Body Positive Cornell (BPC)…
- is a peer education initiative
- is a community that fosters body acceptance
- offers peer-led, weekly discussion groups
- provides evidence-based, weight-neutral information about health
- challenges discrimination based on size and / or appearance
- is a force for positive social change at Cornell
BPC Group Sessions
Fall 2023 groups overview
The BPC group session registration for the fall 2023 semester is open! Click here to sign-up.
For the fall 2023 semester, BPC groups will be held in person on Wednesdays from 5-6 pm ET, starting the first week of October, and lasting eight weeks. There will be no groups sessions on November 22 because of Thanksgiving Break. The last day of group sessions will be November 29. As we get closer to the start of groups, more information will be shared with participants.
If you have questions about BPC group sessions after reading the sections below or need accommodation for this experience, please do not hesitate to reach out to the BPC Program Coordinator Antonia Pellegrini at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About BPC groups
“Our Body Positive Cornell group provided a safe space where we could discuss personal and sensitive subjects involving body image and wellness. Openness and dialogue were inspired and encouraged without judgment or stigmatization.” — Student Facilitator
Developed in partnership with The Body Positive™, BPC promotes holistic wellness practices that increase physical, mental, and emotional health using a weight-neutral, self-empowerment model built upon the following five core competencies:
- Reclaiming health
- Practicing intuitive self-care
- Cultivating self-love
- Declaring your own authentic beauty
- Building community
Read participant testimonials
"I was a part of a Body Positive Group last semester. It helped me change my view of what it means to be healthy and what body positivity truly means."
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"I started the program as a member of the BPC group and after going through the program, I found that it help me plant a seed and start my journey toward self-love and self-acceptance. The program and different individuals have impacted me and I want to impact others the way I was impacted."
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"My desire to help others, and my real belief in the value of true self-care brings me to the curriculum. It's is both narrow enough to be effective in grappling with body image and wide enough to apply to a broader scope of mental health challenges. The positive effects of this program last well beyond the 8 weeks - I think there's so much wrong with society and starting to fix it with our own internalizations of society's messages is the exact right step."
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"As a facilitator, I have the opportunity to guide new members as they work through the curriculum. I present the core values and competencies of the Body Positive program, but my main job is to facilitate discussion among the group members. Part of what I love about this program is the fact that, in the group, the facilitators and the group members try to be on as level a field as possible. I also do the exercises and participate in discussion, I just provide some guidance in asking questions, tackling new concepts, or digging deeply into a particular line of thinking. By participating as well, I learn new perspectives and tools every time, and it's been really rewarding to see other peoples' areas of growth and breakthroughs over the course of the program."
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"I joined a Body Positive discussion group last semester to improve my relationship with my own body and really enjoyed the sessions. They gave me valuable knowledge and allowed me to think of body positivity in a different perspective than how I usually think of it. It also helped me feel more appreciative of the little things in life, and was always a refreshing part of my week!"
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“I participated in a BPC group my junior fall and absolutely loved the experience…Each person in my group was so kind, supportive, and understanding whenever I shared my stories. BPC genuinely provided us with a safe and respectful environment to discuss sensitive struggles that each member had gone through."
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"My role [as a facilitator] is to help spark the conversation about this material. Concepts like Health at Every Size and body positivity are not things one can ever truly master. We are all working on it, all the time. Thus, my role as a facilitator is not to be an expert, or somebody who has completed her journey. Rather, I want people to leave groups thinking about things they may never have otherwise. I want them to tackle some of these issues and challenge the ideas society throws at them…I want those in our groups to see and challenge those toxic beliefs that many people think to be truths."
Who may participate in BPC groups?
All members of the Cornell student body – including currently enrolled undergraduate, graduate, and professional students – may participate in BPC groups. Students of all backgrounds, genders, identities, and bodies are welcome. Note: BPC group sessions are not professional mental health services; students who show signs of behavior that can lead to serious health consequences and lasting mental health issues, such as eating-disordered and self-harming behaviors, will be referred to professional resources.
When do BPC groups meet?
BPC groups are offered in the fall and spring semesters. Typically, groups meet once a week for eight weeks, each session lasting about an hour. Groups generally begin meeting 3-4 weeks into the semester.
What is the group format?
Group sessions are composed of interactive, discussion-based activities led by peer leaders with support from the BPC Program Coordinator. Each group has approximately 6-12 participants. Depending on facilitator availability, different types of groups may be offered for students to choose from (e.g., Undergraduate / Graduate / Professional, LGBTQIA+, Students of Color, etc.).
Becoming a facilitator
All members of the Cornell student body – including currently enrolled undergraduate, graduate, and professional students – may become a BPC facilitator, regardless of prior experience. All peer leaders complete an online and in-person training at the beginning of the fall semester.
The BPC Student Club
The BPC club is a student-led organization formed to foster community, coordinate outreach, and provide opportunities for Cornell students to promote positive social change around body acceptance outside of BPC group sessions. Previous initiatives have included regular member meetings, movie screenings, guest speakers, and campus-wide campaigns. The BPC club is open to all currently enrolled Cornell students who are passionate or interested in the mission and purpose of Body Positive Cornell.
For more information:
- Follow us on Facebook
- Reach out to us on Instagram (@bodypositivecornell)
- Email email@example.com to be connected with the student leaders
BPC Community Talks
BPC community talks are intended to educate on topics related to body dissatisfaction, factors that impact body image, reclaiming health, body appreciation, and / or body acceptance. These interactive, discussion-based workshops are offered in 50-, 60-, and 90- minute increments. To request a BPC community talk for your group, please email the BPC Program Coordinator Antonia Pellegrini at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please email the BPC Program Coordinator Antonia Pellegrini at email@example.com if you are interested in getting involved with Body Positive Cornell or if you have questions / comments / concerns about BPC offerings: group sessions, student club, and community talks.
Possibly Relevant Resources
Students struggling with disordered eating patterns, preoccupation with food, and / or body image should connect with more appropriate resources, such as Cornell Health’s Collaborative Health and Eating Program (CHEP). Their services include:
- Short-term individual counseling and group counseling
- Psychotropic medication initiation and/or management
- Nutrition support and education
- Medical care including primary care and nursing support
- Referrals to outside services and treatment programs
- Coordination with other Cornell campus partners, including other healthcare providers, dining services, health leaves, and others, when appropriate and with permission from student
- Consultation about helping someone you care about
When having conversations about intuitive eating, we must acknowledge the intersection between privilege and the ability to choose what to eat with financial well-being. If you are struggling with access to food, here are some campus resources that may help:
- Anabel's Grocery and the Cornell Food Pantry are two of various on-campus programs to help connect students to affordable food options.
- Swipe Out Hunger takes donated meal swipes from students and distributes them to fellow students, to be used in the All You Care to Eat Dining Halls. This program is administered by the Office of the Dean of Students through First-Generation and Low-Income Student Support. If you are a current student experiencing food insecurity, complete the Swipe Out Hunger Bonus Meals form.