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The Body Love Campaign inspires self love

The+Body+Love+Campaign+aims+to+inspire+self+love+at+CWU+and+in+the+community.+Onlookers+will+have+the%0Achance+to+write+positive+affirmations+directly+on+the+bodies+of+those+participating+in+the+event.
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The Body Love Campaign inspires self love

The Body Love Campaign aims to inspire self love at CWU and in the community. Onlookers will have the
chance to write positive affirmations directly on the bodies of those participating in the event.

The Body Love Campaign aims to inspire self love at CWU and in the community. Onlookers will have the chance to write positive affirmations directly on the bodies of those participating in the event.

The Body Love Campaign aims to inspire self love at CWU and in the community. Onlookers will have the chance to write positive affirmations directly on the bodies of those participating in the event.

The Body Love Campaign aims to inspire self love at CWU and in the community. Onlookers will have the chance to write positive affirmations directly on the bodies of those participating in the event.

Afton Prater, Staff Reporter

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Body love and positivity is what National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA) week is all about. NEDA week is a radical self-love movement that is hosted annually during the last week of February. This year’s NEDA week includes several different events and starts on Monday, Feb. 25 with the Body Love Campaign in the SURC pit from 11-1 p.m. Other events throughout the week include an eating disorder awareness panel on Tuesday, The Fat Liberation in our Classrooms workshop on Wednesday, celebrated poet Sonya Renee Taylor will be speaking on Thursday, and ‘Smash the Scale!’ will be held on Friday.

Kicking off NEDA week is The Body Love Campaign. Students who participate in this event wear as little clothing as they feel comfortable with, as well as blindfolds, while standing in the SURC Pit. Students are welcome to observe, but also to participate in writing positive affirmations on the bodies of the people participating. At the end of the event, students receiving the positive affirmations written on their bodies will take off their blindfolds and witness the positive messages that have been written on them.

Erin Reeh is an alumnus of CWU and a Health Education Coordinator in the Wellness Center. She discussed how many people are susceptible to comparing their bodies to others and how it is especially common among college students. In this era of Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, Reeh believes many people have a false sense of perfection and how their bodies should look.

Data from the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) last spring recorded that 36 percent of students said their appearance caused them significance distress in the last 12 months. Reeh discussed how many people deal with body image issues and eating disorders. According to her, many people think of eating disorders as an issue that primarily afflicts females. However, eating disorders affect people of all genders.

“This event reduces the stigma around what our bodies look like and what that appearance ideal is,” Reeh said. “It helps us to realize that our bodies are different and there’s not one appearance ideal for everybody. It also empowers the participants by affirming that their bodies are great just the way they are.”

According to Bailey Kinker, Vice President of Clubs and Organizations, the main goal of these events is for students to gain better knowledge and awareness of the topics presented during NEDA week as well as helping to advocate for the issues at hand. Kinker is a facilitator of The Body Project, which hosts different discussions relating to body image and body positivity at CWU. She discussed why she enjoys being a part of The Body Project.

“I’m a part of The Body Project because it helps to break down stigmas, to break down social norms, help people understand how to combat them, and to better learn to love themselves,” Kinker said. “I think in general it’s really important to bring awareness to the topic because it’s not something that’s talked about very often and it’s a very important topic.”

Senior nutrition and food science major Hannah Gassman is another facilitator of The Body Project as well as an advocate for body positivity and eating disorders. Gassman recently joined The Body Project and spoke about why positive body image and self love is important.

“It’s important because we only get one body in our life and it is our vessel to take us everywhere we go in our day to day lives,” Gassman said. “If you can learn how to embrace the body that you’re in, I think it will impact your overall sense of well being and happiness going through life.”

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the The Body Project, students, staff and faculty members alike. For more information on NEDA week as well as The Body Project in general, visit the Wellness Center in SURC 139 or email [email protected]

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