Last modified: Monday, February 14, 2011
Celebrate EveryBODY Week raises body image awareness
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 14, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Health and fitness experts at Indiana University Bloomington will help the campus community focus on the positivie during Celebrate EveryBODY Week, Feb. 21-25.
The event, which coincides with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, is held annually to raise awareness of the potential harm that can result from a negative body image. 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.
"Major life transitions can be very difficult and have been shown to be significant triggering factors for eating and exercise disorders," said Andy Fry, assistant director of fitness and wellness for Campus Recreational Sports. "The transition into college, the pressure to get good grades, and the looming 'real world' all can contribute to students exploring unhealthy ways to cope with their stress. That's why we wanted to start this annual program."
Events, sponsored by IU Campus Recreational Sports, IU Health Center and the Coalition for Overcoming Problem Eating/Exercise (COPE), include a "skinny jeans" drive benefiting the Shalom Community Center, a pledge board for participants to commit to appreciating their bodies, and a "week without mirrors" where some Campus Recreational Sports facility mirrors will be covered and replaced with positive body image messages.
"Our goal is to let our students take a week to concentrate on their inward traits, not the outer ones," Fry said. "On the mirrors we cover, we write motivational messages, such as 'You're more than what this reflection shows,' to provide positive encouragement for body image."
Key activities planned for Celebrate Your Body Day, Monday (Feb. 21) include:
- EuroBody vs. YourBody, 7:30 p.m., at the SRSC Auditorium. The program will de-construct Eurocentric ideas of beauty and physical attractiveness and help participants look through different cultural lenses to understand physical aesthetics and perceptions of beauty in other cultures. Participants will have the opportunity to view media clips and discuss reactions to these Western messages.
- Informational tables will be staffed throughout the campus and in Campus Recreational Sports facilities. Students will be asked to write comments on note cards about features they like about their own bodies. These celebratory cards will be displayed for all to see.
- A jeans drive for Shalom Community Center will be in progress all week. Collection sites will be located at the Student Recreational Sports Center and Wildermuth Intramural Center.
- Distribution of educational materials, including usiness cards, informational brochures and fliers explaining the main signs of eating disorders, which can include excessive exercise, will be placed throughout Campus Recreational Sports facilities.
COPE members represent Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Campus Recreational Sports, Residential Programs and Services, medical staff from the IU Health Center, IU Athletics, local eating disorder specialists and dieticians from IU Health Bloomington Hospital. To learn more about COPE, visit http://www.healthcenter.indiana.edu/cope/Home.html.
For more information about body image or to seek help, contact the Indiana University Health Center at 812-855-5002, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 812-855-5711 or Health and Wellness Dietitians at 812-855-8230.
Event coordinators are Andy Fry, Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness of Campus Recreational Sports, who can be reached at 812-855-9653 or firstname.lastname@example.org; and DeeDee Dayhoff, Staff Therapist at CAPS, who can be reached at 812-855-5711 or email@example.com.
More about Celebrate EveryBODY Week and Campus Recreational Sports
Celebrate EveryBODY Week is an expanded version of a campaign IU Campus Recreational Sports launched in 2007 called "You Are Not Alone." The original campaign was designed to help students become more aware of body image issues and disordered eating behaviors, while connecting them to resources to help address them. Materials used in the first "You Are Not Alone" campaign will be reinstated for the Celebrate EveryBODY Week, including materials to raise awareness about body image concerns and contact information for professionals on campus who can help with body image-related issues. IU Campus Recreational Sports exists to connect, inform and inspire people to lead active, healthy lifestyles. RS is a division of IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. To learn more, visit recsports.indiana.edu, or call 812-855-7772.