National Body Image Study: What Do Women Really Think of Their Bodies?

by | Aug 17, 2017 | Body Image

What do women REALLY think of their bodies? Is there a difference between how Christian women and those who claim no faith in Christ feel about their bodies? Do Christian women handle their body image struggles any differently than those without faith? These are just a few of the questions I set out to answer with the 2017 National Body Image Survey.

Working with some research folks at Abilene Christian University, we developed a survey we hoped with give us greater insight into the struggle that many women have with their outward appearance. THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this survey!

Here are some of the most interesting findings:

  1. There was not one woman who completed the survey and claimed to be satisfied with her appearance. There were 12 who started the survey and answered that they were satisfied with their appearance, but then dropped off. Thus, we don’t have any other data on their age, marital status, religious affiliation or habits.
  2. Women in general, but especially Christian women as it pertains to this survey, really struggle to agree on the best things to say to a struggling friend. Many remarked that they would tell her she’s “fearfully and wonderfully made” or something similar. Yet, interestingly enough, some of these same women also replied that statements like this would not help their personal body image struggles. In other words — we are choosing words to “help” others that we know don’t “help” us.
  3. Christian women aren’t likely to use the church as a primary resource when struggling with body image. They are more likely to seek out advice from Google, books and magazines or friends.
  4. What do we do when we’re feeling bad about our physique? Most Christian women surveyed hit the gym, a diet, or the mall.

These info graphics will show you a bit about what we learned:

What do you think? Does anything in this survey surprise you?

Want to improve YOUR body image? Do you have a friend who struggles? Then check out this book called Compared to Who?



  1. The Beauty Trap - Compared to Who? - […] What am I saying? If the data is right, you definitely know it too! […]
  2. Can Christians Be Frenemies? How Comparison Kills Christian Friendships - Compared to Who? - […] me clarify that even further, according to my study, close to 100% of Christian women admitted to comparing themselves…
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