the binge-eating files » Body image

Body image, self image, self esteem: Articles and research related to binge eating

body image, self-image & binge eating

Young women are turning their backs on body positivity. It’s time we all stopped obsessing about how we look   The Guardian (Feb 2, 2024) by Zoya Patel — By continuing to focus the conversation around our appearance, all the body positivity movement does is reinforce that how we look is the most important thing about us  … more

Society preaches kindness – unless you’re fat. Why is fatphobia still on the rise?  The Guardian (Jan 12, 2024) by Kate Manne — It shouldn’t be controversial to expect equal treatment in education, employment and healthcare – whatever the size of your body. … more

Rear-Ended: I’ve lost 40 pounds since January. Unfortunately, my ass has also gone MIA.   Slate (Dec 17, 2023) by Anna Holmes  — I have a complicated relationship with my ass. When I was a Black girl growing up in a majority-white, middle-class milieu in Northern California in the 1970s and 1980s, there were standards of beauty that did not include a butt that rode high on the legs and protruded outward … As I got older and “big” butts—read: “ethnic”—became not just more acceptable but downright desirable, my consternation about the size and shape of my rear abated somewhat, though not entirely. … more

Don’t cheer the scale: Doctors and dieticians untangling body size from health  The Guardian (Oct 11, 2023) by Lydia Hales — Healthcare professionals, from advanced sports dieticians to general practitioners, are increasingly trading a focus on weight for other, more robust health measures … more

Positive body image linked to better life satisfaction   ScienceDaily (Sept 5, 2023) – Largest study of its kind also finds people in rural areas appreciate their bodies more. A major international study, involving 56,968 participants in 65 nations, has found that positive body image is strongly associated with better psychological wellbeing and life satisfaction. It also found that body appreciation is higher in those who are single and those living in rural areas. Amongst the 65 nations, Australia followed by India and then the United Kingdom recorded the lowest scores, while Malta scored highest. … more

What really is plus-size fashion? Experts weigh in on the costs and trends    CNN (Aug 21, 2023) by Kristen Rogers — Having a bigger, curvier body, and needing the type of clothing that accommodates or even highlights it, has become (somewhat) more accepted by the fashion and retail industries. Recent years have seen greater commitments to size diversity from clothing brands and the rise of plus-size models … more

Weight stigma infiltrates work   Axios (July 29, 2023) by Erica Pandey — Discrimination based on body size is common and persistent in American workplaces — but it’s largely left out of diversity and inclusion training, and overlooked in employment law.  Why it matters: There’s an economic cost to not being thin … more

She’s plus-size, her husband’s not and the internet can’t get over it    Toronto Star (June 30, 2023) by Lora Grady — Canadian influencer Alicia Mccarvell faces constant backlash for having a “hotter” partner. … more

Megan Fox says she has body dysmorphia. What to know about the disorder   Washington Post (May 17, 2023) by Lindsey Bever and Annabelle Timsit — Body dysmorphia can harm people’s mental health and self-esteem … Body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD, is a mental health condition. It’s defined as an obsession with a perceived flaw in physical appearance — one that is usually imperceptible to others … more

You’ve lost weight!’ Well-intentioned compliments can glorify the dark reasons people become thin    Globe and Mail (Apr 8, 2023) by Michelle Doyle — I started drinking weight-loss shakes when I was 12 years old. Shortly after, I got my first girdle, and every new outfit had some fat-destroying adjective attached to it, whether it featured a “slimming” top or “elongating” pants. The word “diet” was introduced to my vocabulary early, since Mom always seemed to be on one. I couldn’t understand why. … more

The weight bias against women in the workforce is real — and it’s only getting worse   NPR (Apr 29, 2023) by Pallavi Gogoi … study after study over decades has shown that the workplace can impose an unfair weight penalty on women who are seen as overweight or obese. … more

Susie Orbach: ‘Body uniformity is out of control – there’s no right way to have labia!’   The Guardian (Apr 23, 2023) by Hephzibah Anderson — The psychotherapist on body hatred, what’s changed since she wrote Fat Is a Feminist Issue – and the smell of her clients. Susie Orbach’s first book, Fat Is a Feminist Issue, a pioneering exploration of women’s relationship with eating and body image, became an instant classic when it was published in 1978. Orbach is one of the world’s best-known psychotherapists … more

The Mean Life of a ‘Midsize’ Model   New York Times (Feb 4, 2023) by Elizabeth Paton — On TikTok, a midsize movement is forming, but models like Jill Kortleve are rarely cast in glossy brand campaigns or on the catwalks. Why not? …what makes her an unusual star for the high fashion industry is … that Ms. Kortleve is a U.S. size 8 to 10 — or “midsize,” as the middle ground between petite and plus size is increasingly known. “Straight” size, or under a U.S. size 2, remains, overwhelmingly, the fashion industry norm. … more

Yes, doctors can fat-shame. Here’s what to do about it.   Washington Post (Feb 1, 2023) by Shirlene Obuobi, MD — A lack of education about nutrition and weight management is part of the reason that fatphobia persists in medicine. … And the consequences are dire: In my short time as a physician, I have taken care of several patients who went to their doctors with symptoms that warranted a standard work-up, but instead they were dismissed and told to lose weight. By the time I saw them, whether in the emergency room or the clinic, their symptoms had usually progressed … more

