For my senior sociology seminar our final assignment was to address/participate in some form of public sociology. My group, which was comprised of five senior girls including myself, choose to focus on finding an effective and meaningful way to educate and bring awareness to the body image issue that has such a dominant presence on most college campuses. The actual definition and explanation of body image, “refers to the way we perceive our own bodies and the way we assume other people perceive us. It is not inborn, but learned. This learning occurs in the family and among peers, but these only reinforce what is learned and expected culturally.” (Lightstone, 1991) Body image is clearly a sensitive topic and far too few people in today’s society are satisfied with their physical appearance. This is devastating and it is thus crucial that we come together and find methods to combat this societal and cultural problem.
In an effort to effectively address the body image issue on our own college campus we planned a programming event that is amazing and will definitely help bring awareness and education to this topic. Fat Talk Free Week, which occurs during the last week in October, was started by Tri-Delta Sorority. The goal of Fat Talk Free week is to: “draw attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the ‘thin ideal’ on women in society.” The purpose of Bowdoin’s Fat Talk Free Week will be to generate awareness around body image at Bowdoin College and in the greater community, as well as educate others about positive body image. This will be an awesome start to the semester and will really get the conversation about body image going on campus. We truly hope that once a group (Beauty is Colorful) is established that is willing to take on the authority of spreading this message, than body image conversations will have a permanent presence on this campus. Through creating a safe and comfortable environment for individuals to share their own experiences and talk about such a personal topic hopefully some of the stigmas surrounding this issue will disappear. We also have even created a poster campaign that will hopefully help kickstart the group. Here are the beautiful posters:
Through participating in this project I truly realized that even the smallest efforts can make a difference. So I encourage everyone to start today by filling in the statement below:
“I am beautiful because I see the good in others”
Happy Monday everyone!