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Body Image Statistics

Two out of five women and one out of five men would trade three to five years of their life to achieve their weight goals.



In 1970 the average age of a girl who started dieting was 14; by 1990 the average dieting age fell to 8.


A study found that women overestimate the size of their hips by 16% and their waists by 25%, yet the same women were able to correctly estimate the width of a box.


After viewing images of female fashion models, seven out of ten women felt more depressed and angry than prior to viewing the images.


The “ideal” woman - portrayed by models, Miss America, Barbie dolls, and screen actresses - is 5’5, weighs 100 pounds and wears a size 5.


Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents.


One out of three women and one out of four men are on a diet at any given time. Two thirds of dieters regain the weight within one year and virtually all regain it within five years.


35% of occasional dieters progress into pathological dieting.


The diet industry (diet foods, diet programs, diet drugs, etc.) takes in over $40 billion each year and continues to grow.


30% of women chose an ideal body shape that is 20% underweight and an additional 44% chose an ideal body shape that is 10% underweight.


The average U.S. woman is 5’4” and weighs 140 pounds whereas the average U.S. model is 5’11” and weighs 117 pounds.



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The My Body Gallery project needs real Women! We need your help to develop the project and build a collection of photos that will help more women see themselves more clearly. Upload a picture of your full body. Our photo submission process also allows you to block out part of the image to protect your identity, if you wish. Please note that you must be 18 to upload a photo.

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Test your body-image awareness with our quiz! The results might surprise you...
My Body Stories I Need To Do This For Me
I will be 26 this friday. I started gaining weight my junior year of high school, my senior year I got married and pregnant. I didnt really care about my weight at the time but when I became pregnant with my son I started to worry. I have had depression for a long time and it became worse when I had my son. I was home all the time with the two kids and found comfort in food. I was having trouble in my marriage because of my low self esteem. I was obsessed with losing weight yet didnt do anything to do it.
The Depth of Beauty
I became self critical of my body when I was 7 or 8 years old because I felt I was too fat. I dealt with these feelings all through middle and high school and for a few years after. I felt that the fat on my body was something to be ashamed of and that it made me undesirable both as a lover and as an individual. My concern for my weight and eating habits seemed to consume me at times. I eventually began binge eating and then forcing myself to vomit around the age of 15. I did this fairly consistently for about 3 years. My body image issues overlapped confusingly with my sexual attraction for women.
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Image Upload Guidelines FAQ
Among the most common questions we get asked is: why was my photo upload rejected? So we thought we'd put together this FAQ... (And we'll update this with some picture examples soon!)   Things that will get your uploaded picture rejected:
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