You’re amazing just the way you are

Student-run event promotes positive self-image to students on campus

In an effort to promote positivity, the Women’s and LGBTQ Resource Center localized the Love Your Body Day campaign by introducing an interactive event Friday in Davies Center at UW-Eau Claire.

Grace Bothwell, a sophomore marketing major, is the head intern for the event. She said it is important to her because she was always trying to change how she looked growing up instead of realizing “beauty” doesn’t have one single definition.

“I think I’ve had a lot of image issues in the past, so kind of growing up and reading magazines and watching ads on T.V., it really creates this toxic environment where you’re not allowed to love yourself,” she said. “The media definitely says there’s one way to be pretty.”

Bothwell said she wanted this event to create a space where students are allowed to feel good about themselves, something she said she believes is not held in very high esteem in society.

“A lot of times people are expected to say bad things about themselves … that’s normal,” she said. “But if someone is like, ‘I look really good today,’ people are like, ‘wow, vain.’”

Her main reason for taking on this event was to give students an opportunity to be positive, but she said it also motivated her to go into marketing. She hopes to use this major to inspire people to think more highly of themselves and to reduce the stereotypical image of beauty in the media.

As for the event itself, she said while she hopes it attracts many students, even if only a small amount come and leave happier about who they are, she will feel she has done her job.

“I think sometimes you have to hear it from other people,” she said. “You’re allowed to love yourself and be who you are.”

Anna Mae Tempus, a junior English education major, said she thinks the event will not only allow people to feel good about themselves, but also inform students of issues surrounding body image.

“Things such as eating disorders, negative media around women’s bodies, all of those things are incredibly important to raise awareness of and to spread the knowledge that women are not alone in these difficulties, and men as well,” she said.

Though Tempus said she hadn’t heard of the event previously, it sounded like a good opportunity for students to get involved.

Chris Jorgenson, the Women’s and LGBTQ Resource Center coordinator, said the Love Your Body Day campaign was also a way to address the differences between men’s and women’s ideas of self-worth because so much of a woman’s image comes from her body, which is very different from men.

“We certainly think it’s a worthwhile endeavor to create programming each and every year that allows people to take a moment to explore how that experience is different,” he said.

This year is previous from others, Jorgenson said, in that they’ve opened up the event to anyone on the campus who wants to participate and he is really excited to see how it turns out.

He said he hopes students will realize their involvement in events like this are the first step in making a difference, and the only way to start doing that is simply by being there.

“Clear a little bit of time out of your very busy life, your very busy schedule, just to show up,” he said. “Symbolically, it’s important because then people know that it’s worth showing up for.”