Body-Image Help

How to Help Someone with Body-Image Disturbance

How to Help Someone with Body-Image Disturbance Men and women can learn to make peace with their bodies—no matter what their size or shape. In fact, it is self-love and acceptance that promotes the self-care and self-nurturing necessary for high esteem.

Recent studies indicate that self-esteem and body-esteem are very closely linked and have little relation to actual physical attractiveness. Thus, the true indicator of a good body-image is good self-esteem—as opposed to being able to fit into a certain size pair of jeans.

The following suggestions can help promote better body-esteem for every body.

  • Base compliments on attributes other than size, weight, or shape.
  • Minimize "diet" and weight talk.
  • Never joke about or shame anyone because of his/her weight or shape.
  • Examine your own attitudes and preferences about weight and size.
  • Raise your own and others' consciousness about the cultural bias regarding thinness.
  • Believe that a person's body distortion is real for him/her (not just attention-getting), and respond in an empathic manner.
  • Be knowledgeable about professional resources for help. These include dietitians, psychologists, body-image specialists, the Personal Counseling Center, etc.
  • Discourage dieting or weight-loss fads, and instead, encourage a wellness lifestyle.
  • Don't equate thinness with happiness.
  • Remember that there is no "ideal" body. Beautiful bodies come in all sizes and shapes.

Source: The Renfrew Center for Eating Disorders

Contact Us

Personal Counseling Center
Campus location: Marguerite Hall, 1st FL
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Evening Hours by Appointment
Phone: (716) 829-7819

Kim Zittel, LMHC, NCC
Director, Personal Counseling Center
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
National Certified Counselor

Erin M. Moss, MA, LMHC-P
Mental Health Counselor

Isabel Molina, APRN BC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner


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