Tri Delta Tackles Body Image Issues for Women
Stacy Cross Gillard, Delta Delta Delta Fraternity
Amber Scott, Delta Delta Delta Fraternity
At college campuses everywhere, new college students dread gaining that “freshman 15.” And while sororities, in particular, have gotten a bad rap for being a breeding ground for body image issues in college, research now shows that body image issues do not begin in college or in sororities – they actually begin much earlier and last much longer, as the hit show How to Look Good Naked (2008) proves.
Delta Delta Delta Fraternity (Tri Delta) and The Center for Living, Learning & Leading recognized that with thousands of college women joining organizations each year, they were in a unique position to do something positive and preventative about negative body image issues. So they teamed up with associate professor of psychology, Dr. Carolyn Becker, and the local sororities of Trinity University to create Reflections: Body Image Program
, the first peer-led eating disorders prevention program that has repeatedly been shown to have a positive impact on body image. The program also represents a unique collaboration between academia and sororities.
“I partnered with Tri Delta because the organization’s leaders had the vision to try something new and figure out how to take what we developed at Trinity and create a plan for national distribution,” shared Dr. Becker. “We’ve expanded the research base that continues to support Reflections and are providing leadership opportunities for hundreds of sorority women every year.”
Since piloting the program at Texas Christian University and Clemson University in 2005, Tri Delta will have implemented the program with 32 chapters by the end of the 2008-2009 academic year and plans to educate at least 20,000 women in the coming years. View a list of all campuses hosting Reflections in 2008-2009
Reflections is an exciting program not only because of its proven success, but because of its innovative approach. Leveraging the unique structure of sororities, the program is peer-led, which helps build healthy confrontation and communication skills in participants. These factors, combined with the sheer amount of research and testing behind Reflections, contribute to a program that is poised to make big changes in the lives of women everywhere.
Reflections: Body Image AcademyReflections: Body Image Academy (BIA)
is a three-day interactive workshop designed to prepare students and/or professional staff to implement the Reflections: Body Image Program
in their respective organizations. Tri Delta’s creation of BIA enables other organizations, including colleges and universities, to adopt, adapt and facilitate the program according to their own needs and structure while still maintaining the integrity of the overall research design and program model.
The BIA curriculum consists of two tracks: one for collegiate women and one for seasoned student affairs and/or counseling professionals. Participants in the professional track will learn strategies for partnering with structured groups on campus (e.g. Fraternity/Sorority Life and Athletics) in the prevention of eating disorders. This track will emphasize the importance of involving student leadership in the overall planning process of the program.
Fat Talk Free Week
In the process of launching Reflections
, Tri Delta recognized the prevalence and damaging effects of chasing the thin ideal and “fat talk” on women of all ages and decided to start a major body activism movement for all women using the principles of Reflections
. Fat Talk Free Week was born. Fat Talk Free Week
(October 2008) was a national, five-day, public awareness effort intended to draw attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the thin ideal on women in society. With the overall theme of “Friends Don’t Let Friends Fat Talk,” the week kicked off with a powerful viral video
available online with an educational emphasis on the serious costs of pursuing the thin ideal and fat talk. Learn how you can host a Fat Talk Free Event
on your campus, and check back to see how you can participate in Fat Talk Free Week in October 2009.
Bring Reflections to Your Campus Today
The Reflections program has caught on like wildfire. Many sororities and college counseling centers are lining up to be trained by Tri Delta in order to encourage their women to reflect on body image issues.
To learn how your campus and/or sorority community can participate in Reflections
, visit www.reflectionsprogram.org
, or contact Tri Delta’s Executive Office at (817) 633-8001.
If you are interested in registering for Reflections: Body Image Academy
, contact Sarah Williamson, Director of Educational Initiatives, The Center for Living, Learning & Leading, Inc., email@example.com
Frank, E. (Producer). (2008). How to look good naked [Television series]. United States: Maverick Television.