Young people don’t hate their bodies because they are weak – but because capitalism demands it   The Guardian (Jan 20, 2023) by Zoe Williams — From buccal fat to cellulite, anything innate to humans that can be made into a problem will create a market for the solution. When research was released last week showing the level of body image distress among young people, its focal point was social media: what was driving 75% of 12-year-olds to “dislike their bodies” and feel “embarrassed by the way they look”?  … more

The Cult of Thinness Is Making a Depressing Comeback   Vice.com (Nov 28, 2022) by Lauren O’Neill — For those of us who remember Slim Fast, Weight Watchers and “thigh gaps”, pop culture’s return to aspirational skinniness is more than jarring … many of us are asking a very simple question: Aren’t we supposed to have moved on? … more

I lost count of the times I was told to lose weight as a model. In the end, I quit.   The Guardian (Nov 17, 2022) by Zoë Huxford — I had a decision to make: either go to the weight loss camp my agent was trying to make me attend, or leave the industry … more

‘You Don’t Look Anorexic’   New York Times (Oct 20, 2022) by Kate Siber — New research shows that our assumptions about eating disorders are often wrong — and that many larger-bodied people are starving themselves … Despite its prevalence, atypical anorexia is still considered widely underdiagnosed and under-researched, and many primary-care doctors have never heard of it … more

Battling obesity — and telling bullies to ‘Kiss It!   CNN.com (Oct 4, 2022) by Abbie Trayler-Smith (photos) and Kyle Almond (story) — The bullying was relentless. When Shannon Walton got to secondary school, she started to hear comments about her weight as she’d walk down the corridor: “Oh, look at her.” “She’s fat.” She would go outside more to avoid the stress at school, but she found no respite. Kids would kick footballs at her, she said, and then pretend they didn’t do it on purpose. … more

Distorted view: Depictions of people with eating disorders are extremely narrow. This can have serious consequences for those who don’t fit the stereotype.  CBC.ca (Sept 18, 2022) by Natascia Lypny and photos by Hannah Crease-Maclean — Female. White. Young. Thin to the point of bones protruding. That’s likely what you imagine when you think of someone with an eating disorder … An estimated one million Canadians meet the diagnostic criteria for a form of eating disorder, according to Statistics Canada. But these harmful tropes about what an eating disorder looks like mean some people may not identify as having one or are reluctant to get help. … more

I Went Viral On TikTok For Being Fat-Shamed — Here’s What I Learned From The Response   Huffpost (Aug 24, 2022) by Gloria M. Bennett — Earlier this month, when one of my TikTok videos racked up over 1 million views in a matter of days, I was unprepared. Though I thought about taking it down, deleting my social media, or disappearing back into anonymity with a private account, something in my story was resonating with people, so I left it up. Even more difficult was that the video millions of strangers were watching was a vulnerable one. I made it in response to another TikToker, … who’d asked people to share the wildest way they’d ever been fat-shamed. … more

How to Feel Better Naked    New York Times (June 17, 2022) by Catherine Pearson — Whether you want to find joy in your body, or just greater self-acceptance, these four strategies from psychologists and activists — and, yes, nudists — might help. … more

Sofie Hagen on the legacy of lockdown: I realised what the world feels like for thin people   The Guardian (March 17, 2022) — The comedian explains how staying at home offered a respite from abuse on the streets and feeling unwelcome in public spaces. But did it really have to take a global pandemic? … more

Men experience body image issues, too — and this actor says it’s time to talk about it   CBC Radio (Feb 13, 2022) — New memoir by David Pevsner challenges us to see aging, sexuality and desire in new light. David Pevsner wants to normalize conversation about body image and desire in aging bodies. The 63-year-old actor and author, who shares racy photos and videos on an Only Fans page, said he believes many people his age and older would like to express themselves more freely but that “they feel shameful about it.”… more

Parents outraged after school suggests shapewear to tackle body image issues in middle school girls   CNN (Jan 13, 2022) by Sara Smart — One Mississippi middle school’s attempt at addressing girls’ body image concerns sparked outrage among parents, forcing the school to backtrack. … [A] letter titled, “Why Do Girls Suffer from Body Image?” …  discussed body images issues among females and at the bottom, offered parents the option to consent to their daughters receiving “healthy literature” and shapewear clothing items. … more

Ditching the diet – how I learned to accept the body I have  The Guardian (Jan 1, 2022) by Alexandra Jones –  A lifetime of hating my body has got me nowhere. If I can’t love it, can I at least respect it? Every January, the same old battle cry: this will be the year that I get thin. … This January, though, I have brokered peace with myself – and I am determined to live inside my body as it exists now. No diets, no fasting … more

Eating Disorders and Social Media Prove Difficult to Untangle.  New York Times (Oct 22, 2021) by Kate Conger, Kellen Browning and Erin Woo — Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram try to monitor for content related to the problem, but it is not always clear what to do about it. A 27-year-old YouTube star, prodded by her millions of followers with concerns about her health. A 19-year-old TikTok creator who features posts about being skinny. Teen communities throughout the internet, cleverly naming and culling their discussions to avoid detection. They present a nearly intractable problem for social media companies under pressure to do something about material on their services that many people believe is causing harm, particularly to teenagers. … more

