Many studies have explored body image among American women, but very little of the data is specific to African-American women. For the past two years Christina M. Capodilupo, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia’s Teachers College, has been studying how black women feel about their weight, shape, skin and hair, and the relevance of eating disorders in our community. She tells Real Health, “There was a universal belief, and it remains in the field at large, that eating disorders are a ‘golden girl’s’ disorder, and women of color (particularly black women) are protected by ethnic factors that render them disinterested in thinness. Although I might have agreed that thinness was not a central factor for many black women, I knew that black women were not immune from having negative feelings associated with their physical appearance and body image.”

While Capodilupo’s work is progressing well, she needs more participants for her study. If you are between the ages of 18 and 35 and want to share your thoughts, please click here to take Capodilupo’s survey, which takes approximately 15 minutes.