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Beauty Standards, Sex, Body Image, & Relationships w/ Melissa Fabello

Today we’re talking with Melissa Fabello, PhD, a social justice activist whose work focuses on body politics, beauty culture, and eating disorders.

As a digital creator, Melissa develops online content to challenge others to unpack oppressive ideology around food, bodies, and beauty. Known for being both no-nonsense and witty on Twitter and Instagram, she warmly, but firmly invites followers into hard conversations around wellness.


Melissa is also a licensed educator with over a decade of experience working with diverse populations, which deeply informs her work today. In the form of workshops and speeches at various universities, organizations, and conferences, Melissa educates students and professionals in a hands-on, dynamic atmosphere. Her energetic presentations are created around participant-centered learning objectives, and her audiences leave her talks not only with knowledge, but with tangible skill sets.

She received her PhD in Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University, where her phenomenological research explored how women with anorexia nervosa make meaning of their experiences with sensual touch. The results of her work can be found in her groundbreaking ebook, Appetite. Melissa also holds an M.Ed. in Human Sexuality and a B.S. in English Education from Boston University.

In this episode, we’ll talk about:

  • Ways that poor body image and disordered eating manifest sexually
  • How partners help to build trust and connection within the relationship when one partner has an eating disorder or body dissatisfaction
  • What language partners can be more mindful of, or avoid entirely, when talking about wellness, bodies, and sex
  • How the societal standards of beauty impact who we are attracted to
  • Practices that women struggling with body dissatisfaction can do to feel more confident in the bedroom
  • & MORE!


  • Website
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Beauty School: (scroll down to subscribe) A monthly newsletter that includes an original essay, a suggestion for an awesome activist to follow, and 
    Melissa’s favorite links floating around the web.
  • Appetite: A 100-page instantly downloadable ebook on anorexia and women’s sexuality – the only comprehensive resource on the topic in the world.
  • Work with Melissa


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