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Learn to challenge body talk with the Body Project

Students at Body Project peer facilitator trainings

Students at Body Project peer facilitator trainings in 2016.

It seems like in today’s world, body image is hot topic for not only women but for men as well. And if you’re anything like me, you’re sick of it all. Body-shaming, whether it be fat talk or skinny shaming, has taken over daily interactions between friends, family, and even personal thoughts. For example, one study found that 93 percent of women engage in fat talk with their friends. Read that statistic again: 93 percent.

These body-shaming conversations usually go a little something like this:

Katherine: “I feel like such a potato right now.”

Riley: “Ugh, I know. I am so disgusting. Like, look at my thighs—they’re huge.”

Katherine: “Oh my God, shut up. You look great. I’m the one that needs to go to the gym.”

Riley: “No, no, no. I wish I had legs like yours. I would do anything to look like you.”

Imagine hearing conversations like this, only varied in different ways, multiple times a day. Wait. You don’t have to imagine because you most likely hear these exchanges on your way to classes, on the way to work, or even between your own friends.

The point that not everyone realizes is that what is seen as a coping mechanism— “Oh I can talk to my friends about how unhappy I am with my body because they feel the same way”—can actually foster a negative social environment as well as trigger negative thoughts for someone that may not have had them before.

That is where the importance of the Body Project comes into play. The Body Project, offered by Student Counseling Services and Health Promotion and Wellness here at Illinois State, focuses on body positivity rather than body shaming. While this specific Body Project is currently only open for females, there are outlets and resources available at Student Counseling Services for men, too. The Body Project teaches young women how to appreciate the body that they live in and how to recognize and change the societal norm of fat talk.

If you want to break free from the body talk—if you want to get back to the important conversations (like puppies)—then sign up for the Body Project today and learn how to stop fat talk once and for all.