CSU, Chico News

‘Love Every Body Week’ Promotes Positive Body Images and Eating Disorders Awareness

Date: 02-17-2012

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Stephanie Chervinko
Counseling and Wellness
Kaitlyn Mansker
Student Health Services

Numerous groups at California State University, Chico, are collaborating in the presentation of Love Every Body Week, March 5–8. The events and activities of the week focus on awareness about of issues surrounding body acceptance and eating disorders. The week is part of a national campaign to help people move beyond unrealistic standards of body and beauty that contribute to self-esteem issues and eating disorders for many people, especially young women, in the U.S.

Sponsors include the Campus Wellness Center, Student Health Services, Office of Diversity, Prime Time Productions, AS Gender and Sexuality Equity Center, University Housing and Food Services, Wildcat Recreation Center, Graduate Student Nutrition Association, Student Health Advisory Council, the Health Education Action Team and the Associated Students.

“Grappling with the multiple stresses of college life can provide fertile ground for eating disorders to develop or re-emerge,” said Stephanie Chervinko, a psychologist at CSU, Chico’s Counseling and Wellness Center, who is a planner of the week’s events. “This is one of the reasons why events like Love Every Body Week are so important. We want students to be aware that help is available, and we want to empower those who might be concerned about a friend or family member to reach out to them.”

"Love Every Body Week is such a wonderful opportunity for our campus and community to celebrate the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes,” said Michelle Morris, a professor and dietetic internship director at CSU, Chico. “We are lucky to have noted size acceptance/Health at Every Size activist and author Marilyn Wann, as our keynote speaker. The diet and beauty industries make their fortunes by telling us what's wrong with our bodies, and it's truly liberating to hear what's right."

Kaitlyn Mansker, a student at CSU, Chico, believes that Love Every Body week can be an important opportunity for college students to learn ways to accept and love their bodies. “Some days I love my body, other days it is difficult,” said Mansker. “The stress of being a student and the inconsistent schedules from semester to semester can make a diet and exercise routine challenging. It is easy to understand how eating disorders can have an impact on so many college students.”

The week’s events will include two presentations by Marilyn Wann. Wann is a key player in the international fat activism movement. She is the author of the book, “FAT!SO?: Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size.” Wann celebrates weight diversity and the Health At Every Size® approach.

The following events are open to the public:

Monday, March 5

Love Every Body Expo 2012

3–6 p.m., WREC

Learn how to love your body at any size. Receive information about eating disorders and body acceptance from several groups on campus. You can see how celebrities really look before and after airbrushing techniques. Experience some exercises on complimenting your body to improve self-esteem and, ultimately, achieve body love.

Film: “Miss Representation”

8–10 p.m., BMU 210

Experience the ways in which mainstream media contributes to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film challenges the limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls in media. Those portrayals not only make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions but also, for the average woman, to feel powerful herself.

Tuesday, March 6

Exercise Addiction: When Working Out Starts Over-working You

Presented by Prof. Linda Keeler, Kinesiology Dept.

5:00–6:00 p.m., BMU 211

Film: “Beauty Mark”

8–10 p.m., U-HUB (between Tehama and Whitney Halls)

Examine popular culture’s toxic emphasis on weight through the eyes of Boulder-based psychotherapist and former world class triathlete Diane Israel, who tells her own story while interviewing other champion athletes, body builders, fashion models and inner-city teens about their experiences relating to self image.

Wednesday, March 7

ThighDentity Politics: the Fat Studies/Health at EverySize® Response to Weight Stigma

Presented by Marilyn Wann

12–1 p.m., BMU 210

The Real F-Word: Challenging Weight Bias for Your Health and Happiness

Presented by Marilyn Wann

5:30–7:30 p.m., U-HUB (between Tehama and Whitney Halls)

Thursday, March 8

Road to Recovery

A panel discussion about eating disorder recovery

5:30–7 p.m., BMU 303

Panelists will share insights about their experiences of recovering from an eating disorder.