Love Your Body Week on Campus

Janie Feldmann ’15, Staff Writer

From Monday, Feb. 11 to Friday, Feb. 15, the Wellness Center and Women’s Center sponsored Love Your Body Week.  Dr. Christine Samuelsen, a psychologist at the Wellness Center, coordinated this event with the help of faculty, students, and other student groups, including Student Senate and MANdatory.

The week consisted of a dinner on Monday, a lecture and exercise class on Tuesday, a movie screening on Wednesday and a zumba class on Friday.

“The turn-out was much larger than expected.  Our kick-off dinner is typically the most popular event, so we had around 70 people who attended.  The rest of the week was great, too,” said Samuelsen. “There were around 40-50 people at Tuesday’s lecture and about 60 people who viewed the screening on Thursday.”

Samuelson was extremely pleased with the Monday dinner.

“Jeanette DePatie, or the Fat Chick, has been such a great resource for this week,” reported Samuelsen. “At Monday’s dinner, she gave an inspiring talk about the importance of a positive self-image.  She stressed that people can have health at every size.”

Dr. Samuelsen believes the rest of the week was also influential.

“The message that we are spreading around campus this week is extremely important.  Before this event began, the organizers made a pledge to love our bodies.  Doing so was a personal and encouraging way to begin the week,” reported Samuelsen. “And now to see other students also pledging to love their bodies is incredible.  We have made this week be about body appreciation, regardless of size, gender, and race.”

This event had a highly positive effect on students.

Alexandra Fingerhut ’15, who attended the kick-off dinner on Monday, was particularly inspired by DePatie’s speech.

“It was great to see all the support that this week was getting.  I was glad to see that so many people came out to support such an important cause, because it’s an issue which everyone should be aware of,” said Fingerhut.  “People need to understand that everyone is beautiful in their own way.  Beauty comes from inside, not from outside – that’s what I’ve learned.”

According to Samuelsen, “loving your body does not end with this week. We all have good days and bad days, but our main purpose was to help students begin concentrating on a positive self-image.  This week was a starting point towards overall body appreciation and celebration.”