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The Body Project at UVA

As the Body Positive team settles into our new routine of virtual weekly meetings, we have been working hard to revamp our programing to make it online friendly and welcome more voices to the table. One of the coolest things (in my opinion) about our program is that we offer a two-session group-based intervention called the Body Project to female identifying women at UVA. Facilitated by our awesome Body Positive team interns, this group is cognitive dissonance based and aims to negate the appearance ideal and creates a difference celebrating culture that internalizes self-love and increases self-esteem. Last year, we worked alongside an awesome UVA doctoral intern, Rachel Berry, M.A at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), conducted a focus group, had reflective conversations to get feedback on experiences of past group participants. These conversations and Rachel’s hard work led us in making some changes to our script in order to make it more inclusive of our unique student bodies and culture. The new script is more racially and culturally aware, more inclusive of gender difference and fluidity and intersectional. It encourages participants to be body positive activists. The main purpose of the group, however, remains the same: to confront unrealistic appearance ideals and develop healthy body image and self-esteem. We are proud to offer this group to our community as it has been shown to reduce body dissatisfaction, disordered eating and improve self-esteem. Through our revamped script, we hope to celebrate difference and empower attendees to show up as their full selves. This group is offered throughout the academic year and all you have to do is gather a group of female identifying people that want you want to hang out with and e-mail bodypositive@virginia.edu

It is important to note that we, as a team are highly aware that by only offering the Body Project to female identifying people, we are excluding other identities from this very important conversation. At this time, our team is working with their professional networks in hopes to bring similar group based intervention programs that are rooted in research that is geared towards other identities to the UVA community. 
 

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