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Brockport: Embrace your natural self

by Tegan Mazur - Copy Editor
Tue, Feb 14th 2017 11:20 pm
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 The Brockport chapter of the American Association of University Women put on a tabling event for students in the Seymour College Union. Their tabling, called "Natural Day" was an event to celebrate people's natural beauty — women particularly — without any need for makeup or any such cosmetics.

The event itself let passersby take pictures, with signs praising their natural beauty, to be hung up later with others in order to show a whole collection of people being beautiful as their natural selves. They even had wipes at the table so people could wipe off their makeup before taking the picture if they wanted to help show their natural self. 

They could also write down a positive thought on a post-it note to be hung on the wall of the Union Fireside Lounge for everyone to see. Students also received a carnation of their choice of color for participating with a small encouraging message for them on the carnation.

The Brockport's chapter of the AAUW is just one of a much larger organization. AAUW was founded in 1881 and is an organization that's central goal is empowering and helping women. This organization is concerned with many facets of women's rights. A pamphlet handed out at the tabling gave an overview of their concerns such as equal pay for women, women's education, leadership roles for women and even STEM camps for girls. The organization has existed on the Brockport campus for several years now and is trying to raise awareness about their efforts around campus.

For this event, however, they teamed up with a project started by a women named Sanah Jivani to help girls feel better about being their natural self.  

The tabling had an excerpt about Jivani, who was diagnosed with a disease known as alopecia when she was 12, which results in total hair loss. The excerpt explains that although Jivani tried wigs for a while, she eventually decided not to wear them, and instead became comfortable and happy with her natural self, despite her hair loss. She decided to share that philosophy with the world, and from there, Natural Day was born.

The Brockport AAUW chapter specifically picked this event for its message and because it falls on the day before Valentine's Day. They wanted to associate the idea of being comfortable with your natural self and the idea of love, specifically with loving yourself.

KateLyn Aldrich, a sophomore who participated in the event, found it helpful and uplifting.

 "This could be sending a message to someone who might really need it," Aldrich said.

The event started ran from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but before 12 p.m. had even come around the wall for the post-it notes with positive messages had already begun to grow, populated with messages from students. The messages surrounded a large Audre Lorde quote on the wall which was a message about self-love.

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare," it read.

The tabling also handed out small slips of paper with suggestions on how to better accept your natural self. The tips included things like meditating and celebrating successes you have, even if they are just the small one and even just doing something physically active.

Bailey Morse, the president Brockport's AAUW participated in Natural Day as well, specifically not doing her eyebrows, something she usually does every day. 

"It's just interesting to be out as I am," Morse said.

The event received a healthy stream of visitors; even from opening it was a steady stream, there were plenty of women stopping by, the table's target demographic. There were also plenty of men stopping by the table as well.


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