Hayley Parker ’ 19
Merrimack College’s Office Of Wellness Education hosted Love Your Body Week Feb. 24 to March 1. The week was full of programs dedicated to promoting a healthy body image and maintaining healthy relationships with our bodies.
Wellness educator at Merrimack, Erin Kaminski is in charge of the majority of the health and wellness events on campus, including Love Your Body Week.
Programs throughout the week were aimed to provide resources for body image issues specific to certain groups of people due to race, class, and gender. The programs also discussed the media’s influence on the body and how to recognize what characterizes healthy and unhealthy relationships with one’s body.
Love Your Body week started off with a kick-off party on Feb 24 at the Warrior’s Den. Participants handed out free cupcakes and Love Your Body apparel to help spread positivity around the topic of body image.
The week long event held daily programs such as a scavenger hunt, a burlesque dance, a hydration station stand, a movie night, a self-care skincare program, a active campus seminar, a positivi-tea event, and closed the week with the butterfly program.
Meaghan Mckenna, a senior and psychology major at Merrimack stressed how Love Your Body Week is a great starting point for addressing mental health and body positivity on campus. “These programs give students an opportunity to learn how to appreciate their bodies in ways the media doesn’t” said Mckenna. “With all the pressure the media puts on people in our society, especially women, it’s good to be able to have positive reinforcement here on campus.”
According to the American College Health Association, 58% of college women reported trying to lose weight, despite only 36% describing themselves as slightly or very overweight. Another 43% of college women reported that in the last 30 days, they dieted to lose weight. Also, 27% of college women reported that in the last 12 months, their personal appearance was traumatic or very difficult for them to handle.
The takeaway from Love Your Body Week according to students is to take the chance to check in with oneself and reflect on issues such as body image and self-love. With the stress of midterms coming to a close and student’s busy schedules heightening before spring break, it can be hard to remember to love your body.