By Kerry Ingram, Assistant Arts & Life Editor
Featured image courtesy of Smash the Scale Facebook page
For college students and young adults, the pressure to fit into society’s ideal standards of beauty and attractiveness are very prevalent. Such pressures can affect one’s mental health and stress levels for the worse. Towson University’s Body Image Peer Educators have recognized this problem, and plan to do something about it.
Towson University’s Body Image Peer Educators will be presenting “Love Your Body Week,” an annual event series about the importance of positive body image, from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2. Each day will consist of a unique, inclusive activity that targets a topic linked to body positivity.
Kiran Kaur, a graduate assistant of the Body Image Peer Education program, said the group hopes that the initiative will increase body acceptance amongst Towson’s community.
“College students are at a developmentally vulnerable stage in their lives and are particularly susceptible to body dissatisfaction because of peer influences and social media pressures,” Kaur said. “Through our events and programming, we seek to educate students about ways to increase body positivity, how to recognize signs of unhealthy behaviors, and how to seek help.”
“Love Your Body Week” will consist of four main events. A trivia event kicks off the week in the afternoon of Oct. 30 in Burdick Hall, where students can compete to see who has the most knowledge about exercise and nutrition.
“Scare Away Your Insecurities,” an event taking place in University Union on Oct. 31, will use funhouse mirrors and Halloween themes to communicate the importance of self-acceptance.
The group will host “Nourish Your Body and Skin” on Nov. 1, in West Village, where attendees can get pampered, participate in yoga and enjoy free food while practicing self-care techniques.
The final event of the week, “Smash the Scale,” will take place mid-day Nov. 2 on the Beach, where students will be invited to break scales with a hammer. The Body Image Peer Educators hope this last event will “show that people are more than just a number.”
According to Kaur, the week has been held a few years at Towson; however, the events have been modified to reflect new topics and interests.
Kaur said the week of events will be a success if it can increase students’ knowledge about issues related to body image, and increase the visibility of Towson’s Counseling Center as a source for help.
“College is a prime time for the development of eating disorders and poor body image,” Kaur said. “The Counseling Center on campus provides free counseling and body image support groups to those who need help.”
The Body Image Peer Educators plan to host more events to make an impact on campus. Their next event, “The Body Project,” will be an interactive discussion group focused on societal beauty standards. This workshop will be held in sessions during the month of November, each session lasting two hours for two specific days. Students can contact Jaime Kaplan at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up, or for more information.