Ashley Graham Sends Message To Those Struggling With Their Bodies This Summer   Huffpost (June 23, 2021) by Carly Ledbetter – As temperatures rise, Graham wants her followers to embrace the skin they’re in. … more

Kate Winslet shows there’s more to middle age than a saggy belly   The Guardian (June 23, 2021) by Gaby Hinsliff – Kate Winslet has always had guts. But for her to have a belly, let alone one that wobbles and jiggles in the way most 45-year-old women’s middles quite unremarkably do, is still apparently a thing so shocking as to make headline news. This week the star of the cult TV drama Mare of Easttown disclosed that she had refused her director’s offer to edit out footage of her “bulgy bit of belly” from a sex scene … more

Why BMI is a flawed health standard, especially for people of color  Washington Post (May 5, 2021) by Carly Stern – When Achea Redd used to go for annual checkups, she tried to discuss her restrictive eating patterns with her doctors and her fear that she might have an eating disorder. But because her body mass index (BMI) was in the “overweight” category, Redd’s primary care physicians refused to consider the possibility that she might be depriving herself of food and instead counseled her to lose weight, she said.  It wasn’t until two years ago — when Redd, a Black woman, was 38 — that a therapist diagnosed her with “atypical anorexia,” a condition that doesn’t present with low body weight. … more

Lizzo Explained Why She Shared That Unedited Naked Photo After Saying The Body Positivity Movement Has Been “Commercialized”   Buzzfeed (Apr 22, 2021) by Ellie Bate – The Lizzo is opening up about her reasons for sharing nude photos on Instagram, explaining that she believes the body positivity movement needs to move toward body normativity in order to progress. … more

Being Fat Is Not A Moral Failure. Here’s How To Teach Your Kids That.  Huffington Post (March 2, 2021) by Brittany Wong – Parents, let’s teach our children to break the cycle and stop assigning moral value to weight loss or weight gain. Growing up in the ’90s, Jessica Sprengle could name all the big fad diets of the day … you name it, her parents and other family members had tried it. Offhand comments about bodies, both hers and their own, were often made in her house, and weight gain rarely went unnoticed. … more

What It Feels Like To Mourn Your Ideal Body   Buzzfeed News (Jan 11, 2021) by Addy Baird — I spent years living in a dangerous and restrictive world that I had constructed for myself. Then I learned how to tear down those walls. There is a photo of me from about seven years ago, taken by a friend, while I stood, arms outstretched, in her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. I’ve looked at this photo dozens of times, obsessing over the line of my collarbones, the shape of my legs, the curve of my hips … The hilarious thing about my obsession with the photo is that when it was taken, in my mind, my body could not have been less perfect … more

Study links eating disorders with body dysmorphia: Research finds rate of body dysmorphia is 12 times higher among gymgoers with eating issues   ScienceDaily (Oct 13, 2020) – People with eating disorders are 12 times more likely to be preoccupied with perceived flaws in their physical appearance than those without, according to new research. … more

Fighting Fat Discrimination, but Still Wanting to Lose Weight   New York Times (May 7, 2020) by Abby Ellin – Is it OK to be “body positive” while striving to be thinner? Anne Coleman considers herself to be “body positive,” part of a social movement that accepts different body shapes and sizes. She takes pride in her appearance and has attended size acceptance events like the Curvy Con, an annual convention celebrating plus-size brands and individuals, and an early screening of “Fattitude,” a film about weight stigma. And yet Ms. Coleman, who weighs more than 200 pounds, would like to weigh less. She doesn’t want to be “skinny.” Just able to move around more easily. … more

Your Kids Don’t Have to Inherit Your Body-Image Issues   New York Times ( Apr 15, 2020) by Virginia Sole-Smith – Parents who struggle with food and self-image can inadvertently pass along unhealthy behaviors. Here’s how to avoid it. … more

Letting Go of Your Obsession with Weight   Eating Disorder Hope (Apr 6, 2020) – No matter your shape, size, or weight, it’s virtually impossible to get through a day without someone (or something) trying to convince you that you’re too big, too small, too heavy, or otherwise too far away from what a supposedly “perfect” body should be. So, how does one avoid weight obsession? … more

A Doctor Stopped COVID-19 Treatment Because She Was Afraid I Could Gain Weight    Huffpost (Apr 3, 2020) by Lauren Rowello – People with higher weights get a lower quality of care from providers — including delays in access to treatments — due to cognitive bias. …  During this pandemic, when health care providers are deciding whose symptoms are most urgent and severe, lack of access and decreased quality of care will cost lives. … The comments in the doctor’s defense point to the internalized belief that being fat is bad, that being fat leads to other bad things. They point to subconscious patterns of thinking that guide flawed decisions, such as placing too much concern on some future weight rather than recovering from a tangible virus.… more

