Body Talk Week
The Take Back the Body Campaign is currently presenting Body Talk Week. A coalition of students, including several Feminist Alliance members, created this campaign and event in order to help make the community a safe space for body confidence.
One of the main events of the week is the Post-Secret style depictions of body images, during which students can express their individual views of body image on postcards. Organizers are tabling in Pulver Pavilion and encouraging students to express themselves through poetry, artwork and more when decorating the postcards. The depictions will then be displayed in Pulver Pavilion. The purpose of this activity is for students to share their personal body image views, with the overall goal to create more positive body views on campus.
Other events the campaign is working on are No Fat-Talk Week and No Girl-on-Girl Hate Day. These events are designed to create a safer campus that addresses body confidence issues. The campaign hopes to expand and have more events in the future.
Student Gender and Sexuality Resource Officer Berol Dewdney ’13, one of the leaders of the week, explained her involvement. “I’ve always wanted to focus on these issues academically and outside of academics. As someone who has recovered from an eating disorder, I am interested and believe we need to increase awareness.” Besides being involved with creating the week, Dewdney is also writing her honors thesis about body image among students at the College.
The Take Back the Body Campaign is a result of the input of many people, with an aim to fairly represent the College community and a range of opinions. The events are focused on including everyone on campus and making it a community-owned event. Cassandra Smith ’15 said, “Everybody—male or female—should love their body. This week just emphasizes that fact.” Elizabeth Brehman ’15 agreed. “Body Talk Week is important because it forces people to take notice of body issues at campus, even if they don’t attend the events,” she said.
The campaign has ideals in common with the College’s proposed Gender and Sexuality Resource Program. These events are examples of the campus’ increased awareness of issues such as self-respect, mental health and making sure that everyone feels secure in being themselves. Laura Rosenthal ’15 said, “I think being healthy and happy go hand in hand and these discussions are encouraging both.”
Dewdney remained positive about the College’s chance at succeeding in altering campus attitudes. “It’s really encouraging to see people talking about all these issues, because that’s the first step towards really making a change,” she said.