ETSU’s annual Love Your Body Day will launch National Eating Disorder Awareness Week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 19 and will be held in the D.P. Culp University Center Ballroom.
“It is a moving event so we have all sorts of tables with different participants,” said Kate Emmerich, M.A. counselor and Oasis Program Coordinator.
The Wellness Committee and the Women’s Resource Committee are co-sponsors of the event.
There will also be representatives from the Center for Physical Activity, HEROES, Women’s Studies and the Washington County Health Department in attendance.
“Everyone who is participating will have some sort of activity or display physically related to loving one’s body and embracing your body,” Emmerich said.
For one of the events, Jones’ Chiropractic will be giving chair massages to students and there will be a relaxation station.
The relaxation station will be a place where students can lie down in a comfortable chair, put a rice pack over their eyes and listen to meditation music, Emmerich said.
Love Your Body Day focuses on providing a diverse atmosphere for students, with the newest addition: belly dancing.
“We are going to have someone who’s coming who does belly dancing classes; we thought that’d be a fun idea,” Emmerich said.
A returning visitor includes the Little City Roller Girls, where they will be skating around and raising awareness for the event.
Love Your Body Day began as a reaction to the narrow, unrealistic expectation of what women are supposed to look like, and how the media portrays body image.
“We think it’s really important at Oasis, as the program who promotes healthy relationships, healthy sexuality and healthy interaction, we feel like it really fits into our mission,” Emmerich said. ”It’s the education of students about how to find healthy ways to take care of yourself and embrace yourself, which involves challenging what the media is telling you about what’s appropriate and acceptable.”
Emmerich encourages men to also take part in Love Your Body Day, because everyone experiences pressure to look a certain way or act a certain way based on impossible expectations that we receive from society and then set for ourselves.
“I think there’s a lot of pressure on men when it comes to body image as well,” Emmerich said. “We tend to focus solely on women, and granted the reason is that a very high population of women are affected by these issues, but the problem is we tend to forget about men or not bring men into that conversation.”
By bringing men into the conversation, Emmerich hopes that students won’t feel the pressure to have to look like someone on the cover of a magazine.
“It’s encouraging body image that we don’t see a lot in our media, we are trying to bring in new vendors and different groups in order to expand,” Emmerich said.