According to the National Eating Disorder Assocation, body image is how you see yourself in the mirror or what you see when you take a mental picture of yourself. This encompasses:

  • What you believe about your own appearance including memories, assumptions, and generalizations.
  • How you feel about your body, including weight, height, and shape.
  • How you sense and control your body; not just how you perceive yourself but how you feel in your body.

Having a negative body image can mean having a distorted perception of your shape—perceiving body parts unlike how they really are. It can also mean you are convinced only other people are attractive and your body is a sign of personal failure. You also feel ashamed, self-conscious and anxious about your body. A negative self-image also can make a person feel uncomfortable and awkward in your body. These can be the extremes and any form of this can be a negative body image. Positive body image is having a clear, true perception of your shape and see your body parts as they really are. You feel proud, confident, and comfortable in your body. You also have an acceptance of your unique body and understand that physical appearance is not everything.

What is Fat Talk?

According to BodyImage3D, the founders of Fat Talk Free Week, fat talk is defined as:

“any statement that reinforces the thin-ideal standard of beauty and contributes to women and men’s dissatisfaction with their bodies. Examples include:

  • “I’m so fat.”
  • “Do I look fat in this?”
  • “She should not be wearing that!”
  • “Does this make my butt look big?”
  • “I need to lose 10 pounds before I wear that.”

Tips for a Better Body Image!

Having a positive body image doesn’t happen over night. It takes active, conscious work, but it is possible for everyone! Some tips to work towards having a more positive body image are:

  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • List traits about yourself that you like
  • Wear clothes that make you feel attractive
  • Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying your image to do something to help others


If you would like to talk to someone about body image, there are resources available for you!

Student Health Center Dietitian
$20 per session, call 205-348-2778

Student Health Center Psychiatry Services
Make an appointment by calling 205-348-2778

The Counseling Center
Free consultation, $15 session, call 205-348-3863