Dickinson Hosts Love Your Body Week

 A magnet made by a student who attended the Kickoff Soiree. Photo courtesy of the author.

A magnet made by a student who attended the Kickoff Soiree. Photo courtesy of the author.

This year’s in-person Love Your Body Week, put on by the Office of LGBTQ Services, was both a celebration and a conversation of Dickinson’s support of body positivity. 

The week began with a Kickoff Soirée on Monday evening. This event was organized by the Psychology Club and Psi Chi. Clubs and organizations such as the Women’s and Gender Resource Center, the Center for Spirituality and Social Justice, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and the Clarke Forum set up tables for students to visit. Participants could take part in activities related to body positivity and learned about upcoming Love Your Body week events. Many of the tables featured affirmation-writing cards.

At the Women’s and Gender Resource Center table students could write kind messages on magnets. The Clarke Forum table promoted its event for the following night, the Boys, Biceps, and Body Image forum.

On Tuesday, the Office of LGBTQ Services hosted Loving Our Queer and Trans Bodies. Students attended to discuss the diversity of their bodies and share and celebrate their experiences in a positive environment. Later on Tuesday, the Dance Theatre Group led an inclusive dance class open to all. Attendees created and performed a choreographed dance to the song Abracadabra by Qveen Herby at the end of the program. Also on Tuesday was the Clarke Forum Lecture, “Boys, Biceps, and Body Image,” featuring keynote speaker Dr. Jason Nagata. Dr. Nagata specializes in eating disorders in boys and men, LGBTQ health, obesity, and more. The topic of the forum centered around his knowledge and research about eating disorders in boys. He emphasized the “research gap,” noting that less than 1% of body image and eating disorder research is done on men.

Most body image and eating disorder issues in boys and men, according to Dr. Nagata, stem from muscle dysmorphia, or not feeling muscular enough. In his presentation he also talked through his studies of heightened steroid use among young adult men compared to that of women. Overall, Dr. Nagata advocated for, and is involved in, further research concerning eating disorders in boys/men and LGBTQ+ communities. 

During the Q & A portion of the presentation, Dr. Nagata answered questions about studies of eating disorders and body dysmorphia in LGBTQ+ people and the relevance of using BMI calculations in his studies. Following the Clarke Forum event, Psychology Club and Psi Chi held a reception where attendees discussed the forum and LYB week in general over refreshments. 

Thursday, the Dance Theater Group organized Happy Body Hour. Professor Erin Crawley-Woods, assistant professor of dance, led the hour of relaxing self-care techniques. The class also included Thai Bodywork, which combines yoga and massage. 

On Friday, Love Your Body Week came to a close with Love at Landis, in honor of Valentine’s Day being three days later. A plethora of craft supplies allowed students to create valentines while socializing and enjoying cupcakes. Students took fun photos in front of a Valentine’s-themed background. One student commented that they thought the event “was really cute and a great way to bring students together.”