Losing pounds


In today’s society, pressures to look a certain way are present in many types of media. The women’s and LGBTQ resource center at UW-Eau Claire is fighting back with their Love Your
Body campaign.

Chris Jorgenson, the women’s and LGBTQ resource coordinator put together a display of photos of students tearing up magazines in Hibbard Hall as part of Love Your Body day, which is nationally celebrated Oct. 16.

“When presenting it to the campus, I always try to find ways that aren’t expected or that are creative approaches to messages that you hear,” Jorgenson said.

Jorgenson said both men and women are affected by body image in the media.

“The ideals that are being put forth as beautiful or as attainable have gotten so much more unattainable without Photoshop,” Jorgenson said. “The human body doesn’t do that  naturally.”

Jorgenson said his project of photographing people ripping apart magazines is a good reminder that we all have the power to choose what we read.

The subjects in the photos also got to pick what magazines they wanted to rip up because the emotion in the photos is real, Jorgenson said.

“For the people who are taking part in the photography, it becomes an empowerment,” he said. “It’s a moment of doing something with that frustration.”

The “unwanted pounds” in the photos are represented by the weight of the magazine the individual chooses to rip apart.

Junior Alyse Weber, an Eau Claire student who is also a candidate for homecoming and a resident assistant in Towers Hall said the project was a way to say everything she has
wanted to about body image issues.

“It was a good chance to get across the message that there are so many different varieties of beauty,” Weber said.

Weber tore a part a Victoria’s Secret catalog for her photo shoot. She said one of the reasons why she chose that magazine was because she sees how much it affects her residents when the Victoria’s Secret fashion show is on.

“Our girls just beat themselves up, and they feel so bad about themselves,” Weber said.

Weber said she wants both men and women to know they are beautiful, even when society is telling them different.

Another participant in the campaign, senior Courtney Ostert said one of the reasons why she got involved was because she has always had body image issues.

“I thought it was a really cool way to get back at it and encourage other women to consider better ways to deal with their body image issues other than self harm or other things like that,” Ostert said.

She chose Seventeen Magazine because it has been a magazine she has read for years.

“I have always felt like stuff in there was really unrealistic and airbrushed,” Ostert said. “There are so many things that are sexualized in that magazine which is sickening.”

The photo shoot for this event made Ostert a little nervous but she said through the whole process people were  very encouraging.

“Get back what is making you feel like crap,” Ostert said. “It should never ever get to that point where you feel like the media has more power over your body than you do.”