Body Image Revolution

Positive Psychology and Body Image

Posted Sep 01, 2014

Body Image Revolution

It’s commonly accepted these days that images of women as they appear in the media are distorted and far from the reality of how women actually look. Research has shown that when repeatedly exposed to these images of skinny “perfect” models, the majority of real women end up feeling bad about ourselves. Real bad. We feel ashamed and depressed and at a fundamental level that somehow we have failed and that it’s our own fault.

Body Image Movement

Taryn Brumfitt is helping demonstrate that women can empower themselves to embrace our bodies, as they are. In May 2013, Taryn received over 3 million “likes” on a “BEFORE and AFTER” picture. Unlike most, her “before” picture was of her in a body building contest, buff and lean. Her “after” picture showed her after the birth of her child, she is a Mom of three. She then began to interview women asking the to describe their bodies in one word. The array she heard included: “fat, imperfect, stumpy, lumpy, short, frumpy, disgusting.” Taryn went on to develop the Body Image Movement, raise almost $350,000 on kickstarter (I donated as well as many of my friends and colleages) to produce a documentary: “Embrace” that will focus on positive imaging for women. (to learn more go to

We do know that most women feel bad about our bodies and tend to think that if our bodies are unacceptable, so are we. The question that’s been brewing for a while is: what are we going to do about it? Taryn and others like her are the voices that are starting a global revolution.

I’m part of a group of media psychologists and educators (together with Catherine Seo, Lama Willa Miller, Anna DiStefano and Srivi Ramasubramanian) who are doing a project designed to use media, not to distress and degrade us, but to help us feel better about our bodies. If you’d like to participate (adult women only, please) — click below.  And thank you.

Do you want to feel better about yourself and your body?

We are a team of doctorate-level women researchers at Fielding Graduate University, Texas A&M University and Harvard University, conducting a study on body image, and we have the tools to help you do this.

Take part in an innovative psychology project designed to help women who share this common concern. You will be given free podcasts online. After a training podcasts, you’ll listen to the helpful podcasts on your own during the week for three weeks. The podcasts are about twenty minutes, as are the surveys you will complete before and after the experience. You will be asked questions about how you feel about your body, and your appearance, and about how you act towards yourself. (e.g., Despite its flaws, I accept my body as it is.) You should be female and at least 18 years old to participate. Thank you! 

For more information, click here: 

To participate, click here:

You may develop greater self-compassion and personal awareness of being mindful and present as a result of your participation in this research. Upon completion of the study you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win an iPad. Your participation will be anonymous. Results will be reported only in aggregate form.

For any questions feel free to email