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Love Your Body Week at SMC encourages positive body image

| Sunday, February 26, 2017

Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) kicked off Love Your Body Week on Sunday with a do-it-yourself makeup bag craft, where students could make their own makeup kit as part of a week centered on positive body image and self-love.

SGA Social Concerns Committee co-chair Emma Lewis said this week is important to the Saint Mary’s community because of how often women compare themselves to others.

“I think it’s one those things we have because girls of all ages struggle with really accepting how beautiful they are,” Lewis said. “We’re given so many different pictures of what beautiful is, and I think girls need to understand that no matter what they look like, they are beautiful.”

On Monday, students can sign the self-love pledge in the Noble Family Dining Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will also be a student panel at 7 p.m. in Vander Vennet Theatre, where students will discuss self-esteem and body image issues they have dealt with.

Lewis said this panel is necessary because women should know they are not alone in their struggles with body positivity.

“I think that is something girls will really be able to relate to,” Lewis said. “Just because it helps to know that people understand what you’re going through.”

On Wednesday, the week will continue with “Kind Grams.” Students can send out KIND bars with messages on them to their friends. The table will be in the dining hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the bars will be delivered on Friday.

Lewis said the Kind Grams are her favorite part of the week.

“I think that girls will really feel a difference knowing that their friends see them as beautiful,” she said. “It’s something that will make their day better.”

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday in Stapleton Lounge, Saint Mary’s alumna Lisa Clarkson will discuss battling her eating disorder while at Saint Mary’s, and the role the Saint Mary’s community played in her struggles.

Then, at 9 p.m. in Regina South, the Saint Mary’s yoga club will help put on a beginner-level, body-positive yoga session.

The week wraps up on Thursday with an airing of the documentary “Pornland” in the Vander Vennett Theatre. The 30-minute film will begin at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a staff and student panel to discuss the effects of porn and the media on body image and self-esteem.

Lewis said the message of Love Your Body Week is especially important at Saint Mary’s because it is a women’s college.

“There are so many girls here, so it’s so easy to compare yourself to other people,” she said.

Lewis said since college is so stressful, people are more likely to be hard on themselves.

“[College] is such a vulnerable time in our lives. We’re just stressed constantly and with that stress comes this vulnerability and this ability to tear yourself down even more,” she said. “I think this reinforcement, that we are beautiful, will be a really great sign, and especially as midterms are coming up, this week could not have been more positively placed.”

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