The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by less than 5 percent of females, according to the Social Issues Research Centre.
Love Your Body Day was devoted to promoting positive body image Wednesday in the Sunken Lounge of the Lory Student Center.
“Negative body image is caused by massive globalization of this image that everyone is expected to have – created by the Internet, ads and TV,” said Nikki Nolan, a senior art major and member of the Campus Feminist Alliance.
Nolan, also a member of Hillel and president of the Vegetarian Eating Group, was the organizer of the event and emphasized the importance of positive body image.
Dozens of students talked with a dietician, got massages, learned about safe sex and were given nutritional snacks.
As a part of Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Active Minds, a student organization promoting mental health, had a table outside the LSC offering students brochures and information about eating disorders, nutrition and healthy body image.
Lannea Russell, a senor animal science major representing Active Minds, emphasized the importance of getting help if you or someone you know has an eating disorder.
“You are not alone. There are other people who struggle,” Russell said. “There is hope and a lot of resources to help you. It’s a disorder just like any other disorder.”
Planned Parenthood had representatives with information about safe sexual choices as well as condoms, bumper stickers and buttons.
“It is important to take care of yourself and know how to take care of yourself in all the different aspects,” said Sam Bowersox-Daly, a freshman liberal arts open-option major representing Planned Parenthood.
Students talked to representatives of the different organizations and learned about positive ways to stay healthy in a world full of negative and unrealistic images and messages.
“I think it is so easy to get subliminal images and take them as truth and that’s not what real life is,” said Shannon Rierden, a sophomore speech communication major.
Nolan said it was important to be happy with one’s body.
“Look in the mirror and even if you don’t feel pretty just tell yourself you look pretty,” said Nolan. “Who is going to love you if you don’t love yourself?”
Staff writer Emily Polak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
/ More than 80 percent of fourth-grade girls have been on a fad diet.
/ The average weight of a model is 23 percent lower than that of an average woman; 20 years ago the difference was 8 percent.
/ The United States spends more than $33 billion on weight-reduction programs, diet foods and beverages each year.
/ Ninety five percent of diets fail.
/ Ads on TV and in magazines tend to use the most idealized images of women – research has shown that exposure to these ads negatively impacts body image.
Sources: Social Issues Research Center, HealthAtoZ.com and Barbara Cohen.