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SGA hosts ‘Love Your Body Day’ to encourage self-care, self-love

| Monday, February 25, 2019

On Sunday, the Student Government Association’s (SGA) social concerns committee hosted its annual “Love Your Body Day” — an event emphasizing the importance of self-care and self-love.

“I think since we’ve been lacking a Belles Against Violence [Office] director, there hasn’t been a lot of events for self-care, self-love, mental health or sexual assault awareness, which are things that are all encompassed in self-love,” junior Olivia Allen said.

In the past, “Love Your Body” was a week-long event with small activities every day such as talks, panels or free food. In order to encourage greater attendance this year, all the activities are packed into one day in the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex.

Photo courtesy of Olivia Allen

Juniors Haley Mitchell, left, and Olivia Allen, right, planned this year’s annual Love Your Body Day. Mitchell and Allen are the co-chairs of the Student Government Association social concerns committee, which is responsible for the planning of this event each year.

Allen said the mission for this year’s “Love Your Body Day” is to encourage self-love in all aspects, rather than focusing on only the physical body.

“There is more to self-love than just one’s physical body, and we need to deter from the pressure to have a picture-perfect image,” Allen said “We are encouraging Belles to find joy and love within themselves by simply being genuine.”

The day started with activities such as meditation, yoga and a free Barre class with a professional instructor, Allen said. In addition to these activities, Allen said there were different giveaways students could receive throughout the day’s festivities.

“There [were] photo backdrops, a free smoothie bowl bar with toppings, including a non-dairy and gluten-free option,” she said. “There are also giveaways of Saint Mary’s ponytails.”

After the events in Angela, there was a panel full of students and one former faculty member that answered questions in Welsh Parlor in Haggar Hall.

“Some of the people on the panel are individuals who have struggled with self-love,” Allen said. “Hearing how other people in the community have overcome struggles is very important.”

Junior Haley Mitchell, a member of the SGA social concerns committee, said one of the panelists was a previous communications professor at Saint Mary’s College, Marne Austin, an advocate for inclusion and acceptance.

“[Austin] had a big impact on students here and is very passionate about topics such as this,” Mitchell said. “She constructs her classes in an interesting way which has a lasting impact on a lot of students in regard to these topics.”

SGA wanted to encompass topics they found important including self-love, mental health awareness, eating disorder awareness and sexual assault and decided a panel would be the best way to accomplish all of this, Allen said.

“The panel shows different perspectives from a different range of people,” Allen said. “Especially with social media and the 21st century, it is important to see that loving your body has so many different definitions and it doesn’t matter who you are or how you look.”

Mitchell said SGA will also have a “Love Your Body” booth set up at the second-annual Health and Wellness Fair on Friday in the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex.

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