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How to Promote Positive Body Image

Things you can do to change the campus culture on body image


When thinking about your own weight:

Positive: Try choosing not to have a scale in your apartment. Make an active attempt to minimize talking about your own weight and spend minimal time in front of the mirror. When going out to eat with friends, focus on enjoying the company and your food instead of worrying about calorie intake.

Negative: Refrain from talking about the food you have eaten during the day of making negative comments about your appearance


When a friend/classmate complains that s/he is fat:

Positive: Try saying, "I think you look beautiful as always. Do you know why you might be feeling this way?"

Negative: Don't say, "Shut up--You know you are skinny" or "Yeah right, you know my thighs are bigger than yours!" This reinforces and exaggerates the importance of weight.


When decorating your dorm walls or bulletin board:

Positive: Choose to hang up posters and artwork that represent your interests, passions, and personality.

Negative: Don't hang posters or pictures that glorify a certain type of body, or downsize talented women to sex objects.


When reading for pleasure or watching TV/movies:

Positive: Actively boycott TV shows and magazines that focus only on beauty, waist size, weight loss and shopping. Replace them with novels, shows, and magazines that stimulate your mind and focus on your interests.

Negative: Don't read the many (both men's and women's) magazines that degrade women. The images that you see both in print and on screen can affect you subconsciously even if you think they don't.


When deciding how to spend your free time:

Positive: Get involved in issues and activities that excite you and shift your focus from how you look to what the world needs YOU to do!

Negative: Don't delegate the majority of your free time to working out, agonizing over your diet, or shopping for clothes and beauty products.

This information was compiled by the Women's Center at Boston College.