Boost Your Body Acceptance For Better Health   NPR (Apr 29, 2019)  by Maria Godoy & Chloee Weiner – We all can feel the effects of weight stigma, no matter what our size. In this episode, we help you feel good about the body you’re living in and give strategies to improve your health without obsessing about your weight. … more

Fat Bias Kept Me Sick — But Not In The Way You Think   Huffpost (Mar 29, 2019) by Lesley Kinzel – Seven years ago, I found myself at the base of a mountain in New Hampshire. A group of us were going on a moderate hike … ― me, my then-spouse, my father, and some family friends. The hike would end at the top of the mountain, where we would be rewarded with a gorgeous view and a picnic lunch. It was a hike that said family friends had done many times. Aside from myself and my ex, everyone here was over 60. We walked through lush woods along a gently sloping trail that grew steeper. Did I mention that I have asthma? I do, and while this was part of the reason for my anxiety about this hike, it wasn’t the core of it. Although I exercised regularly, I just wasn’t “good” at inclines. I got winded quickly. Oddly, I didn’t blame the asthma for this. I blamed myself. I blamed my fat body. … more

Why do women’s sizes look so different in different shops?  BBC/Body Image News (Mar 13, 2019) by Dave Fawbert – An image of seven pairs of jeans has gone viral for highlighting the huge lack of consistency in clothes sizes. Shopping for clothes is already full of tough choices: What’s in fashion at the moment? Can I actually afford this amazing jacket? Do I really need another pair of shoes? Are gold lamé hotpants too much? (Answer: Never.) One thing that should be certain, though, is your size. Surely, your jean size in one shop is your jean size everywhere, right? Er, wrong, as one woman has illustrated in this viral tweet. … more

The complicated truth about social media and body image  BBC (Mar 12, 2019) by Kelly Oakes – Many of us suspect that the beautiful, often highly-edited images of people we see on social media make us feel worse about our own bodies. But what does the research say? If you mindlessly scroll through Instagram or Facebook whenever you get a few seconds of downtime, you’re far from alone. But have you ever wondered how all those images of other people’s bodies – whether your friend’s holiday snap or a celebrity’s gym selfie – could be affecting how you view your own? … more

Body Neutrality Is A Body Image Movement That Doesn’t Focus On Your Appearance.  Huffpost (Aug 15, 2018) by Leigh Weingus — …[B]ody neutrality is rooted in acknowledging what your body does, not how it appears. Your body allows you to exercise, travel the world and experience new cultures. Your body gives you the ability to hold hands or hug someone you love. Your body gets you from point A to point B. … more

On screen and in real life, we pathologize fatness, even as we pretend to accept it. CBC News (Aug 3, 2018) by Ashley Csanady – A BC  woman’s obituary called out fat-shaming in the medical community. Her experience is not unique  … Ellen Maud Bennett, a 64-year-old B.C. woman who died of cancer in May … asked her family to use her final farewell to call out the too-common phenomenon of fat-shaming in the medical community. “Over the past few years of feeling unwell she sought out medical intervention and no one offered any support or suggestions beyond weight loss,” her obituary read. “Ellen’s dying wish was that women of size make her death matter by advocating strongly for their health and not accepting that fat is the only relevant health issue.” … more

In A World Of Watered-Down ‘Body Positivity,’ The Tess Holliday Self Cover Is A Radical Choice  Huffpost (Jun 29, 2018) by Lesley Kinzel – This week, Self magazine unveiled its first digital cover, featuring a surprising photo choice: plus-size model Tess Holliday, posing in diaphanous fuchsia, her bare back and one of her upper arms forming the center of the image   alongside the headline “Tess Holliday’s Health Is None of Your Business.”… From Holliday’s declaration that she has given up trying “prove” her worthiness by asserting that she is one of the “good, healthy” fat people (“By telling people that you see a doctor, and telling people that you’re healthy, it’s perpetuating the abuse against bigger bodies and the mindset that we owe it to people to be healthy … more

Weight Stigma and Health: Does Self-blame Play a Role?  Medscape (Jun 28, 2018) by Rebecca M. Puhl, PhD – … As we learn more about the harmful effects of weight stigma, emerging research indicates that it’s not only the stigmatizing encounter itself that distresses and harms the individual but also the individual’s personal interpretation of that experience. In particular, when people direct stigmatizing experiences inward and blame themselves for the stigma, their health can be compromised … more

Writing away the body image blues  ScienceDaily (Jun 21, 2018) – Study suggests different mental frameworks women can use to get out of body image rut. Body dissatisfaction among women is widespread and can lead to a number of worrisome outcomes, including eating disorders, depression and anxiety. While researchers know a lot about what makes women’s body image worse, they are still short on empirically supported interventions for improving women’s body image. A psychology professor tested the effect of three specific writing exercises on college women’s body satisfaction … more

I Became A Plus-Size Fitness Model To Say ‘F**k You’ To The World’s Body Standards  Huffington Post (Jan 23, 2018) by Laura Delarato –  Size 18. XL. XXL, depending. This is my size. It’s not the typical size range of most fitness models, and certainly not the average size handed to stylists when pulling workout clothes for photo shoots. It goes beyond our societal understanding of what fitness looks like and challenges the perception of who deserves to personify a healthy body. Nonetheless, it’s a size that has jumped, crunched and jiggled into a few fitness model moments. … more

