‘Learning to love the shape you are’ on campus

Nathaniel Harvey

In today’s society, body shaming seems to be everywhere and takes many forms. Whether it is calling someone too skinny, too muscular or too fat, it is body shaming. The body positivity movement has focused on loving one’s body, no matter what shape or size.

On Thursday, Student Center Programming and Kent State’s Body Acceptance Movement are co-hosting a body positivity event to celebrate and appreciate all types of bodies.

“Body positivity is accepting yourself, mind and body, with the aim to lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Roberta Clerle Sadocco Pereira, a fashion merchandising major and president of BAM. “It is also positively helping other people feel good in their own bodies. It is, basically, loving yourself and others for who they are.”

BAM was formed in 2011 to support those struggling with body image issues.

“The initial goal (of BAM) was to spread awareness on eating disorders. Throughout the years, we noticed that the way the media portrays ourselves also affects our views,” Pereira said. “So we started discussing broader issues that affect our community, including mental health.”

In 1996, Elizabeth Scott, a clinical social worker, and Connie Sobczak, an award-winning videographer, founded The Body Positive website to help people with negative body image issues how to overcome these issues and live more beneficial and happier lives.

The Body Positive website states that a body image that is negative can lead to a quality of life that is poor. Further, a negative body image can lead to things such as anxiety, relationship violence and eating disorders.

This event will help students who have negative body image overcome their fear, as well as help their overall well-being and mental health.

“People can expect … a safe environment to express their concerns and stories, activities to inspire people and just a fun evening with people that love themselves,” Pereira said.

The body positivity event will be held in room 317 of the Kent Student Center, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Nathaniel Harvey is the activities reporter, contact him at [email protected].