Body Image

In one study of college students, 74% of normal-weight women and 46% of normal-weight men stated that they thought about their weight or appearance often. How often do you think about your physical appearance, and do you feel positive or negative about your look? Body image is shaped by a variety of factors including family and friends, the media, comparing ourselves to others, physical or emotional experiences, and more. What factors have affected your body image, and how can you be more balanced?

" How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live."

Henry David Thoreau

Looking Back:
A Self-Reflection

When you look in a mirror, what do you see?

Check out our worksheet.

Quiz Ideas

  • Are you at risk of an eating disorder or someone you know? There is a screening specifically for college students or for standard demographics. Take this anonymous test to find out your risk.
  • How good is your body image? Is it distorted or do you see your body image as it is? Use this online quiz to find out.

Moving Ahead:
The Challenge

Regarding your weight and other attributes, what habits and/or personal values would you like to change?

Check out our worksheet.


Campus Resources

  • Counseling and Psychological Services
    CAPS provides a wide range of free services to students, which are provided by a staff of professional clinical psychologists, social workers, counselors, learning specialists, and psychiatric providers. They offer individual counseling, group counseling, workshops, and outreach programs, as well as other resources.
  • Wellness, Alcohol, and Violence Education and Services
    WAVES helps students make healthy, safe choices and encourage lifelong, thoughtful healthy decision-making through individualized support, creative, programming, and evidence-based education and outreach. They help students feel empowered and have the capacity to grow to their full potential and reach optimal wellness and well-being. WAVES offers information on alcohol including staying sober, sober rides, safer drinking, talking to others about their alcohol use and more.
  • Center for Psychological Services
    CPS offers individual, family, and couples therapy, group therapy, assessment, consultation, and mental health evaluations. They use evidence-based clinical training in assessment, consultation and intervention, and provide accessible, affordable, culturally sensitive, and state-of-the-art services to the community.
  • Student Health Services
    Student Health Services provides high quality health care, counseling, health education and prevention services to George Mason University students. From diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury, to women’s and men’s health, to immunizations and prescriptions, Student Health Services is available to all Mason students with clinics at Fairfax, Arlington and Science and Technology Campuses. There is no charge to be seen by one of our healthcare providers. There are nominal fees for treatments, and supplies.

Additional Resources

  • Northern Virginia Intergroup of Overeaters Anonymous
    OA supports individuals in need of recovery from compulsive eating (e.g.: overeating, bulimia, anorexia) through empowering all meetings with the Intergroup. On this site they list meeting days and times, information for newcomers, events, resources, and more.
  • Psychology Today
    Psychology Today is a website that is all about people and what makes them tick. The site is supported by over 750 psychologists, academics, psychiatrists and authors. They offer articles, resources, tips and more on body image, eating disorders, and how emotions, moods, early experiences, and more influence our behavior.
  • Eating Disorder HOPE
    Eating Disorder Hope offers information, inspirational stories and resources, as well as a list of eating disorder treatment centers to help individuals and loves ones seek recovery from anorexia nervosa, bulimia, compulsive overeating or other eating disorders. They provide the they types of centers offered, the types of patients seen, the types of therapies offered, and the type of insurance offered.
  • Eating for Life Alliance
    ELA provides colleges with educational resources for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. They offer statistics, resources, intervention guidelines, and more for students, universities and parents.
  • Gurze Books
    Guzre Books specializes in information about eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, plus related topics such as body image and obesity. The web site offers books at discounted prices, many free articles about eating disorders, newsletters, links to treatment facilities, organizations, and other websites, and much more.
  • American Psychological Association
    The APA is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA is the world's largest association of psychologists, with nearly 130,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members. They offer information regarding eating disorders, what causes them, why people should seek treatment, how treatment works, and more.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. They support and advocate for access to services, treatments, and research. NAMI has several articles, fact sheets, and resources on body image.
  • National Eating Disorders Association
    NEDA is the largest not-for-profit organization in the United States working to prevent eating disorders and provide treatment referrals to those suffering from anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder and those concerned with body image and weight issues. NEDA is dedicated to expanding public understanding of eating disorders and promoting access to quality treatment for those affected along with support for their families through education, advocacy, and research.
  • American Dietetic Association
    The ADA is the nation’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. They are committed to helping people enjoy healthy lives. They are focused into five critical areas: obesity and overweight (with focus on children); healthy aging; safe, sustainable and nutritious food supply; nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics; and integrative medicine, including supplements and alternative medicine. The ADA contains over 20 documents regarding body image.