Appearance Matters #474

May 18, 2018

This week we talk about appearance, bodies, and body image. Why does what we look like affect our headspace so much? And how do we even begin to research a topic as personal and subjective as body image? To try and find out, we speak with some of the researchers at the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at the University of the West of England in Bristol. Psychology Professor Phillippa Diedrichs walks us through body image research, what we know so far, and how we know what we know. Professor of Appearance and Health Psychology Diana Harcourt talks about visible difference caused by disease and accident and how those can impact our mental health. And we chat with Nadia Craddock and Jade Parnell about the CAR "Appearance Matters" podcast.


  • Phillippa Diedrichs
  • Diana Harcourt
  • Nadia Craddock and Jade Parnell

Guest Bios

Phillippa Diedrichs

Professor Phillippa Diedrichs is a research psychologist with an international reputation for creating and using evidence-based strategies to improve body image in community, education, corporate, and policy settings on a local, national, and global scale. At the Centre for Appearance Research , she leads a team of researchers investigating psychological and social influences on body image, and the development and evaluation of online and face-to-face body image interventions, advocacy efforts, and campaigns. The evidence-based body image programmes that she has co-created and evaluated have been delivered in 136 countries to over 8.5 million young people through multi-stakeholder partnerships with global youth organisations and business. Her research has garnered international media attention and awards, and is published in esteemed, academic peer-reviewed journals.

Diana Harcourt

Diana Harcourt is Director of the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England in Bristol, a group of 30 psychologists with a passion for research into psychosocial aspects of appearance and body image. Her own research interests focus on people's experiences of an altered appearance, particularly those associated with cancer or burns. She is interested in the psychosocial impact of an altered appearance or visible difference, support for those who are affected and interventions to help people who are making decisions about surgical treatment that will alter their appearance. She is a chartered Health Psychologist and sits on the Scar Free Foundation Research Council, the British Psychological Society Research Board, and the editorial boards of the journals "Scars, Burns and Healing", and "Body Image".

Nadia Craddock and Jade Parnell

Nadia Craddock and Jade Parnell are both PhD candidates at the Centre for Appearance Research, a world leading centre of excellence for body image and appearance psychology research based at the University of the West of England in Bristol. Together they co-host the centre's official monthly podcast, "Appearance Matters: The Podcast!" where they discuss everything related to the psychology of how we look.

comments powered by Disqus