Another aspect of body positivity

By Jessica Ricks, Staff Writer
Featured image by Jessica Ricks

With the never-ending stress that college brings, sometimes students end up forgetting to take care of the one thing that really matters: themselves.

The Body Image Peer Educators of the Health and Counseling Center at Ward & West put together the event “Nourish Your Body and Skin” Wednesday, Nov. 1 as part of their Love Your Body Week.

“Love Your Body Week is an initiative where we have events every day,” said Kiran Kaur, graduate assistant for the Body Image Peer Educators. “We want to increase and improve body positivity. We want people to appreciate and love their body instead of looking down on it.”

Love Your Body Week has been an annual event on campus for the past few years, according to Kaur. “Nourish Your Body and Skin” is their first ever event having to do with the body and skin, designed to expand attendee’s definitions of “body positivity.”

“When you think about body positivity, most people focus on weight and size,” Kaur said. “This is a different aspect of it. There is all of this pressure to maintain an ideal image.”

“Nourish Your Body and Skin,” which took place in the West Village Commons Ballroom C, was the first big event of this year’s Love Your Body Week. It was a collaborative event with many on-campus groups. Among them were The Naturalistas, who had a table on taking care of natural hair; the Alcohol and Drug Peer Educators, who ran a table on how alcohol was bad for the skin; Healthy Minds, who had students creating de-stress glitter jars; and Sigma Lambda Gamma, who helped people create DIY hair masks.

There were many other activities such as DIY body scrubs made out of coconut oil, sugar, coffee grinds and essential oils, and the Affirmation Mirror where students were covered in positive notes about their bodies. There was also a yoga session ran by senior Claire Stecker, who teaches regular classes at 4 Warriors Studio in Towson.

“I hope people can gain a broader perspective of self-care and taking time for yourself,” Stecker said. “Sometimes that’s doing nothing, sometimes it’s taking a yoga class, and sometimes it’s pampering yourself.”

Senior Abigail Schaefer said that with such busy lives, students sometimes need a reminder to practice self-care.

Shaefer said she’s always been an “advocate for positive body image,” and was glad for the chance to share this with the Towson community.

“Stuff like this is calming,” she said. “We can get super busy and forget to take time for ourselves.”

Schaefer was there with her friend, Sophie Iwaskiw. Iwaskiw said she was grateful for “Nourish Your Body and Skin” because she finds that, during this point in the semester when she’s really busy, it’s easy for her to develop unhealthy habits.

Jaime Kaplan, coordinator of eating disorder services in the Health and Counseling Center, said there are many dimensions to living your body. “Nourish Your Body and Skin” was created to try to encompass all aspects of it.

“It’s not just external, you have to take care of the internal as well,” Kaplan said. “When the mind is at peace, the body is at peace. Everything is interrelated.”

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