Fat Bias Starts Early and Takes a Serious Toll   New York Times (Aug 21, 2017) by Jane E. Brody –  A very slender friend recently admitted to me that she “can’t stand to be around fat people.” Her reaction is almost visceral, and it prompts her to avoid social and professional contact with people who are seriously overweight. Although she can’t pinpoint the source of her feelings, she said they go back as far as she can remember. And she is hardly alone. Decades ago, researchers found that weight-based bias, which is often accompanied by overt discrimination and bullying, can date back to childhood, sometimes as early as age 3. The prejudiced feelings may not be apparent to those who hold them, yet they can strongly influence someone’s behavior. A new study by researchers at Duke University, for example, found that “implicit weight bias” in children ages 9 to 11 was as common as “implicit racial bias” is among adults. … more

France bans extremely thin models  BBC News (May 6, 2017) — A law in France banning the use of unhealthily thin fashion models has come into effect. Models will need to provide a doctor’s certificate attesting to their overall physical health, with special regard to their body mass index (BMI) – a measure of weight in relation to height. The health ministry says the aim is to fight eating disorders and inaccessible ideals of beauty. … more

Males more likely to suffer psychologically when dissatisfied with their body image  MNT Medical News Today (July 8, 2016) – Society might lead us to believe body image concerns should be reserved for females but research published today from The University of Sydney has suggested that men are more likely to suffer psychologically when dissatisfied with their image. Dr Scott Griffiths, lead researcher, suggested that the phenomenon is a growing public health issue as the research found that men with body image issues are up to four times more likely than females to be undiagnosed. … more

Body image strongly linked to overall life satisfaction  ScienceDaily (May 10, 2016) – U.S. researchers have just completed a national study on the factors linked to satisfaction with appearance and weight. In a survey of more than 12,000 Americans adults, the questions focused on personality, beliefs about romantic relationships, self-esteem, television viewing, and personal characteristics. “Our study shows that men’s and women’s feelings about their weight and appearance play a major role in how satisfied they are with their lives overall” … more

Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment  MNT Medical News Today  (Apr 21, 2016) by Kathleen Davis – Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), formerly referred to as dysmorphophobia, is a severe psychiatric disorder that involves a preoccupation with an imagined defect in one’s physical appearance. … more

Television exposure directly linked to a thin body ideal in women  ScienceDaily (Feb 22, 2016) – For the first time experts have been able to eliminate external factors and specifically pinpoint television as having a direct link with female body ideals. … more

Project HEAL Launches Social Campaign To Make A Statement About Self-Worth And Beauty   Huffington Post Canada (Feb 22, 2016) by Monika Markovinovic –  National Eating Disorder Awareness Week takes place this week, and with that comes a new campaign to raise awareness of recovery and the conversation of beauty standards surrounding it. Project HEAL, a nonprofit organization, is launching #WhatMakesMeBeautiful, a social media campaign featuring a diverse set of women who each offer their own individual statements on personal beauty and self-affirmation. … more

Self-weighing may be a hazardous behavior among young women. Researchers found an association between frequent self-weighing and psychological state    ScienceDaily (Nov 9, 2015) – Self-weighing can be a useful tool to help adults control their weight, but for adolescents and young adults this behavior may have negative psychological outcomes. Researchers tracked the self-weighing behaviors of more than 1,900 young adults and found increases in self-weighing to be significantly related to increases in weight concern and depression and decreases in body satisfaction and self-esteem among females. … more

Bodybuilding supplement overuse ‘an eating disorder‘   Medical News Today (Aug 7, 2015) – Among men who regularly work out, a desire toward looking lean and muscular leads some to use over-the-counter supplements to improve their chances of attaining their ideal image. Researchers assessing the use of these supplements now say that some men are using these supplements to such an extent that it qualifies as an eating disorder. … more

If we know idealising thinness is silly, why do we keep on slating fat people? The Guardian (July 31, 2015) by Zoe Williams — Shoppers at the mall where Topshop’s unnaturally skinny mannequins sparked a social media furore earlier this week reflect on all the fuss. The story of the Topshop mannequin is a body image one, sure: mainly that. But it carries some social media messages, too: viz, that if you want to have a Facebook page, and invite your shoppers to “engage” with you there, then sometimes they may say things that don’t suit you at all. So it was on Monday, when Laura Berry took a picture of a mannequin in the Cribbs Causeway store outside Bristol: she put it on their Facebook page, with the message: “I’m calling you out, on your lack of concern for a generation of extremely body-conscious youth.” more …

Sweet fat acceptance? Online fat acceptance and the body beautiful    ScienceDaily (May 11, 2015) – Media and healthcare institutions have long commanded that the ideal and desirable body shape should be thin. If you are fat are you irresponsibly risking your health? Will you ever be able to look or feel beautiful? Will you truly enjoy citizenship? New research explores the cultural and political marginalization of fat women and their perceived moral failure to be healthy. It follows the rising tide of the online fat acceptance movement and their strategies for challenging societal conventions of body image and beauty. more …

