S.H.A.P.E. (Student’s Helping to Achieve Positive Esteem)

UConn S.H.A.P.E. is a peer education group that strives to promote accepting attitudes towards all body shapes and sizes while helping to encourage self-esteem and positive body image. It also fosters awareness about disordered eating and eating disorders, the warning signs, and the resources available for support on campus. Through presentations, events, and discussions, S.H.A.P.E. peer educators provide knowledge and aid to the entire UConn community. UConn S.H.A.P.E. is eager to collaborate with other groups and organizations on campus for ideas for initiatives as we are always looking for new ways to get involved.

S.H.A.P.E. meets Thursdays 5 - 6pm at the Women’s Center (Student Union, 4th floor). Meetings include peer discussions on topics relevant to body image, organizing campus-wide events and initiatives, and facilitating presentations with Greek life and other student body organizations or classes. No prior experience or leadership is required to be a member or UConn S.H.A.P.E., only a willingness to learn and participate! All students are welcome.
To become a peer educator or to learn more about our mission, please fill out the form listed below.

*UConn S.H.A.P.E. is a peer educator group, not a peer support group. If you are interested in support services, please visit our main SHaW webpage.

More information about our provided services are located within our drop down menu below.

Three entry points for access to support with any eating or body image concerns:

Programs and Events

UConn S.H.A.P.E. provides interactive presentations, workshops, and events throughout the academic year. These initiatives work to facilitate a positive campus experience for all students by encouraging discussion about the influences impacting body image, creating awareness for disordered eating and eating disorders, and providing resources for support on campus.

Peer Educator Presentation

As a peer educator group, S.H.A.P.E. provides presentations to the UConn community. Our presentation discusses topics including body image, eating disorders and disordered eating, the impacts of societal pressures on appearance and self-esteem, navigating media, how to help a friend, and tips for creating an accepting campus environment for students. If you are interested in receiving a presentation for your group or organization, please submit a request through this form.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) week is held annually during the last week of February. The goal of NEDA week is to encourage conversations regarding body image and promote advocacy about eating disorders awareness.

UConn S.H.A.P.E. hosts a variety of activities for NEDA week, some of which in the past include: tabling events, fashion shows, collaborations with other groups on campus like the Women’s Center and Active Minds, guest speakers, and more.

Plate Smash

Plate smash provides an opportunity for students to smash societal standards, expectations, and pressures for our bodies. Students are able to write any negative thoughts regarding appearance, diet, self esteem, or any other source of stress onto a plate. Plate smash is one of S.H.A.P.E.’s signature events, smashing upwards of 350 plates each time.

Give One, Get One

Take some positivity and pass it on! This tabling event provides an opportunity for students to both take and write positive affirmations on cards to pass along to members of the UConn communities.

Tabling Events

UConn S.H.A.P.E. is involved in a variety of tabling events on campus throughout the year. We can be found at the annual Student Health and Wellness Fair each Fall and at the annual Sexual Health and Wellness Fair in the Spring, as well as the Involvement Fair held at the beginning of both academic semesters. There are interactive activities and information about eating disorder resources, body image, and how to get involved in S.H.A.P.E.!

Become a Peer Educator

  • Being a UConn S.H.A.P.E. peer educator is a great way to get involved around campus, take on new leadership roles, and network with other passionate peer educators.
  • UConn S.H.A.P.E. is supervised by SHaW Registered Dietitians.
  • All S.H.A.P.E. members learn information about eating disorders, body image, how to help a friend, campus resources, combating negative body talk, the impact of media, and more. 
  • All members learn techniques to facilitate workshops, lead presentations, and develop strong communication skills. 
  • Meetings are held weekly or biweekly.
  • All members take turns facilitating what we call “internal development” (critiquing articles or discussing positive podcasts for example in order to continually engage in body acceptance discussions among other relevant topics).
  • Members observe and practice conducting workshops and presentations.

If interested in learning more about UConn S.H.A.P.E. or getting involved, please fill out the interest form below.

What your peers are saying about how it is to be a S.H.A.P.E. Peer Educator:

“Over the years, SHAPE has provided me with friendships, leadership skills, public speaking experiences, and a voice to advocate for topics I personally believe need more attention on college campuses. When I was a freshman, I wanted to get involved in something related to eating disorder awareness at UConn. Four years later, I had no idea SHAPE would have provided me with such amazing opportunities, including planning events with other on-campus organizations, experiences collaborating with registered dietitians, and fantastic information to carry on with me into my future career in nutrition.” -Maia Smith, Nutritional Sciences ‘21 SHAPE Intern 


“SHAPE has given me a safe space to learn about body positivity and eating disorders. The group taught me not only how to help others, but also how to help myself in my own struggles in body image. I am excited to take what I’ve learned and apply it throughout my life and career as a future registered dietitian” -Autumn Blasi, Nutritional Sciences ‘21 Peer Educator 


“Being a part of a group of peer educators in SHAPE has helped me in my ability to communicate about things that are hard to talk about. Working with so many amazing and intelligent people has been such a great learning experience and has taught me skills that I will use throughout my lifetime. I love getting the chance to educate others, but also be educated by others in the process.” -Elizabeth Shaul, Digital Media and Design ‘23 SHAPE Intern 


“From my first meeting to my last, SHAPE has been an extremely welcoming community that has provided me with many amazing opportunities through UConn” -Kristen Rossi, Nutritional Sciences ‘21 Peer Educator 


“SHAPE is a welcoming environment that promotes conversation about body positivity and body image. It’s been a rewarding experience getting to work with not only the rest of the group, but working on larger scale projects like Jars of Self Acceptance (Spring 2020) with USG.”- Robert Fisk Jr Management and Information Systems ‘22 

    Join or Get In Touch with S.H.A.P.E.

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    Fashion is for EveryBODY (October)

    UConn S.H.A.P.E’s Annual Fashion Show (Previously known as Cat Walk to End Fat Talk) welcomes and celebrates all people of all body shapes, sizes and identities to show off their favorite outfits and costumes in a positive, upbeat environment. This event embraces body acceptance and liberation.

    Check out the event from 2017 compliments of UCTV.

    2022 National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 21-27)

    • This Year's Events
      • Give One Get One -- Feb 21
        • Students can stop by Fairfield Way to get a compliment and write a compliment for another student!
        • Give-away items!
        • Fairfield Way 12-3 pm
      • NEDA Week Kahoot Night -- Feb 22
        • Virtual Kahoot Night with a 7 p.m round and 8 p.m. round
        • Participants test their knowledge about eating disorders and body imag
      • NEDA Virtual Art Show
        • Students are welcome to submit visual art related to the NEDA Week theme “See the Change, Be the Change.”

        • The Art Show will be online and art will be featured on the art show website

        • Submissions Close Feb 24

        • Voting is Between Feb 25 and 27

    The UConn Body Project, Co-hosted with the Women’s Center

    • The Body Project is an evidenced-based body image program that decreases eating disorders risk factors. It is a workshop that teaches students to recognize pressures in society to obtain a specific body ideal (often thinner) and speak out against it. The program enforces self-acceptance and body peace, and helps students actively promote positive body image. This workshop includes several engaging activities and scenarios that enrich participants and allow them to bond. Every workshop has two, 2-hour sessions to be completed within a week of each other. The Body Project is facilitated by trained UConn students (Body Project Facilitators). Contact shaw-shape@uconn.edu for more information about signing up to participate in this program or to become a facilitator.
    • For more information on the program check out Body Project Support