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Body Project Co-Founder to Speak at IWU

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Co-founder of “The Body Project” Carolyn Becker will share her work to change America’s destructive body image climate during a talk Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. in Illinois Wesleyan’s Hansen Student Center (300 E. Beecher St., Bloomington). This event is free and open to the public.

A professor of psychology at Trinity University, Becker has conducted extensive research into understanding and combating eating disorders and negative body image. She is considered a pioneer in the implementation of peer-led prevention programs, most notably The Body Project.

Since 2012, this peer-led body acceptance program has been implemented at hundreds of high schools and colleges, including at Illinois Wesleyan. The program uses empirically supported techniques to help reduce the onset of eating disorders in young women and promote healthy views about their bodies. Over 3.5 million young women in 25 countries have benefited from The Body Project.

Becker also established two sister programs to the Body Project: the Reflections: Body Image Program in the United States and the Succeed Body Image Program in the United Kingdom.

Becker is a former president and current fellow of the Academy of Eating Disorders (AED), and in 2009, she was named a co-recipient of the AED’s Research-Practice Partnership Award. She was also the 2009 recipient of the Lori Irving Award for Excellence in Eating Disorders Prevention and Awareness, granted by the National Eating Disorders Association. Becker is a member of the Eating Disorder Research Society and a former fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Becker’s visit is in conjunction with Illinois Wesleyan’s annual Boost Week, a week-long campaign to promote body positivity across campus.

This talk is sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, IWU Body Project, Counseling and Consultation Services, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Live and the Mental Health Immersion Semester.

By Rachel McCarthy ’21