Students reflect on ASCSU’s Body Acceptance Week

Emery Love

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Throughout the week, students coated the inner-window of Morgan’s Grind with sentiments of self-confidence and support for their fellow Rams. (Photo credit: Hannah Beckwith)

Feb. 22-28 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, but at CSU it is all about body acceptance.

“At CSU we’ve adopted a broader sense of what body acceptance means,” said Mackenzie Whitesell, director of health for ASCSU. “Eating disorders are included in body acceptance, but it is not limited to that here.”

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This year’s Body Acceptance Week has seen collaboration from ASCSU, CSU Health Network, Campus Recreation Center, Women and Gender Advocacy Center, Fraternity and Sorority Life and National Residence Hall Honorary.

“I’m really excited that there’s such a large collaboration of organizations on campus this year,” Whitesell said. “It’s nice to see campus offices come together to do something like this to support students.”

ASCSU started a sticky note campaign for students where they could write something they love about the way that they look—those sticky notes make up a mural inside of Morgan Library. It’s a way to open up the conversation about self-love, according to Whitesell.

“There is an expectation that as women we should be trying everything we can to make our bodies resemble what is unrealistically portrayed in the media,” said Bet Llavador a senior at CSU studying journalism and media communications. “I combat pressure about body image by loving my body where it is right now. Our mind and body are so connected. I feel that how we perceive and love our bodies affects how we look.”

It is harder for men to reach out, according to Whitesell.

“There is a lot of media pressure on men to have a certain level of fitness or a muscular body type,” Whitesell said. “We’re trying to engage male involvement.”

Jack Savoie, a freshman at CSU studying design apparel, agreed.

“Men are affected by body image too,” Savoie said. “I feel it is not talked about much because in this society men should not be affected by such ‘stupid’ things.”

The CSU Health Network has provided an eating disorder screening tool that students can access online.

“The screening tool helps those who don’t feel comfortable publicly asking for help,” Whitesell said.

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Whitesell said she hopes that Body Acceptance Week will help students feel safe and loved at CSU.

“I would like students to come away from this week feeling like there’s a campus community that supports who they are and where they’re at,” Whitesell said.

Collegian Reporter Emery Love can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @emerynlove.