According to the website on National Eating Disorders, body image is not just how you see yourself but also how you sense and control your body, how you feel about your body and how you feel about your own appearance.
A negative or distorted body image is a key factor in the development of eating disorders. In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness week, the ETSU CPA held a tabled event known as “Love Your Body Day” on Jan.23.
“Love Your Body Day” took place in the CPA where students and faculty utilizing the gym facilities could write down what they loved most about their bodies.
Each time someone wrote down what they loved about his or her body it was displayed along a wall for others to see.
To further promote ways to encourage healthy body image, notes with positive, uplifting messages were placed throughout the CPA. Student workers in the CPA volunteered to man the table while people lined up to participate.
“I think it’s important for people to know that it’s OK to be in your own skin,” said Leslie Mayes, event volunteer and senior studying dental hygiene.
“People need to be able to express themselves, and it’s important to give people the opportunity to actually write it down and show how they feel.”
The volunteers were initially somewhat unsure of the turnout, but “Love Your Body Day” quickly proved to be well received among the ETSU community.
Located by the CPA entrance, people coming into the CPA were invited to participate in the event, and they were also provided with campus and local resources for body image issues, eating disorders and other mental health concerns.
“I think that it’s really just awareness that we’re after, but we also want to promote a healthy body image,” Mayes said. “We’ve been getting over one participant a minute which is a really great turnout that I was pleasantly surprised by.”
The series of events, resources, speakers and information that have been provided as a part of NEDA week all have a common goal in mind: to educate the student body about the dangers and impacts of eating disorders as well as provide them with tangible resources they can utilize to help themselves or someone they know to overcome these all too common disorders.