Body & Media Lab

Renee Engeln at Northwestern University

Booklist: Review of “Beauty Sick”

“Northwestern University psychology professor Engeln’s sharp examination of beauty sickness reveals its disturbing impact on women of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds.”  Read more at

Journal Gazette: Empowering with Fitness

Before Lisa Cowen was a personal trainer and fitness instructor, she was a mom who was trying to reclaim herself and lose the weight she gained after her 2-year-old daughter had died. Read more at The Journal Gazette.

Chicago Tonight: Prevent Teen Obesity, Eating Disorders

When it comes to preventing teen obesity and eating disorders, parents and health officials should avoid focusing on teens’ weight or diet, according to new guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Healthy eating and lifestyle habits should be encouraged … Continue reading

Self Magazine: Enough with the Plastic Surgery Speculation Already

A photo of Iggy Azalea sparked a heated discussion over whether she’s changed her figure, but the reality is that her body is nobody’s business but her own. Read more at

The Washington Post: Asking Women if They’re “Bikini Ready”

Come summertime, women’s magazines have already spent weeks convincing their readers that there are those who are “bikini ready” and those who are not. They splash on their covers Photoshopped images of skinny women to depict the beach body ideal. … Continue reading

CNN: Why We Can’t Stop Body Shaming

These days, any sign of body imperfection, particularly being overweight, will bring down the wrath of society — that is, the Internet. In recent weeks, comedian Amy Schumer, actor Wentworth Miller and model Iskra Lawrence have all faced digital scrutiny … Continue reading

Nature: Men’s Makeover

Historically, women have been the focus of body-image studies. But as men pay more attention to their appearance, researchers are forming a clearer picture of male self-image. Read more at Nature.

Yahoo Health: Dreading wearing a swimsuit?

“Unfortunately, we live in a culture that tells us over and over again that an essential part of being a woman is being looked at,” says Renee Engeln, PhD, professor and head of the Body and Media at Northwestern University. “This … Continue reading

New York Times: The Problem with Fat Talk

On Tuesday, in the wake of an online petition signed by thousands of people, Facebook announced that it was removing “feeling fat” from its list of status update emoticons. The petition argued that the offending emoticon, with its chubby cheeks … Continue reading

San Francisco Chronicle: There’s an emoji for ‘feeling fat’

In the time of text, emoji play an outsized role in conversation. When we can’t quite find the words to say, there is a cartoon arsenal of smiles, frowns, airplanes, jumping dolphins and eggplants to help us best express what … Continue reading