The problem with ‘Fat talk.”   NYTimes.com (Mar 13, 2015) by Renee Engeln — On Tuesday, in the wake of an online petition signed by thousands of people, Facebook announced that it was removing “feeling fat” from its list of status update emoticons. The petition argued that the offending emoticon, with its chubby cheeks and double chin, reinforced negative body images, and Facebook seemed to agree. Is it really such a big deal if you tell everyone how fat you feel? more …

Debate heats up over Photoshopped fashion models   CBS News (Feb 17, 2015) — The unaltered photo of 48-year-old Cindy Crawford is sparking a new discussion. The picture, taken in 2013, focuses attention on Photoshopped images, and whether we can embrace natural beauty. Now, the issue is making its way to Capitol Hill, reports CBS News correspondent Vinita Nair. more …

It’s a Shame Body Shaming Is Part of American Culture   Huffington Post (Dec 11, 2014) by Dr. Peggy Drexler — Body shaming is a part of American culture, at once abhorrent and everywhere. Women are shamed for being fat, skinny, tall, short, flat chested, busty, too plain, too sexy. But lately, there seems to be a different response from women — frustration followed by acceptance and moving on.   more …

Pushing Back Against Fat-Shaming Is in Fashion   Huffington Post (Oct 15, 2014) by Bill Bogart — The lives of fat women are not easy. (Fat, rather than obese, is the preferred term for some in the overweight community. I use both.) The chances of getting a job and progressing in a career are significantly diminished for obese women … But there are hopeful signs that fat people and their allies are pushing back against the prejudice that surrounds them.   more …

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving My 185 Pound Body  Huffington Post (July 16, 2014) by Nikki Gloudeman — Like many women, I’ve often distilled body image into a series of cold hard numbers: pounds, dress size, calories, carbs. But it wasn’t always this way. In fact, the first time I realized weight would be an issue in my life, it was all about words. I was in grade school, age 10, and heavy. On the playground at recess, the barbs began. They weren’t clever — “Whale,” “Fatso,” “Cow” — but they worked.   more …

Body image negativity can start at 3-years-old, researcher says: Children often start mimicking parents who are critical of their own body image or size   CBC News (Apr 7, 2014) – A study in Sudbury has found children as young as three are unhappy with their bodies — and a Laurentian University psychologist says that’s the age when efforts to cultivate healthy attitudes about bodies need to start.   more …

Bulimia and the brain: responses to body image and food    Medical News Today (Nov 18, 2013) – Brains of women with bulimia respond differently to women without bulimia when shown images of slim women. Both groups responded similarly to pictures of food, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry. The work suggests that treatments for bulimia should have a strong focus on self image rather than solely or primarily on issues with food.   Link

Let’s talk about thin privilege  Everyday feminism (Oct 25, 2013) by Melissa A. Fabello – I am five-foot-four, 125 pounds. My measurements are 36-28-38. I wear size medium shirts, size seven jeans, and (in case you were wondering) size eight shoes.  I have never walked into a clothing store unable to find items in my size.  I have never been asked to pay more for a seat on an airplane … I walk through this world as a thin person.  And as such, I have never experienced fat discrimination.  Link

Social media fuel dangerous weight-loss goal   AP (Oct 4, 2013) by Jim Salter – Experts in eating disorders are concerned about an Internet-fueled trend in which teenage girls and young women pursue an elusive and possibly dangerous weight-loss goal: to become so slender that their thighs don’t touch even when their feet are together.  Specialists say achieving a so-called thigh gap is risky and virtually impossible …  Link

Anorexic individuals’ disturbed body image influences unconscious movements   ScienceDaily (May 29, 2013) — Individuals suffering from anorexia nervosa perceive their bodies as being larger than they are and this disturbed body representation affects their movements, according to research published May 29 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Anouk Keizer and colleagues from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.   Link

Don’t tell your daughter she is beautiful, parents told: Minister says children should avoid a fixation with looks   Toronto Sun (May 28, 2013) by Louisa Peacock, The Telegraph – Parents should stop telling their children they look beautiful because it places too much emphasis on appearance and can lead to body confidence issues later in life, Jo Swinson, the U.K. women’s minister, has claimed. Mothers and fathers who praise their sons and daughters for wearing a nice outfit or having nice hair risk sending a message to children that looks are the most important thing to succeed in life, the minister said.  Instead, she said, children should be praised for completing tasks or their ability to be inquisitive.   Link

‘Listening to your heart’ could improve body image, says study    ScienceDaily (Feb. 6, 2013) — Women who are more aware of their bodies from within are less likely to think of their bodies principally as objects, according to research published February 6 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Vivien Ainley and Manos Tsakiris from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London.    Link

Study deflates notion that pear-shaped bodies more healthy than apples: Abnormal proteins from buttock fat linked to metabolic syndrome    ScienceDaily (Jan. 10, 2013) — People who are “apple-shaped” — with fat more concentrated around the abdomen — have long been considered more at risk for conditions such as heart disease and diabetes than those who are “pear-shaped” and carry weight more in the buttocks, hips and thighs… New research provides further evidence that the protective benefits of having a pear-body shape may be more myth than reality.   Link

