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Body Image

Love Your Body

Body image is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind. It encompasses the following:

  • What you believe about your own appearance (including your memories, assumptions and generalizations).

  • How you feel about your body, including your height, shape and weight.

  • How you sense and control your body as you move.  How you feel in your body, not just about your body.1


How to Help a Friend with Eating and Body Image Issues

  • Be realistic about the size you are likely to be based on your genetic and environmental history. 

  • Stay active (walking, dancing, yoga, etc.), regardless of your size.

  • Expect normal weekly and monthly changes in weight and shape.

  • Work towards self-acceptance and self-forgiveness; be gentle with yourself.

  • Ask for support and encouragement from friends and family when life is stressful.

  • Decide how you wish to spend your energy: pursuing the "perfect body" or enjoying family, friends, school and, most importantly, life.

University of Michigan, Body Image. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a body-image disorder characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one's appearance. People who have BDD think about their real or perceived flaws for hours each day. They can't control their negative thoughts and don't believe people who tell them that they look fine. Their thoughts may cause severe emotional distress and interfere with their daily functioning. They may miss work or school, avoid social situations and isolate themselves, even from family and friends, because they fear others will notice their flaws.

People with BDD commonly also suffer from the anxiety disorders obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or social anxiety disorder, as well as depression and eating disorders.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Body Dysmorphic Disorder. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL


Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

CAPS, located in Redfern Health Center, provides a safe and confidential environment for students to address stressors and psychological needs that may occur during their time in college. An after-hours CAPS counselor is available and can be reached by calling the Clemson University Police Department at 864-656-2222 and asking for the CAPS counselor on call.

Appointments/Accessing Services


Local and National

Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Body Dysmorphic Disorder

National Eating Disorders Association: What is Body Image?

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders


1National Eating Disorders Association, What is Body Image? (n.d.). Retrieved from URL