September 26, 2002

'Love Your Body' Week Begins

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Students attended A Day of Action on Ho Plaza yesterday in celebration of Love Your Body week, a national campaign encouraging women to love their bodies the way they are.

According to Kelly Connison, director of the Cornell Women’s Resource Center (CWRC), it is also “a day to speak out against harmful images of women in the media.”

The CWRC set up several tables where students made t-shirts advertising “body loving affirmations,” said Harriet Antczak ’04. Students Acting for Gender Equality (SAGE) were also represented.

“We are promoting body acceptance, encouraging people to treat the body right and educating people against fat talk,” Antczak said.

Yesterday’s events were only part of a week-long celebration sponsored by the Cornell Women’s Resource Center, Panhellenic Health Advisory Team, SAGE, Gannett: University Health Services, Panhellenic Association and Planned Parenthood of Tompkins County. This week’s activities also include another Day of Action on North Campus in front of Appel Commons from 4 to 7 p.m., as well as two movies tonight and A Night of Poetry and Art tomorrow in Autumn Leaves Bookstore on the Commons.

“There are lots of reasons to have this, I don’t see why we shouldn’t,” said Pradeep Giri ’05, a member of SAGE. “It’s fun for people; they get to make shirts and have a good time.”

However, some expressed concerns about the motives of Love Your Body Week.

“This is just appealing to the Ithacan culture of extremism. This wouldn’t fly in real America,” said Elliott M. Reed ’05. Reed, also a member of SAGE, said that he thought there is not adequate advertising at Cornell about ways people can get help if they have a serious eating disorder.

“They don’t provide tools to get over obesity or malnourishment,” he said.

“Maybe it should be ‘Love Your Body and Make It Healthy Day,'” Giri said in response to Reed’s comments.

Although the CWRC does not provide professional counseling for those with medical conditions, it dos offer referrals to Gannett and other treatment centers in the Ithaca community.

In addition to referrals, the Center provides support and advocacy, a lending library, programs and events, leadership opportunities as well as speaker services, according to the organization’s program sheet.

And does this Day of Action help women learn to love their bodies?

“Yes and no, but more yes than no. The only people I see here are people who look like they already [take care of their bodies] anyway,” said Eugene Lien ’03.

Archived article by Elizabeth Donald