For some women, genes may influence pressure to be thin   ScienceDaily (Oct. 3, 2012) — Genetics may make some women more vulnerable to the pressure of being thin, a study led by Michigan State University researchers has found.   From size-zero models to airbrushed film stars, thinness is portrayed as equalling beauty across Western culture, and it’s an ideal often cited as a cause of eating disorder symptoms in young women. The researchers focused on the potential psychological impact of women buying into this perceived ideal of thinness, which they call thin-ideal internalization. Changes in self-perception and behavior, caused by this idealization, can lead to body dissatisfaction, a preoccupation with weight and other symptoms of eating disorders.  Link

Feeling fat may make you fat, study suggests   ScienceDaily (Aug. 8, 2012) — They’re everywhere — in magazines, on the Internet, on television — people with super-thin bodies who are presented as having the ideal body form. But despite the increasing pressure to be thin, more and more of us are overweight. Now, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have found that normal weight teens who perceive themselves as fat are more likely to grow up to be fat.    Link

Training our brains to see ourselves in a more attractive light  ScienceDaily (May 22, 2012) — Researchers at the Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology have designed a programme called Mírate bien (Take a good look at yourself). It is a tool designed to enable us to learn to love our bodies and faces; and to improve our physical self-concept…  The students participating in the programme are not asked to do any kind of physical activity. It is the cognitive side that has to be trained here: to restructure our perceptions so that we have a more realistic awareness about our image.  Link

Self-worth needs to go beyond appearance, experts say  ScienceDaily (May 9, 2012) — Women with high family support and limited pressure to achieve the ‘thin and beautiful’ ideal have a more positive body image. That’s according to a new study looking at five factors that may help young women to be more positive about their bodies, in the context of a society where discontent with appearance is common among women.  Link

Big girls don’t cry: Overweight teens who are satisfied with their bodies are less depressed, less prone to unhealthy behaviors  ScienceDaily (Apr. 28, 2012) — A study to be published in the June 2012 issue of Journal of Adolescent Health looking at the relationships between body satisfaction and healthy psychological functioning in overweight adolescents has found that young women who are happy with the size and shape of their bodies report higher levels of self-esteem. They may also be protected against the negative behavioral and psychological factors sometimes associated with being overweight.  Link

The politics of fat: We have to keep struggling to liberate ourselves from self-hatred  AlterNet (Apr. 4, 2012) by Allison McCarthy – “We claimed the agency, we granted ourselves the authority. But we never stopped worrying about how our asses looked in our jeans.” … Psychologist Susie Orbach’s debut book Fat Is a Feminist Issue celebrates 34 years of providing theoretical and practical musings on the relationship between women and fat.  Link

For many girls, slimming down doesn’t help self-esteem:  Teens who were formerly obese often still view themselves as fat, study finds   US News & World Report: Healthday News (Apr. 3, 2012) – Weight loss doesn’t necessarily lead to a boost in obese teenage girls’ self-esteem, according to a new study.  “We found that obese black and white teenage girls who transitioned out of obesity continued to see themselves as fat, despite changes in their relative body mass,” study author Sarah Mustillo, an associate professor of sociology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., said in a university news release.  Link

Sex, lies and media: New wave of activists challenge notions of beauty  CNN (Mar. 11, 2012) by Emanuella Grinberg – Here’s the fantasy: A half-naked woman lies across a couch, lips pouty and cleavage prominent as her sultry gaze implores you to buy this bottle of perfume.  The reality: Women make up 51% of the United States yet only 17% of seats in the House of Representatives. They’re 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 7% of directors in the top 250 grossing films.  What’s the connection? We live in a sexualized society where the gap between fantasy and reality is vast and harmful… Siebel-Newsom’s documentary, Miss Representation, is the latest cinematic foray in the movement to challenge portrayals of beauty in “the media,” a term used to describe all forms of mass communication, from the internet, TV, film, magazines, radio and advertising.  Link

Peer pressure drives “socially transmitted” anorexia   Reuters (Mar. 1, 2012) by Paul Casciato — Anorexia is a socially transmitted disorder and appears to be more prevalent in countries such as France where women are thinner than average, according to new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science.  The “economic analysis” of anorexia, using a sample of nearly 3,000 young women across Europe, concluded that peer group pressure is one of the most significant influences on self-image and the development of anorexia and appeared just as the autumn/winter season is winding up with Paris Fashion Week.  Link

Images in magazines and on television increase body dissatisfaction  ScienceDaily (Oct. 28, 2011) — Adolescents who read magazines and watch television contents that deal with the concept of image prove to be unhappier with their own bodies. Girls are more susceptible to experiencing a lower perception of their physical appearance. Body dissatisfaction is linked to the type of content that is consumed (diet, beauty, health or music videos) rather than the frequency of exposure.  Link

Fear of getting fat seen in healthy women’s brain scans  ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2010) — A group of women in a new study seemed unlikely to have body image issues — at least their responses on a tried-and-true psychological screening presented no red flags. That assessment changed when Brigham Young University researchers used MRI technology to observe what happened in the brain when people viewed images of complete strangers.  Link

