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Celebrating every body: image positivity in college

by Hazen Center for Integrated Care
Tue, Nov 14th 2017 10:00 pm

Body image disturbance is one of the most common occurrences on college campuses today.   The pressures associated with conforming to a new environment can wreak havoc on our self-image.  

Unaware of the stress to fit in, we subconsciously begin comparing ourselves to the perceived status quo.  

“Am I pretty enough?” “Should I eat this or should I eat that?” “Look at me, I’ve gained so much weight!” “Wow! I wish my pics looked like that!” 

Body shaming ourselves is something we have to be careful about not doing, especially during the most crucial time in our lives.  Studies report that body dissatisfaction can be a significant predictor in eating disorders.  Past survey results show that eating disorders among college students has risen 10 to 20 percent for women and four to 10 percent for men.  Women tend to be more vocal about these concerns, while men retreat in silence. 

Even though these statistics and pressures exists, it is important to realize that you define who you are.  Celebrating your body and body positivity is unlearning that you don’t have to fit the mold, to fit in.  

It’s deciding what’s good and healthy for you no matter your size, race, gender, class or ability. It’s dressing, feeling and looking the way that makes you – you, as well as passing that onto others.  It’s not caring about the number of likes on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram; it’s about posting simply because you want to. 

Body Positivity is thriving in the environment you’re in, and creating a culture around you for others to thrive too.  

Tips for Celebrating Every Body (Body Positivity):

Wear what you want to wear! One of the biggest challenges of our day is, “What am I going to wear?” But, the biggest favor you can do for yourself is to wear what you feel comfortable and confident in. If it’s sweatpants and a t-shirt rock it out! Whatever you wear, wear it proud because it makes you feel good!

Don’t delete pictures of yourself that you think are ugly! Hard to imagine right? Keeping that not-so-great-picture that you think is horrible. Everyone wants to show off their best side, but chances are, you are the only one who thinks it looks terrible. Celebrate every side of you!

Do it for yourself! Whatever it is, whether it be dieting, working out, cleanses, detoxes or yoga.  

Make sure you do it for you and not for anyone else. Some of these practices can be dangerous if implemented abruptly and without a doctor’s advice.  Make sure you’re doing it for the right reason (a healthier you)!

Stop comparing yourself to others! You are you! There is no one else in the world like you! Sure social media and magazines would make you believe you should look like this or that, but the truth is, because there is only one you, you are authentically beautiful!

Love yourself every day of the week! Guess what? Our bodies are going to change! Some more than others, however, it is crucial to remember that busy schedules, limited dining options, financial constraints and a plethora of other things will cause us to gain and lose weight throughout our college journey. 

Whatever leg of the journey you’re on, love yourself all the time. It doesn’t mean that you don’t set goals and that you abandon healthy choices. It simply means that you accept where you are for the moment, get back on track and keep on loving you!

Pass it on! Help create a culture where being you is absolutely phenomenal! Leave positive affirmations on sticky notes around campus! Take a compliment and leave one for somebody else. Share self-less selfies on social media, make body positivity contagious!

Photo of the Week

Taken by Vincent Croce:
Staff Photographer

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