Momentum took the short trip to Times Square to the headquarters of our client, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), to participate in an experimental version of the Body Project. Backed by two decades of research and evaluation data, the Body Project is NEDA’s intervention program that confronts unrealistic beauty ideals and develops healthy body image.

While the Body Project is traditionally a series of workshops for young women, NEDA is piloting a shorter version appropriate for people of all ages and gender expressions or groups. The Momentum team was excited to join journalists and NEDA Ambassadors in a session. The workshop had three main components:

  1. Identify the physical attributes of an “ideal” man and woman. The exercise quickly exposed how unrealistic and even silly these images are.
  2. Share physical and non-physical attributes that participants like about themselves. It was refreshing to hear participants speak appreciatively about their bodies, rather than seeing them as sites for improvement as we’re often trained to.
  3. Brainstorm responses to everyday negative comments. It’s hard to redirect harmful comments like someone asking “are you really going to eat that?” or a friend saying “I feel fat today.” The workshop taught non-defensive, affirming responses.

As PR professionals working with NEDA in this often sensitive space, training sessions like the Body Project are critical. Many thanks to NEDA for hosting us!

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call NEDA’s Helpline (1-800-931-2237) on weekdays for support, resources, and information about treatment options. In crisis situations, NEDA offers 24/7 support — just text “NEDA” to 741-741.