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Andy Fry
School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation

Tracy James
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Celebrate EveryBODY Week at IU, Feb. 15-19

Feb. 10, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A skinny-jeans give away to charity, "a week without mirrors," movies and other activities will help promote the importance of a health body image during Celebrate EveryBODY week, Feb. 15-19, at Indiana University Bloomington.

Mirror photo

Mirrors at the Student Recreational Sports Center will offer messages for people to reflect on during Celebrate EveryBODY Week.

Print-Quality Photo

"The goal of this student-run program is not to increase recreational sports membership, but to increase positive body awareness among students -- and non-students -- and to show them where they can get help for themselves and friends if they need it," said Andy Fry, assistant director for fitness and wellness at the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation's Division of Campus Recreational Sports. "The activities also will show how media and society influence body image perceptions."

The event is co-sponsored by the Coalition for Overcoming Problem Eating/Exercise (C.O.P.E.) and Campus Recreational Sports. C.O.P.E. is a multidisciplinary team of IU medical providers, dietitians, counselors, fitness specialists and Bloomington experts in body image/disordered eating.

Poor body image is a concern for health and fitness professionals because it can lead to eating disorders and unhealthy exercise practices that can result in poor physical and mental health and even death.

Fry said that one in four college-aged women have an eating disorder, such as Bulimia Nervosa or Anorexia Nervosa. Cody Heeter, a graduate assistant in Campus Recreational Sports who is leading a student committee responsible for the program of events, said that 46 percent of men involved in recreational exercise have reported using protein powder in order to gain muscle.

Eating disorders have been stereotypically thought to only affect women, Heeter said, but it is "not just a female problem."

During the week-long program, the Student Recreational Sports Center will celebrate "a week without mirrors" where staff will have decorated mirrors in the restrooms and gyms with positive body image messages and phrases as well as contact information for places to go for help or counseling.

"We want them to be able to look at themselves and value who they are," said Fry. "Mirrors are readily found in exercise facilities so people can analyze and critique their form wherever they are. What better way of exercising is there than when positive body image messages are staring back, encouraging you on?"

The events that will take place are:

  • EveryBODY Sees, Monday, Feb. 15: Movie showing of Bigger, Stronger, Faster, a 2008 documentary about steroid use and abuse as a performance-enhancing drug in the United States and how this practice relates to the American Dream. The showing begins at 9 p.m. in the SRSC Auditorium.
  • EveryBODY Sees, Tuesday, Feb. 16: Movie showing of America the Beautiful, a 2009 documentary that takes you on a two-year journey to examine physical perfection, America's new obsession. The showing begins at 9 p.m. in the SRSC Auditorium.
  • EveryBODY Talks, Wednesday, Feb. 17: Open panel discussion about body image issues and concerns. The panel will consist of: Jan Taylor-Shultz, social worker and eating disorder specialist; Chris Arvin, fitness expert; Janele Bayless, registered dietician; and Miss Indiana Nicole Pollard. The starting time is 8 p.m. in the SRSC Auditorium.
  • Celebrate your BODY day, Thursday, Feb. 18: Fun activities that involve writing positive thoughts about yourself on notecards and placing them on a board to share with everyone. Participants can write negative thoughts, too, and shred the notecards in a paper shredder. "We want to get people to focus on the positive, because most of the time they tend to focus on the negative," Heeter said. "This is a good way to symbolically rid yourself of any negative self-body image in your life." The positive body image display boards will be located in the Wells Library foyer, SRSC, School of HPER and School of Education foyer.
  • EveryBODY Gives, The "Great Jeans Giveaway" Feb. 15-19: Donation of any type of jeans that may no longer fit, make you feel unhappy about your body, or that you just feel like giving away. Bring jeans to the SRSC Lobby or to HPER Wildermuth throughout the week. All donations will be given to the Shalom Community Center in Bloomington.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information visit Fry can be reached at 812-855-9653 or