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SMC hosts sixth annual Love Your Body Week

| Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) is hosting its sixth annual Love Your Body Week to foster positive self-images among members of the campus community.

Love Your Body Week (LYBW) was planned by juniors Mary Joy Dingler and Jenna Wozniak, SGA’s social concerns co-chairs.

The mission of this week is to instill a strong sense of confidence in the young women of Saint Mary’s,” Dingler said. “So many girls deal with insecurities about their bodies, and Love Your Body Week is a fantastic way to make young women feel comfortable with themselves. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a confident young woman, and Love Your Body Week gives girls a safe space to embrace their figures and feel unashamedly confident.”

This year’s LYBW is unique because each day follows a theme that encourages students to embrace their bodies through student interaction, camaraderie and empowerment.

The week kicked off with “Mirror-less Monday,” in which students were encouraged to “embrace their self-confidence and stay away from the mirror,” Dingler said. SGA also sponsored power yoga in Angela Athletic Facility.

On “No Makeup Tuesday,” students can flaunt their natural look by posting makeup free selfies on social media with the hashtag #everyBODYisbeautiful. There will also be a panel discussion held in Vander Vennet Theatre from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., co-sponsored by Project HEAL.

Wozinak encouraged students to come listen to speakers on the panel, such as Bettina Spencer, an associate professor of psychology at Saint Mary’s.

“I feel that the panel discussion will be a really beneficial event for students to attend as some fellow students will be sharing some of their stories and experiences with body image,” she said. “Along with the students, both Professor Spencer, as well as Kate Barron from the Health and Counseling Center, will be there to share some insight on eating disorders and how they relate to our community.” 

Students are encouraged to dress down for “Comfy Clothes Wednesday.” Wednesday evening will feature a presentation on health and fitness given by Diana Matuszak, a current Saint Mary’s senior.

“[Matuszak] has her own fitness page on Instagram, and she is extremely inspirational, so it will be an awesome opportunity for Belles to support a fellow Belle,” Dingler said.

For “Thankful Thursday,” Saint Mary’s students are encouraged to reflect on the personal traits for which they are most thankful. A Saint Mary’s nutritionist will run an interactive “Family Feud”-style game during lunch, in addition to preparing snacks and providing tips to students on how to make healthy snacks in their own dorm rooms.

“Fitness Friday” urges students to post a “gym selfie,” incorporating the LYBW hashtag. SGA will offer desserts and makeup bag decorating in Reignbeaux Lounge from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Wozniak said she hopes the week will be a chance for students to challenge stereotypes, especially those rooted in the media.

“I am hoping that students will walk away from this week with a renewed sense of empowerment and self-love,” she said.  “I think that it is easy to forget how much we accomplish everyday and to sometimes let the little things get to you. I think that above everything, this week celebrates the beauty of all women and how that is a characteristic that everyone should take pride in.”

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