leader in an eating disorders prevention program: Can we further reduce eating disorder risk factors. Eating Disorders: Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 16, 444-459.
Becker, C. B., Hill, K , Greif, R., Han, H., & Stewart, T. (2013). Reducing self-objectification: Are dissonance-based methods a possible approach? The Journal of Eating Disorders, 1 (10.
Becker, C. B., Perez, M., Kilpela, L. S., Diedrichs, P. C., Trujillo, E., & Stice, E. (2016). Engaging stakeholder communities as body image intervention partners: The Body Project as a case example. Eating Behaviors.
Becker, C. B., Wilson, C., Williams, A., Kelly, M., McDaniel, L., & Elmquist, J. (2010). Peer-facilitated cognitive dissonance versus healthy weight eating disorders prevention: A randomized comparison. Body Image, 7, 280-288.
Kilpela, L. S., DeBoer, L. B., Alley, M. C., Presnell, K., McGinley, J. W. #, & Becker, C. B. (2015). Distributed and condensed versions of a cognitive dissonance program: comparative effects on eating disorder risk factors and symptoms. Advances in Eating Disorders, 3, 34-47.
Shaw, H., & Stice, E. (2016). The implementation of evidence-based eating disorder prevention programs. Eating Disorders, 24, 71-78.
Stice, E., Becker, C. B., & Yokum, S. (2013). Eating disorder prevention: current evidence-base and future directions. The International Journal of Eating Disorders, 46, 478-485.
Stice, E., Rohde, P., Gau, J., & Shaw, H. (2012). Effect of a dissonance-based prevention program on risk for eating disorder onset in the context of eating disorder risk factors. Prevention Science: The Official Journal Of The Society For Prevention Research, 13(2), 129-139.
Stice, E., Shaw, H., Becker, C. B., & Rohde, P. (2008) Dissonance-based interventions for the prevention of eating disorders: Using persuasion principles to promote health. Prevention Science, 9(2), 114-128.
Stice, E., Yokum, S., & Waters, A. (2015). Dissonance-Based Eating Disorder Prevention Program Reduces Reward Region Response to Thin Models; How Actions Shape Valuation. Plos One, 10(12)/.