Does this show make me look fat?  Newswise: Toronto Metropolitan University (June 25, 2009) — Dr. Stephen Want, Assistant Professor in Ryerson University’s Department of Psychology looked at the impact of television programs on young women’s body image using the sitcom Friends. He found that watching this program had a significantly adverse effect on the participants’ satisfaction with their own appearance.  Link

One in five obese women select overweight or obese silhouettes as their ideal body image  ScienceDaily (May 14, 2009) — For many women, body image is a constant struggle; a poor self-image can lead to a host of both mental and physical health problems. But a new study out of Temple University finds that an extremely good body image can also take its toll on a woman’s health.  Link

Training our brains to see ourselves in a more attractive light  ScienceDaily (May 22, 2012) — Researchers at the Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology have designed a programme called Mírate bien (Take a good look at yourself). It is a tool designed to enable us to learn to love our bodies and faces; and to improve our physical self-concept…  The students participating in the programme are not asked to do any kind of physical activity. It is the cognitive side that has to be trained here: to restructure our perceptions so that we have a more realistic awareness about our image.  Link

Self-worth needs to go beyond appearance, experts say  ScienceDaily (May 9, 2012) — Women with high family support and limited pressure to achieve the ‘thin and beautiful’ ideal have a more positive body image. That’s according to a new study looking at five factors that may help young women to be more positive about their bodies, in the context of a society where discontent with appearance is common among women.  Link

Big girls don’t cry: Overweight teens who are satisfied with their bodies are less depressed, less prone to unhealthy behaviors  ScienceDaily (Apr. 28, 2012) — A study to be published in the June 2012 issue of Journal of Adolescent Health looking at the relationships between body satisfaction and healthy psychological functioning in overweight adolescents has found that young women who are happy with the size and shape of their bodies report higher levels of self-esteem. They may also be protected against the negative behavioral and psychological factors sometimes associated with being overweight.  Link

The politics of fat: We have to keep struggling to liberate ourselves from self-hatred  AlterNet (Apr. 4, 2012) by Allison McCarthy – Overweight bodies remain policed and polarized. Here’s a reminder that fat is still a feminist issue. Link

For many girls, slimming down doesn’t help self-esteem:  Teens who were formerly obese often still view themselves as fat, study finds  US News & World Report: Healthday News (Apr. 3, 2012) – Weight loss doesn’t necessarily lead to a boost in obese teenage girls’ self-esteem, according to a new study.  “We found that obese black and white teenage girls who transitioned out of obesity continued to see themselves as fat, despite changes in their relative body mass,” study author Sarah Mustillo, an associate professor of sociology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., said in a university news release.  Link

Sex, lies and media: New wave of activists challenge notions of beauty  CNN (Mar. 11, 2012) by Emanuella Grinberg – Here’s the fantasy: A half-naked woman lies across a couch, lips pouty and cleavage prominent as her sultry gaze implores you to buy this bottle of perfume.  The reality: Women make up 51% of the United States yet only 17% of seats in the House of Representatives. They’re 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 7% of directors in the top 250 grossing films.  What’s the connection? We live in a sexualized society where the gap between fantasy and reality is vast and harmful… Siebel-Newsom’s documentary, Miss Representation, is the latest cinematic foray in the movement to challenge portrayals of beauty in “the media,” a term used to describe all forms of mass communication, from the internet, TV, film, magazines, radio and advertising.  Link

Peer pressure drives “socially transmitted” anorexia  Reuters (Mar. 1, 2012) by Paul Casciato — Anorexia is a socially transmitted disorder and appears to be more prevalent in countries such as France where women are thinner than average, according to new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science.  The “economic analysis” of anorexia, using a sample of nearly 3,000 young women across Europe, concluded that peer group pressure is one of the most significant influences on self-image and the development of anorexia and appeared just as the autumn/winter season is winding up with Paris Fashion Week.  Link

Images in magazines and on television increase body dissatisfaction  ScienceDaily (Oct. 28, 2011) — Adolescents who read magazines and watch television contents that deal with the concept of image prove to be unhappier with their own bodies. Girls are more susceptible to experiencing a lower perception of their physical appearance. Body dissatisfaction is linked to the type of content that is consumed (diet, beauty, health or music videos) rather than the frequency of exposure.  Link

One in five obese women select overweight or obese silhouettes as their ideal body image  ScienceDaily (May 14, 2009) — For many women, body image is a constant struggle; a poor self-image can lead to a host of both mental and physical health problems. But a new study out of Temple University finds that an extremely good body image can also take its toll on a woman’s health.  Link

Maternal Mirrors:  Two new books look at the influence mothers have on their daughters’ body image—and how women can instill confidence instead of insecurity  Newsweek:  Her Body (May 6, 2009) by Barbara Kantrowitz and Pat Wingert — The next time you take a look in the mirror and find yourself asking, “Does my butt look fat in this dress?” it might be worth also asking whether you should thank your mom for such thoughts. That’s the thesis of two new books that explore the influence of mothers on their daughters’ developing body images. These aren’t the typical “blame mom for everything” tomes that we usually want to toss against a wall. (After all, we are moms ourselves—as well as daughters.) Rather, both books … offer reassuring and practical advice for raising confident daughters and overcoming negative messages you may have received from your own mother.  Link

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