The Body Project at UW Oshkosh

By Alyssa Meka, UWO Senior Peer Wellness Educator

Have you ever struggled with loving and accepting your body the way it is? Do you find yourself wishing you looked different, better, or like “that girl”? If you said yes to any of these questions you are not alone. According to UW Oshkosh NCHA data from spring of 2018,  41.5% of females reported personal appearance as being very difficult to handle. The majority of women have been unhappy with some aspect of their body at some point in their lives and have found themselves wanting to look like what they believe is “the perfect woman”. Seeing as this is a common issue among women at UWO and women in general across the nation, we are determined to make a difference.

In collaboration between Health Promotion, The Women’s Center and Counseling Center, UW Oshkosh has implemented a new body-acceptance program this spring called The Body Project. This program, developed by the Oregon Research Institute, is a dissonance-based body-acceptance program proven to be effective at helping women resist the temptation to pursue unrealistic bodies and conform to what is perceived in our culture as the female “appearance ideal”. Our mission is as follows: to empower women to challenge the appearance ideal and embrace the unique beauty of themselves and others.

How this program work, and when can you get started?

During Spring 2019, we will have several groups starting their journey through The Body Project. Small group sessions of 5-8 other women will be lead by two to three trained peer facilitators. Time commitment will be one hour long sessions one time per week for a total of four sessions. That’s a one hour meeting one time per week for four consecutive weeks.

Having been trained as a peer facilitator and participated in The Body Project curriculum, I personally believe that the program would be beneficial for any woman looking to boost her confidence, learn to accept her body, and to truly feel beautiful and exist with confidence. Going through the sessions helped me to realize that all women are beautiful in different ways. No woman will ever live up to what society has depicted as the perfect woman.

The Body Project curriculum is proven to boost your mood making you feel good about yourself and to reduce disordered eating habits as well as learn skills to shut down “fat talk”. The activities and skills provided and the opportunity for self reflection are proven to be one of the most effective programs for improving body image and acceptance. If you are interested in joining one of our sessions, watch for our recruitment across campus that will be coming soon. We would love to see you there and support you in the journey to strive for body acceptance, break down the appearance ideal, and empower yourself and other women!

If you are interested in participating in the Body Project, contact [email protected].

To learn more about The Body Project and register for upcoming groups visit this website:

Peer Body Project