Redefining Body Image

by Angela Niesz

Looking into the mirror but hating the person on the other side can be a daily struggle for a wide array of individuals.

Delta Delta Delta held Fat-Talk Free Week to try and conquer some of the struggles that are faced each day.

Senior Jenn Arnold coordinated the event.

“(It’s) a program that we started to get rid of the thin ideal that’s really damaging on women’s bodies these days and to promote self-love and self-confidence among women everywhere,” Arnold said.

Junior Alex Carlson stated the importance of Fat-Talk Free Week.

“Fat-Talk Free Week is important because it brings awareness to the differences between what is portrayed to us of what we should look like versus what reality is,” Carlson said. “Educating people about body issue is important because some of the expectations are impossible for almost anyone to meet.”

Arnold explained how the idea to hold the event came about.

“The people in our national offices decided that a good thing for Tri-Deltas across the nation to do would be to participate in a week like this, all of us at one time, and promote this as a united organization,” Arnold said.

While organizing the event, some well-known guests arrived to speak about feeling beautiful in your own skin and loving yourself for who you are.

“We actually had people from the Dove Campaign come talk to us,” Arnold said.

The Dove Campaign encourages complimenting one another, and Arnold thinks this is a good idea, but some comments can become a problem for many.

“We feel people are focused too much on damaging things like, ‘You look great. Have you lost 10 pounds?'” Arnold said.

She thinks phrases like this one can lead to women believing they are not beautiful as they are.

“It’s giving women everywhere the idea that in order to be beautiful they have to weigh a certain weight and that’s not healthy,” Arnold said. “So what we’re trying to do is fix that and just give people a week where they say good things about themselves that have nothing to do with their physical appearance.”

Women aren’t the only victims of the mirror, according to director of counseling Ellie Olson.

“I think the way of our culture and society and the media impacts the way anyone feels about their body or about themselves is so pervasive (that) I don’t know if anyone escapes that at this point,” Olson said. “I think it’s more prevalent with females, but I think it’s becoming more and more of an issue with men as well.”

Olson further explained how Fat-Talk Free Week could benefit men and women alike.

“I think that it’s equally effective or important for men because I think that the standards that are within our culture affect the way men treat women,” Olson said.

Tri-Delta is ready to impact more people and take next year’s Fat-Talk Free Week up a level.

“Next year there will be even more things done at Simpson for this,” Arnold said.