Self-love was the name of the game at the Center for Gender Equity’s Love Your Body week, five entire days specifically devoted to promoting body positivity, mental health, and appreciation of oneself.
This time-honored Pacific tradition that students look forward to annually consisted of a series of activities and tabling-based learning opportunities designed to allow students to retune their body image as well as learn a bit about themselves mentally and physically. Programming for the event included themes for each day of the week, including Mental Health Monday, where volunteers tabled in the U.C. with tea, stress balls, and mental health resources.
Junior Emily DeYoung, a staff member at the Center for Gender Equity, headed up the project and coordinated all of the events, intent on making the week about more than just body positivity.
“Self-esteem and body images are something that everybody has that can be negatively affected by daily life,” said DeYoung. “Mental health can definitely fall by the wayside. In the past, Love Your Body has been body-centric and we are trying to reformat toward mental health.”
DeYoung plans to lead the charge on Love Your Body Week next year as well, hoping to stress mental health in collaboration with body positivity even more.
“Now that I feel like I have an idea of what that entails, I can go into it next year with experience,” said DeYoung.
The Center for Gender Equity has planned a myriad of other events following Love Your Body Week, including the Human Body Campus event taking place on February 21 at 7 p.m. in the MPR, wherein artists from around campus celebrate diverse body types and embrace mental health surrounding body image by painting the bodies of other volunteers. There will be several other events planned by C.G.E. promoting self-care and love of all bodies, and since February is the month of love, there is no better time to explore them.